- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 to 4 tablespoons hot sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- Juice of 2 large oranges and 1 tablespoon zest, divided
- 1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast and thighs, cut into large chunks
- 1/3 cup bourbon
- 2 box cornbread mix, such as Jiffy
- 2/3 cup milk (per cornbread package directions)
- 2 eggs (per cornbread package directions)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Place a medium-size sauce pot over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the garlic and onion to the pan, and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes.
Season the veggies with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and add the tomato paste and smoked paprika to the pot. Cook the tomato paste until caramelized and fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, brown sugar, orange juice and chicken stock to the pan. Bring everything up to a bubble then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, place a large, cast iron or other ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and cook until golden brown on all sides, 5-6 minutes.
When the chicken is golden brown, pour the thickened barbecue sauce into the skillet. Add the orange zest and the bourbon, but don't stir it in. Remove the pan from the heat and, very carefully, flame the alcohol using a match or barbecue lighter. Return the pan to the heat and allow the alcohol to cook out of the bourbon it's ready when the flames die away. Remove the skillet from the heat and reserve on a heat-safe surface while you prepare the cornbread.
In a medium-size mixing bowl, prepare the cornbread mix with the amount of milk and eggs the package directions call for. Fold in the scallions and 1/2 cup cheese into the cornbread batter and spoon it evenly over the top of the barbecue chicken. Sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese over the cornbread and transfer the skillet to the oven.
Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and baked through, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.