If you like a little sweet with your salty dinner, I highly recommend you make this crispy chicken thighs with boozy bourbon blueberry compote recipe asap!
You guys are gonna love this boozy blueberry compote situation, LET ME TELL YOU! But first I’m sharing my recap of last month’s trip up to Seattle! I was lucky enough to get invited for a tour of Cascadian Farm with The Feedfeed along with some fellow food bloggers.
We started out the morning on the bus ride to the farm by learning all about the history of the farm, organic and sustainable farming practices, and regenerative agriculture.
It was absolutely magically that morning we arrived, with fog floating on top of the surrounding trees.
The Cascadian Farm home farm is nestled on 90 acres in the foothills between the Skagit River and the Cascade Mountains (about a 2-hour drive north of Seattle, Washington.) On 28 of those acres, they grow blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, sweet corn, pumpkins, winter squash, kiwi berries, greenhouse tomatoes and peppers and an experimental ½ acre of a new perennial grain called Kernza.
The farm is continually testing different farming practices so they can better understand how to enrich soil through natural growing methods. Some of these practices include crop rotation, cover crops, and composting.
Crop Rotation – changing location of annual crops between different fields which replenishes the nutrients in the soil
Cover Crops – by having some type of plant growing on top of the soil it helps reduce soil erosion, smother weeds, and promotes soil microbes. Buckwheat attracts beneficial insects and pollinators, clover adds nitrogen, and field radish send longs roots down to breakup compacted soil. Pretty cool, huh!
Compost – using excess plant materials like grass clippings, leftover sawdust, farm stand organic waste to feed plants, retain water and build healthy soil naturally without using synthetic chemical fertilizers.
The farm was the idea of Gene Kahn, a 24-year-old grad school drop who wanted to make a difference in the world. So he bought an abandoned farm and learned how to farm from books he got at the library. I mean, come on, how cool is that?!
One of my favorite parts of the farm is their Pollinator Garden, which is filled with 24 species of native wildflowers and grasses. The farm depends exclusively on wild native pollinators to pollinate their crops, so these flowers are perfect for attracting bumble bees, beetles, hummingbirds, butterflies, and moths. They also attract predators like wasps, spiders, praying mantis, lady bugs, mites, and insectivore birds to attack crop pests.
I’m so thankful I was able to come up and learn so much about Cascadian Farm and all of the things they are doing to support farmers with research and implantation of better practices that regenerate our natural resources. They truly are more than just an organic food brand, they are pioneers in the industry.
We finished our day with an amazing and seriously gorgeous farm table dinner prepared by Chef Ryan Ross, incorporating lots of Cascadian Farm products! My recipe for crispy chicken thighs with boozy bourbon blueberry compote was inspired by two of the menu items: the berry and bourbon smash cocktail and the cedar planked wild king salmon with blueberry BBQ sauce.
These Cascadian Farm frozen blueberries are literally the best I’ve had. I’m not kidding you when I tell you that the size of those blueberries is amazing! WAYYY bigger than any other brand I’ve seen before. No joke like nickel size berries. My parents have some blueberry bushes at their house and I remember growing up picking them and eating them straight off the plant. They would have so many sometimes, that they’d freeze bags of them so they could eat them year round. I’ll never forget how big and bursting with flavor my parent’s berries were and now I can get the next best thing with these blueberries from Cascadian Farm!
Okay okay, now that I’ve talked you ear off, let’s get to the recipe for this super simple boozy bourbon blueberry compote. It’s literally the easiest thing ever and you’re definitely going to want to pour this on lots of things, not only chicken thighs. Definitely have it on baked/grilled salmon, but also try it on pancakes or maybe some vanilla bean ice cream. I know…. RIGHT?!
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Boozy Bourbon Blueberry Compote – If you like sweet and salty, you’re gonna want to make this for delicious dinner.
Crispy Chicken Thighs
4 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
2 tbsp ghee (or oil of choice for high heat)
sea salt and pepper
Boozy Bourbon Blueberry Compote
3 cups Cascadian Farm frozen blueberries
½ cup bourbon
¼ cup maple syrup (I used this sugar free one)
2–3 sprigs fresh thyme
sea salt, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pat chicken dry on both sides with paper towels, then season with sea salt and pepper.
Heat ghee/oil in cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken skin side down and cook about 6-8 minutes or until nicely browned. Flip chicken over and brown 6-8 minutes.
Transfer cast iron skillet to oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until internal temp reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, make blueberry compote by adding all ingredients to a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until berries and sauce have reduced and thickened. Sauce should easily coat the back of a spoon.
Serve crispy chicken thighs with boozy bourbon blueberry sauce and your favorite veggie side dish. (Creamy cauliflower mash would be good here!)