4 Ways to Cook and Bake with Bourbon for the Kentucky Derby

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4 Ways to Cook and Bake with Bourbon for the Kentucky Derby
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4 Ways to Cook and Bake with Bourbon for the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby has spawned many traditions: grand hats, Derby Pie, and Burgoo stew. But one thing alone is responsible for the crowd that Hunter Thompson witnesses and the lore of the Derby experience: bourbon. Put Kentucky's biggest export on double duty for Derby Day in one of these four recipes.

Image Credit: Brian Leatart

Bourbon-Pecan Tart

Add a kick to this Southern classic. The pie can be made 8 hours ahead and rewarmed before serving.

Get the recipe: Bourbon-Pecan Tart

Image Credit: Elinor Carucci

Pork Chops and Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Julep Glaze

Start off the celebration of The Run for the Roses with a savory main inspired by the Derby's quintessential Mint Julep. Succulent rib chops are sauteed and glazed with a bourbon, brown sugar and mint reduction and served with crisp, sweet whole pods which are now in season.

Get the recipe: Pork Chops and Sugar Snap Peas with Mint Julep Glaze

Image Credit: Misha Gravenor

Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ribs

Fire up the grill for these finger-lickin' pork ribs. They are marinated in a tangy wet rub of brown sugar, bourbon, apple cider, and Dijon mustard, then they are roasted and grilled.

Get the recipe: Brown Sugar and Bourbon Ribs

Image Credit: Brian Leatart

Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

Try these easy clean-up oven-baked Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes that marinate overnight in bourbon, ketchup, hot pepper sauce, and tomato paste then bake on a baking sheet. The recipe can be easily doubled and pairs perfectly with cool and creamy Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce.

Get the recipe: Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

Image Credit: Misha Gravenor

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By Katherine Kims

"Total chaos, no way to see the race, not even the track...nobody
cares. Big lines at the outdoor betting windows, then stand back to
watch winning numbers flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.

Old blacks arguing about bets; "Hold on there, I'll handle this"
(waving pint of whiskey, fistful of dollar bills); girl riding
piggyback, T-shirt says, "Stolen from Fort Lauderdale Jail." Thousands
of teen-agers, group singing "Let the Sun Shine In," ten soldiers
guarding the American flag and a huge fat drunk wearing a blue
football jersey (No. 80) reeling around with quart of beer in hand."

-Hunter S. Thompson

The above excerpt, from Thompson's 1970 article, "The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved," was considered the first appearance of Gonzo journalism in the author's life, and it is certainly not about a two minute-long horse race. It tells the story of a celebration, or as Thompson puts it, the "vicious, drunken nightmare," of the Kentucky Derby. (Download the full article.)

The event has spawned many traditions: grand hats, Derby Pie, and Burgoo stew. But one thing alone is responsible for the crowd that Thompson witnesses and the lore of the Derby experience: bourbon. Put Kentucky's biggest export on double duty for Derby Day in one of these recipes.

Check out our slideshow above to discover four ways to cook and bake with bourbon for the Kentucky Derby.

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