Chocolate Pecan Pie

...And I've looked over, and I've seen the Promised Land.

I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the Promised Land.

So I'm happy tonight. I'm not worried about anything.
I'm not fearing any man.

Martin Luther King Jr., Speech in Memphis, April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and your Chef Gilligan is here for you with a way to honor this incredible man.

MLK, Jr. was a leader in the American civil rights movement, a Baptist minister, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and a lover of food.

In order to celebrate his birthday, you can throw a dinner part, especially so that you can thoroughly enjoy your three-day weekend. Growing up with Southern food, MLK, Jr’s favorite cuisine was soul food. Spicy southern snapper, hot tempered chicken strips, hoppin’ john rice and black eyed peas, Southern cornbread, and Creole chicken with rice–all great and yummy Southern dishes.

However, MLK, Jr.’s favorite above all else was pecan pie, especially one made from his grandmother’s recipe, circa 1900. On Monday, let’s celebrate MLK, Jr. by sharing with our loved ones a delicious piece of pecan pie.

Here is a twist on a traditional pecan pie recipe, enjoy!




3 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup Jack Daniels
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup whole pecans


1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening
2 to 3 tablespoons cold water


In medium bowl, mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas.

Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

Gather pastry into a ball. Shape into flattened round on lightly floured surface.

Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry flakier.
If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

Heat the oven to 375°F.

With floured rolling pin, roll pastry into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate.

Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate.

Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1 inch from rim of pie plate.

Fold and roll pastry under, even with plate; press with times of fork or flute if desired.

In another medium bowl, combine eggs, sugar, butter, syrup, and whiskey. Mix well and strain.

Sprinkle most of the chips over bottom of crust. Cover with pecans. Pour filling over chips and pecans. Sprinkle top with remaining chips. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate.

Cover edge of pastry with 2- to 3-inch-wide strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chilled before serving.

Store in refrigerator.

Try this pie topped with some whipping cream or alongside a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream!

Q: What would Martin Luther King be today if he was white?
                                A: Alive