Chef Ouita Michel’s Woodford Reserve-inspired Derby Day recipes

derby pie

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie

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Carrie Warmbier, Pastry Chef- Midway School Bakery
Ouita Michel, owner

Makes three 9 inch pies


Measured by weight

9.6 ounces of butter
7 ounces chocolate- we use a 65% semi sweet dark chocolate
12 eggs
1 lb, 12 ounces brown sugar
2 ¾ cups corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup bourbon—we like Woodford Reserve
1 ¼ tsp. salt
18 ounces pecan halves


  1. Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler until smooth.
  2. Combine the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, vanilla, bourbon and salt until well blended, but don’t over beat or the filling will soufflé up and collapse.
  3. Add the egg mix to the chocolate mix and fold together.
  4. Place 6 ounces of pecan halves into each pie shell. Divide the chocolate batter over the pecans.
  5. Bake at 300 degrees until the pie is set, about 45 minutes.

Strawberries Derby


4 cups crème fraiche or sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Orange zest
½ cup local honey
½ cup Woodford Reserve
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Toasted Slivered almonds
4 Pounds of fresh strawberries sliced


  1. Combine the Crème Fraiche with the brown sugar, vanilla, and orange zest.
  2. Combine the honey and Woodford together in a small sauce pan over low heat. Simmer until honey is dissolved. Cool and add the lemon juice.
  3. Slice the strawberries and toss with the Bourbon Honey.
  4. Spoon the berries into your favorite serving dish with the crème fraiche, garnish with mint and toasted almonds.

Mornay Sauce

Yield: 1 quart—enough for 6-8 Hot Browns


2 ounces butter
2 ounces flour
1 quart of milk
8 ounces white cheddar cheese
½ tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt, white pepper and cayenne to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in the flour.
  2. Add the milk whisking as you go.
  3. Let the sauce simmer over a very low flame for about 10 minutes. Add the cheese, dry mustard, Worcestershire and season with salt, white pepper and cayenne

To Assemble the Hot Browns—for 4


1 quart of mornay sauce
1 pound fresh roast turkey, sliced
12 slices good quality white bread, cut in ½ on the diagonal and toasted dry
2 tomatoes cut into wedges
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
8 strips of bacon cooked until just under crisp


  1. In a baking dish, shingle the three pieces of toast. Dab each with a little mornay sauce
  2. Lay 4 ounces of turkey—or a little more if you like, over the toast and sauce with the mornay sauce.
  3. Cross the bacon on the sauce. Dust with grated parmesan and bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes until all is hot and sauce is bubbling.
  4. Serve hot with the tomatoes on the side. We set the individual casserole dishes on a large plate lined with a doily to serve.