This Crockpot Bourbon Chicken is my take on a carry out classic! It’s made up of tender bites of chicken smothered in a sweet and sticky brown sugar bourbon glaze.
What is bourbon chicken?
Bourbon chicken is a popular American takeout dish that gets its name from Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
It’s made up of tender chicken cooked in a sweet, sticky glaze that’s flavored with bourbon whiskey!
- Soy Sauce – gives the sauce a tangy, salty flavor to cut the sweetness from the honey and brown sugar.
- Ketchup – adds a bright, sweet flavor.
- Bourbon – bourbon has notes of vanilla and caramel which adds to the sweetness and flavor of the sauce.
- Honey and Brown Sugar – these two help bring out the flavors in the bourbon and are what makes the sauce sticky and sweet.
- Garlic – adds a subtle kick of nutty flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes – gives the sauce a kick of heat to cut the sweetness form the honey and brown sugar.
- Chicken Breast – use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
- Cornstarch and Apple or Orange Juice – whisked together to form a cornstarch slurry which helps thicken the sauce.
How to make
This crockpot recipe takes just 15 minutes to prep!
- In a medium-sized bowl whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, bourbon, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes then pour half into a greased crockpot.
- Place in chicken breasts, cover with remaining sauce, then cover and cook on HIGH FOR 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk apple or orange juice together with cornstarch until smooth.
- Remove the chicken from the crockpot then slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the sauce until well combined.
- Cut the chicken into chunks, stir back into the crockpot, then cover and cook for another 30 minutes before serving.
Does bourbon chicken contain alcohol?
Nope! Although this recipe does call for bourbon whiskey, the alcohol cooks out as the sauce cooks in the crockpot so the finished dish does not contain any alcohol.
What can you substitute for bourbon in a chicken recipe?
Although I do love the kick of warm spice that bourbon adds to the sauce, there are a few other things you can use that a provide a similar flavor:
- Another liquor. Try rum, cognac, brandy, etc. Although each contribute slightly different flavors, they all add the same warm sweetness that comes from bourbon.
- Juice. If you’re avoiding liquor altogether, you can use apple juice, pineapple juice, or apple cider instead.
Can you make bourbon chicken on the stove?
Yes! If you’re shorter on time, whipping up some bourbon chicken on the stove is super easy:
- Whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, bourbon, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer on the stove.
- In a skillet, add a splash of sesame oil and sauté the chicken until cooked through.
- In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and juice then add that into the sauce.
- Add the chicken into the sauce then serve and enjoy!
What to serve with crockpot bourbon chicken
I love to serve bourbon chicken over a bed of rice and with a side dish or two to bulk up the meal!
How to store
Leftover bourbon chicken will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for 3-4 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or warm on the stove before serving.
Crockpot Bourbon Chicken
Equipment for this recipe
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup apple or orange juice
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together soy sauce, ketchup, bourbon, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes until well combined.
- Pour half into a greased 6 quart crockpot.
- Place chicken breasts on top, then cover with remaining sauce.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or LOW for 6-8 hours.
- Remove chicken and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk apple or orange juice and cornstarch together until smooth, then slowly whisk into the sauce until well combined.
- Cut the chicken into chunks and stir back into crockpot.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for an additional 30 minutes.
- Taste and re-season, if necessary, then serve over rice and enjoy!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.