Vidalia onions a clear frontrunner in this year’s official Kentucky Derby menu


The Kentucky Derby returns for its 147th running on Saturday.

The executive chef at Churchill Downs in Louisville has a special ingredient he’s highlighting in this year’s official derby menu.

Chef David Danielson is using Georgia-grown Vidalia onions in several dishes, and he’s sharing some recipes with FOX59.

Chicken with Vidalia onion and mushroom sauce

Chicken with Vidalia onion and mushroom sauce


  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 – 6 8 oz. chicken, breasts
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 12-15 Cremini mushrooms,
  • 1 cup dark chicken stock
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a heavy skillet, heat canola oil on medium until oil starts to shimmer.
  2. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, add to skillet and sauté until they start to brown. Turn over and brown other side. Chicken does not need to be cooked through.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and place to the side.
  4. Add Vidalia onion to pan, sauté until onions begin to caramelize.
  5. Add mushrooms to pan and continue cooking until they are slightly browned.
  6. Add garlic and thyme, making sure all ingredients are mixed well.
  7. Add chicken stock and add chicken back to pan.
  8. Continue to cook, uncovered, until sauce has reduced and become thickened and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  9. Remove from stove and let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes.
  10. Plate chicken and coat with Vidalia onion and mushroom sauce. Serve.

Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette on a Black Eyed Pea Salad

Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette on a Black Eyed Pea Salad

Ingredients for Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup sorghum
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated sweet Vidalia onion
  • ¼ cup bourbon

Directions for Vidalia Onion, Bourbon and Sorghum Vinaigrette

  1. Let sorghum come to room temperature.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend on low speed until well mixed. NOTE: Store dressing in a refrigerated air-tight container for up to two weeks. Yield 2 cups.

Ingredients for Black Eyed Pea Salad

  • 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 zucchini sliced and grilled
  • 1 yellow squash sliced and grilled
  • ½ red onion sliced and grilled
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley minced
  • 1/3 cup bourbon sorghum vinaigrette

Directions for Black Eyed Pea Salad

  1. In a large serving bowl, combine all the ingredients; toss to coat. Serve with a slotted spoon.

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