Cornbread Topped BBQ Chicken

A favorite from an old Rachael Ray magazine.

 

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 – 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grated orange peel, plus 1 tablespoon orange juice
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts and thighs, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup bourbon
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 8 1/2 ounce boxes  corn muffin mix, such as Jiffy, batter mixed according to package directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees . In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and red onion and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tomato paste and smoked paprika and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth, brown sugar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, orange peel and orange juice and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the barbecue sauce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Pour the barbecue sauce into the skillet and drizzle the bourbon on top. Remove the pan from the heat and light the alcohol with a match. Return the pan to the heat and cook until the flames subside.

Fold the scallions and 1/2 cup cheese into the mixed corn bread batter. Spoon the mixture evenly over the barbecue chicken in the skillet. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top. Bake until the corn bread is golden-brown, about 30 minutes.

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