Food: Bourbon Chicken on the BBQ

What could be better than firing up the bbq, pouring a dram of whiskey and grilling dinner outside on the patio?  Fresh air, no frying, no baking, no heating up the kitchen, just grilled deliciousness.  Sign me up!!!  Cooking on the bbq usually means gathering family and friends and hanging out, enjoying good company and great food.  With your bbq.  And some bourbon. 


This week we are grilling Bourbon Chicken.  I've read so many stories about the origin of bourbon chicken.  Was it created on Bourbon Street in New Orleans? Or in Bourbon County?  Or in a chinese food stand in a shopping mall?  Does it even contain bourbon?  Do we care?  The answers are not clear but I do know that this recipe contains both chicken and bourbon and that is a delicious thing!

Bourbon Chicken

Ingredients:  Serves 4   ** you can easily double this recipe

2-3lbs chicken

Marinade/Sauce: it is best if you marinade the chicken overnight or for a few hours

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup of brown sugar

1 tbsp molasses

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 ½ tbsp. vegetable oil

½- 1 tsp of dried red chili pepper, crushed

½ cup of bourbon + 2 oz

*1 tsp of fresh ginger, grated or chopped




1. Combine all the marinade/sauce ingredients (except for the 2oz of bourbon – you know what that’s for 😊).  Mix well. 

2. Place chicken in a ziploc bag or in a glass pan and pour the marinade over top.  Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours. 

3. Preheat the BBQ to medium heat. 


4. Remove the chicken from the marinade.  Pour the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20min while the chicken is on the bbq.  This will thicken the sauce and reduce it to about ¾ cup.


5. Place chicken on the grill, turning until cooked through, about 20 min.  Avoid rushing this part by increasing the heat.  You’ll avoid flare ups.

6. While the chicken is grilling, pour yourself that 2oz of bourbon.  You are the master of that grill, enjoy it.

7.When the chicken is done, plate it and drizzle some the thickened sauce over top.  Serve the remainder of the sauce on the side. 

Tip #1:  I added 1 tsp of the crushed red peppers which really adds a kick.  Reduce if you like a milder heat.

Tip #2:  if you want to give the bourbon chicken an Asian flavor, add 1 tsp of chopped ginger (so good!)

As mentioned, the marinade/sauce can easily be doubled.  I’ve marinated the chicken for 30min when in a pinch for time, and while it was still tasty, I preferred a longer marinade.So let the marinade do the work while you enjoy the praise!! 


Maureen Linehan  



Jordan GrigsbyComment