Remember when things were simple?

When all you cared about was reading the latest Bop magazine and obsessing about boys who shopped at Structure while memorizing the latest dance to Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” instead of aging 10 years and responsibly accidentally on purpose forgetting to pay bills so you could buy something significantly important like a doughnut pan?

…. no? Okay.

[Oh, but wait: if you’re a girl or a boy and you also obsessed over boys who shopped at Structure, please be my best friend and take me shopping because seriously??? You clearly know your 1990s fashion and girl.needs.hellllp.]

And remember when you could roast a plain old chicken breast and it be the best tasting thing ever, until you had some girl who thinks she knows how to cook tell you to add bourbon to that chicken on the internet?

I do think I know everything, huh?

And! I’ll only force sage down your throat one more time this week. Promise. Or not.

Back in those Bop-reading, Structure-boy-wearing obsession days, I curiously stole a sip of my mom’s bourbon and ginger ale and decided that it literally tasted like rainbows. Why rainbows? I have no idea. It’s not like I’d ever tasted a rainbow. In fact, that really sounds like something my mom would have said back in the 70s after some questionable behavior, so maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But either way… I pretty much love it.

For the record, you don’t have to be a bourbon lover to enjoy this dish. If you were forever ruined on bourbon that one memorable [or let’s be honest, unmemorable] night in college, I’m guessing you can still hang here. Mr. How Sweet nearly had a conniption last spring when I forced him to taste my crispy bourbon glazed salmon, but he was more than pleasantly surprised after that bite and now requests it every few weeks. I love when I’m [always] right.

Roasted Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Breasts

[glaze from my bourbon-glazed salmon]

serves 4-6

4 large, bone-in split chicken breasts (mine totaled 4.8lbs)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups bourbon

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground mustard

sage, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the bourbon, sugar, mustard, garlic, honey, vinegar and worcestershire in a small saucepan and whisk. Heat over high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture reduces by about half. Set aside and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the chicken. The glaze will thicken a bit at this time.

In a bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season chicken breasts on both sides with mixture, then place skin-side down in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown, then flip and repeat on the other side. When finished, add chicken to an oven-safe baking dish. Pour half of the glaze overtop of chicken, add sage leaves on top if desired, then roast for 30 minutes. Half way through cooking, brush chicken with a bit more glaze.

When chicken is finished, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional glaze for topping.

I’ll tell you about those extraordinary potato slash fry things sometime later. Tomorrow we’re gonna talk about the 90s again.