Derby-inspired Food Recipes

Derby-inspired Food Recipes

Derby-inspired Food Recipes 

Credit : Rosemary’s Catering at the Kentucky Derby Museum 

Pimento Cheese


  • ½ pound cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red pepper (canned is fine)
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until incorporated. 

Nashville Hot Fried Chicken


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup full-fat cultured buttermilk
  • 1 cup Frank’s Red Ho
  • t2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The key to good fried chicken is seasoning. Having enough salt in your fried chicken is critical to keeping it juicy and not dry – so this tangy, spicy fried chicken recipe depends on a brine for flavor. I use thigh meat here because I prefer dark meat (it’s almost impossible to overcook and dry out), but you could easily make this recipe with chicken breast.

For the brine: in a mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and hot sauce with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Add the chicken thighs, be sure they are well-submerged in the brine, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

For the breading: to the flour, add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon pepper to the flour and mix well. Drain the chicken thighs and dredge in the flour mixture thoroughly. This is very important – be sure they are fully coated in flour. There are a few ways to fry at home.

Personally, I prefer a good old-fashioned cast iron skillet or dutch oven on the stovetop and a neutral oil with a high smoking point like canola, or corn oil. But there are a lot of modern appliances that get the job done too, like air fryers or electric tabletop deep-fryers. However you end up frying, it’s critical to go low and slow – meaning you should fry at around 300 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature of your chicken thighs reaches 190 degrees (for chicken breast, it should be pulled at 160, to rest up to a safe temperature of 165). Frying at a higher temperature will tend to burn your breading while leaving the inside of your fried chicken raw, and there’s nothing worse than having to finish fried chicken in the oven and ending up with a bitter, blackened breading.

Bourbon and Peach Jam


  • 4 cups peeled, crushed ripe peaches
  • 1 package pectin
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 5 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon salt

It’s remarkable how easy it is to make preserves, jams and jellies at home. It’s also a great way to utilize fruit that’s close to going bad, like a pound of strawberries that’s beginning to look a little withered in the fridge. This recipe can easily be modified to use most any fruit or berry. The most important detail to remember here is to be sure and achieve a hard boil, and to not skimp on the lemon juice and sugar. Pectin, the natural component of fruit that makes jams set up, won’t activate without sugar, acid, and heat. While runny preserves are still tasty, it can be a bit disappointing when your end result never solidifies.In a thick-bottomed saucepan, add peaches, lemon juice and pectin. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then add bourbon, sugar and salt. If doing this on a gas stove, the bourbon may ignite – don’t be scared of the flame, it will die down once the alcohol burns off! Bring back to a boil and boil hard for exactly one minute, then remove from heat. Refrigerate at least overnight before eating. 

And if you want some expert jam and jelly, we recommend Bourbon Barrel Foods brand:

Apple Butter

Blueberry Bourbon + Cardamom Jam

Mint Julep Jelly

Recipes by Rosemary’s Catering at the Kentucky Derby Museum

Chelsea Niemeier

Chelsea Niemeier

Senior Graphic Designer for the Kentucky Derby Museum.