With tender carrots, butter, brown sugar, and, of course, whiskey, these whiskey glazed carrots are an easy and incredibly tasty side dish!
Whiskey glazed carrots are a little out of my comfort zone. I know that sounds odd. Carrots? They’re so simple, so normal. It’s not that I’m scared of them, it’s just that…well, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I totally fail at side dishes. 100% without a doubt fail. It’s a matter of planning and routines, really.
The thing is that I usually cook things that don’t really require a side dish. A casserole here, a pot pie there…some tacos, a pot of soup. It’s actually pretty rare that I serve just a piece of grilled steak, baked chicken, sautéed fish…you know, the types of foods that need a side. So when I do, I always wonder how my mom and my grandmother always managed to get multiple side dishes on the table, all done at the same time.
Another thing is that I love the concept of the “vegetable plate”. It’s as Southern a concept as any, wouldn’t you agree? I am very chagrined at the idea that Southerners don’t know how to behave when there isn’t a hunk of meat on the plate. It’s just silly, really. Right now I’m reading the book Smokehouse Ham, Spoonbread, and Scuppernong Wine in which Joseph E. Dabney interviews the people of Appalachia about the foods on which they grew up. Well, guess what? There’s more credence given to vegetables than meat. The thing is, vegetables are easier to grow than livestock is to raise (that is, they require less care) and then canning allowed fresh vegetables to be “put up” so that they were available year-round. Turns out that often meals in the American South contained little, if any, meat but instead were made up of lots of vegetables plus cornbread or biscuits. Honestly…that sounds like the good life to me.
Eat at my mom’s house just about any night of the summer and you’ll be served multiple side dishes, including freshly sliced tomatoes (gosh, I can’t wait till late July!). That’s how I grew up. Often, I will order a vegetable plate in a restaurant, completely bypassing the meat, because I am dying to try all of the side dishes. Luckily, I married a man who is happy to eat all the vegetables (though he does get a little peeved when I serve him too much asparagus). These whiskey glazed carrots came from my needing a dish to serve alongside macaroni and cheese, lima beans, and biscuits.
I adapted this recipe from Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House Cookbook. Being in Lynchburg, naturally Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House uses Jack Daniel’s to glaze their carrots. Now, I know JD is a Tennessee tradition, but I’m keeping it even more local with Chattanooga Whiskey. Why wouldn’t I? You should probably go ahead and make these whiskey glazed carrots too, regardless of what type of whiskey you would like to use. By the way, these would be excellent with a sprinkle of cinnamon or glazed with honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
Whiskey glazed carrots are sweet, buttery, and flavorful! Try them!
Yield: 4 servings
10 minPrep Time:
10 minTotal Time:
- 8 carrots
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons whiskey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (plus more to taste)
- Peel the carrots (or scrub them thoroughly) an slice on the diagonal into 1/4-inch thick coins. Place them in a 10-inch skillet and cover with water. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt to the water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain the carrots. Put them back into the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Push the carrots to one side of the skillet and add the butter, whiskey, and sugar to the other side of the skillet, stirring to combine (but not stirring into the carrots).
- Once the butter, sugar, and whiskey have combined and formed a bit of a syrup, stir in the carrots. Cook until lightly browned. Add more salt to taste and serve immediately.