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Cooking with spirits: Spicy and sweet chicken thighs & bloody mary soup

Photos and recipes courtesy of Christine of

SPONSORED — Have you ever tried cooking with spirits? This savory chicken dish proves that cocktails shouldn’t have all the fun.

The dish gets a pop of sweetness and spice from Heritage Distilling Company’s Sweet Ghost Pepper Vodka and then a little mellowing from the creamy coconut milk.

Feeding a family? Don’t worry, the alcohol gets cooked out as it simmers.

Chicken Thighs in Ghost Pepper Vodka and Coconut Milk

For Chicken Thighs and Rub

5 Chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1 ½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¾ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
For the Sauce
8 cloves of garlic, rough chop
Juice from 2 limes
1 cup chicken broth (or you could use water and season it with whatever spices you’d like!)
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup Sweet Ghost Pepper Vodka
½ cup chopped parsley or cilantro, plus more for serving
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil for frying

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Trim any excess fat from the chicken thighs and pat dry with paper towels.

Mix spices together and rub all over chicken thighs, including under the skin. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large over-proof skillet or cast iron pan.

Brown chicken thighs on all sides until a deep golden brown.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Add in garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Add in vodka and simmer for a few minutes until alcohol dissipates and liquid reduces a bit.

Add in chicken broth, coconut milk, lime juice and simmer for a few minutes more, seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

Add chicken back in, skin side up, along with parsley or cilantro.

Cover pan with lid or foil and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until thighs are cooked through.

Remove from oven. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro and serve over steamed rice or mashed potatoes!

Bloody Mary Soup

If you like drinking Bloody Marys at brunch, how about parlaying that cocktail love into another meal with Bloody Mary Soup? Yes! Bloody Mary SOUP!

Tasty Bloody Mary components, like tomato, worcestershire and celery, show up in a creamy, savory soup spiked with Heritage Distilling Sweet Ghost Pepper Vodka.

My favorite part? The grilled cheese garnish.

For the Soup

Olive oil
8-10 Roma tomatoes
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
½ small onion
1 stalk celery
1 slice bacon
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup Heritage Distilling Sweet Ghost Pepper Vodka
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tbsp. Jolene’s Jar Bloody Mary Boost*
1 tsp. Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice*
1 tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp., chili powder
3 Tbsp. olive brine, optional
3 tsp. Sriracha or other hot sauce
1-3 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. worcestershire
1 cup heavy cream, optional
Spice Blend For Rimming the Mugs
2 tsp. Del Viejo Datil Pepper Spice
¾ tsp. cumin
¾ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ lemon

Serving Ideas
Grilled cheese wedges
Lemon wedges
Hot Sauce
Fresh chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil

Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice roma tomatoes in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.

Arange on baking sheet, sprinkle garlic inside tomatoes along with a little salt and pepper, and drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil.

Bake for 1 hour or until tomatoes and garlic are soft and roasted.

Use a food processor to blend roasted tomatoes and garlic to your desired consistency. Set aside until ready to use.

Mince or use a food processor to puree onion, celery, and bacon.

In a large soup pot heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on medium high heat.

Sautee onion, bacon, and garlic for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture begins to caramelize.

Deglaze the pan with vodka and let the alcohol cook out for a few minutes.

Add in stock, puréed roma tomatoes, and crushed canned tomatoes along with all the spices, lemon juice, Worcestershire, hot sauce, and olive brine if using.

Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for about 15- 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile combine the spices for rimming you mugs, stir, and set aside.

In another shallow dish squeeze the juice from half a lemon and set aside.

Stir in cream, if using, and adjust the flavor with salt and pepper and any other additions you feel necessary.

Dip serving mugs in lemon juice then spice blend to rim. Carefully ladle soup into mugs and top with any garnishes. Serve with extra lemon, hot sauce, and enjoy!

This soup is one I’d encourage you to play with. If you don’t have some of the spices I used, play around with the flavors until you achieve the taste you want. Just be sure to add in small increments (for example ¼ tsp. cumin or chili powder at a time) so you don’t over do it. Also, be sure to go easy on the spice. You can always add more to individual servings at the end!

Listen to Your Last Meal with Rachel Belle

Photos and recipes courtesy of Christine of

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