Pairing whiskey and food is a lot like pairing wine and food: Your goal is to blend flavors. “Soft, delicate flavors require a soft, delicate whiskey, and vice versa,” says Michael Neff, a bartender at The Three Clubs in L.A. “In this recipe, the chicken is light enough not to overpower the whiskey, and the whiskey’s honey, citrus, apple, and cinnamon notes go well with roasted meat.”
After matching the character (delicate, smoky, etc.) and body of a whiskey, look at the defining flavors.“If you get heavy hints of raisin or brown sugar on the nose, for example, pair that whiskey with a food whose flavors would make sense with them in a recipe,” says Neff. “A sweet, charcoal-forward bourbon pairs perfectly with barbecued ribs; a salty scotch works well with milk chocolate; and a soft, fruity American blend goes great with scallops."
How to make perfect roast chicken
1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp garlic powder
8 garlic cloves, crushed
6 sprigs fresh thyme
½ lemon, thinly sliced into wheels
1.Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Rinse chicken well in cold water, remove neck and giblets, and pat dry with a paper towel. Generously season the cavity of the chicken with sea salt; lightly season the outside. Leave excess fat on the chicken, as this releases juices and provides moisture.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, thyme, and garlic powder. With a pastry brush, slather the herbed oil blend on the inside and outside of the chicken.
4. Place garlic cloves and sprigs of thyme inside the cavity. Squeeze each lemon slice and place whole slices inside.
5. Using butcher’s twine, tie legs together. Place in a roasting pan and cover loosely with foil; place in the oven.
6. After 30 minutes, baste the bird; repeat every 30 minutes. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes of roasting.
7. Roast for about 2 hours, or until the skin is golden brown, the juices run clear, and the internal temperature reaches 165° (check with an instant-read cooking thermometer).
8. Remove chicken from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before carving.
9. Reserve pan drippings for the roasted potatoes, below.
How to make roasted red potatoes
2 lbs baby red potatoes
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed
2 tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Clean potatoes and pat dry. Slice into quarters. Make sure potatoes are uniform in size to allow for even cooking.
3. Toss potatoes in a bowl with olive oil, thyme, garlic powder, and sea salt, then spread them out on a large baking sheet. Place in the oven for 45 minutes.
4. For the final 3-5 minutes, broil potatoes for a golden-brown color, then toss with pan drippings.