Recipe: Summer Anytime Bourbon Peach Chicken Thighs

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graubart_chickenEvery Tuesday for the past 19 weeks we’ve featured a new recipe on the blog from one of our Savor the South® cookbooks. Each little cookbook in our Savor the South® cookbook collection is a big celebration of a beloved food or tradition of the American South. From buttermilk to bourbon, pecans to peaches, bacon to catfish, one by one each volume will stock a kitchen shelf with the flavors and culinary wisdom of this popular American regional cuisine. Written by well-known cooks and food lovers, each book brims with personality, the informative and often surprising culinary and natural history of southern foodways, and a treasure of some fifty recipes—from delicious southern classics to sparkling international renditions that open up worlds of taste for cooks everywhere. You’ll want to collect them all.

We conclude our series today with a recipe from Cynthia Graubart’s Chicken. Cynthia Graubart is coauthor, with Nathalie Dupree, of Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking, which won a James Beard Book Award for American Cooking. Among Graubart’s other books is Slow Cooking for Two.  Follow Cynthia on Twitter @CynthiaGraubart.  Here’s a simple, delicious recipe that will let you enjoy the flavors of summer all year.

Don’t forget to “like” the Savor the South® book page on Facebook for more news and recipes. See all the recipes in the sampler at  Savor the South® Sampler and keep an eye out this spring for two new Savor the South® cookbooks!

Summer Anytime Bourbon Peach Chicken Thighs

I always feel like a traitor to my state (Georgia) when I eat South Carolina peaches and feel like South Carolina should be the peach state. I wish fresh peach season would never end, and I always look for new ways to use them, especially in savory dishes. I even unabashedly use frozen peaches in the off season. Freestone peaches are the easiest to use, but sliced cling peaches are nearly as easy. And frozen peaches also work well here. The minced shallot is superb in this dish, but a Vidalia or other sweet onion could be substituted for a milder flavor. The bourbon is a mild taste in this dish—not at all overpowering. The bourbon brand is your call. Aren’t we fortunate to have so many to choose from?
Servings: 6 servings


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1/3 c bourbon
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 peaches, peeled, pitted, and sliced


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Pat the chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large oven-proof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, cook the chicken pieces skin-side-down until golden brown, about 5 or so minutes. Turn the pieces over to brown the other side for 3–4 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter (the chicken will not be fully cooked at this point).
  • Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the pan. Cook the shallots in the hot fat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the bourbon and scrape again if needed.
  • Return the chicken to the pan. Tuck the rosemary springs in between the thighs and scatter the peaches over the thighs. Cover and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the thickest part of a chicken thigh reaches 175° on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Transfer the chicken and peaches to a serving dish and discard the rosemary. Coat the chicken lightly with the pan juices. If any juices remain, pour them into a gravy boat and serve with the chicken.


From CHICKEN: a Savor the South® cookbook by Cynthia Graubart. Copyright © 2016 by the University of North Carolina Press.