Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken comes in so many varieties, it took me a while to find one I liked! I’m not fond of the versions that have a thick, sticky-sweet glaze. My favorite mall version is “grilled” bourbon chicken in a light, thin broth-like sauce. This recipes comes pretty close!

This is one of those dishes that started out with a recipe I found on the internet, but by the time I finished tweaking it to my liking it doesn’t really resemble the original at all! But I still linked to the inspiration recipe at the bottom of the page; fair is fair!


  • 4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion
  • 1 TBS fresh grated garlic (1 tsp garlic powder = 1 TBS fresh)
  • 1 tsp oil or butter
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger (1 tsp powdered ginger = 1 TBS fresh)
  • 1/2 cup Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil



  1. Sauté onions and garlic in a saucepan with oil or butter until soft and caramelized.
  2. Mix all remaining marinade ingredients and simmer on med, stirring until sugar is dissolved and onions are soft.  Allow mixture to cool,  then pour through a sieve to remove solids and pour strained marinade over chicken pieces in a bowl or other container.
  3. Cover and refrigerate (stirring occasionally) for several hours (best overnight).

[Cook The Chicken]

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Remove chicken from marinade and place on large broiling pan (to contain juices that will render) in a single layer. Switch oven to Broil and cook chicken for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and browned/charred on edges.
  3. While chicken is cooking, pour remaining marinade into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to med-low and simmer until chicken in oven is done. (This ensures the raw chicken juice gets cooked and the marinade will be safe to mix with chicken and eat.)
  4. Cut cooked chicken into bite sized pieces and add to pot with marinade. Keep warm until ready to serve


I cook the chicken separately in order to achieve the “grilled” consistency of my favorite restaurant version. However, to make the dish less labor intensive you could simply place the chicken AND marinade in a deep dish and bake at 350 for an hour.

Original Recipe Source: Key ingredients – Cajun Cafe’s Bourbon Chicken by Kimvess
Image Credit: Combo #2 at Bourbon Street Grill by mtan14, CC BY-SA 2.0