Paddy’s Whiskey Chicken

The Irish American Heritage Museum will holding its annual gala on October 17th.  In advance of that the Museum wanted to share with you a few things that will be on the menu that night. Each week we will be posting one recipe of a dish that will be served that night.  The menu for he evening is designed by our own “Cooking Irish” contributor, Chef Harold Qualters, and the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center’s Executive Chef Michael St. John.

This recipe was created and inspired by a wonderful Irish chef, Clodagh McKenna from her recent cookbook, Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen. Chef Clodagh McKenna owns and operates two Dublin Restaurants, Blackrock and Arnotts and hosts her own PBS TV series, Clodagh’s Irish Food Trails.


Adapted from Clodagh’s McKenna recipe by Chef Harold Qualters. This recipes makes one cup of sauce enough for 4 to 6 persons.

Note: No matter what method you use to cook chicken (sauté, roast, poach or bake) this delicious, rich sauce works.

  • 3 Tablespoons Kerrygold Irish butter
  • 2 shallots peeled and finely diced. Sautee till soft
  • Add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour to create the roux to thicken the sauce.
  • 11oz. button mushrooms ( optional addition)
  • 1 cup homemade chicken stock ( commercial chicken stock works well)
  • 1/3 cup Paddy’s Irish whiskey
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh tarragon. If using dried, less is needed based on personal taste. Thyme and or parsley works well in place of tarragon.
  • Season with salt and pepper


  • Sweat the shallots in butter.
  • Add the flour to the shallots and butter. Let cook (and stir) on very low simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly thickened and browned.
  • Add the whiskey and the chicken stock.
  • Gently simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Heat the heavy cream to about 80 degrees and then add it to the stock and simmer gently.
  • Salt and pepper… careful to taste. Salt might intensify the sauce as it reduces.
  • Simmer carefully and gently reduce the sauce to 1 cup.
  • Keep warm and nap the chicken with the sauce.

Note: This is a reduction sauce. The thickness of the sauce is demonstrated by coating the back of the spoon. The taste of the sauce should have a definite hint of tarragon and Paddy’s Irish whiskey. If too thick, approximately 1/3 cup of chicken stock will thin it perfectly.