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A little sweet and a little spicy, this easy Honey Bourbon Chicken recipe is BIG on flavor and takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker.
You can also make Honey Bourbon Chicken in the Instant Pot!
Reasons You’ll Love Honey Bourbon Chicken
1. It’s a super easy recipe to make.
Simply dump the ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook on low for a few hours. After it’s done, you can quickly thicken up the sauce using what’s called a cornstarch slurry but that’s optional yet quite easy.
2. Bourbon Chicken is complex in flavor.
thanks to ingredients like fresh ginger (just keep some in my freezer to have on hand), soy sauce (or substitute coconut aminos), honey, green onions, and, of course, bourbon. (More on the bourbon in a minute.)
3. My kids love it!
It’s a little spicy, but you can always pull back on the spice if your family has a sensitive palate. Here are more kid-friendly recipe ideas if you’re on the hunt for some!
4. It’s been very well-tested.
Both of us, as well as our 500 person recipe-testing team for our cookbook! In fact, we spent nearly two years developing and refining the recipes in From Freezer to Cooker. It was quite a feat because every single recipe works in the slow cooker, the Instant Pot, and includes freezer meal instructions!
5. It’s naturally dairy-free and can be made gluten-free.
Ingredients in Honey Bourbon Chicken
Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
- Low-sodium soy sauce (For Gluten-Free: use coconut aminos or GF tamari soy sauce.)
- Bourbon or other whiskey (For Gluten-Free: Omit or use chicken stock/broth instead.)
- Avocado oil or olive oil
- Fresh ginger
- Garlic cloves, minced
- Red pepper flakes
- Sliced green onions
- Boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts
How Long Does Bourbon Chicken Cook in the Crock Pot?
Now here’s the key to delicious Slow Cooker Pot Bourbon Chicken: Do not overcook your chicken!
If you follow our recipe, you’re good to go. But…be sure to download and print off our Slow Cooker Cooking Times Chart that we spent two years developing. This guide will help you pressure cook both fresh and frozen meals perfectly! It’s our gift to you!
If you really want to get into the weeds, here is a detailed post about How Long to Cook Chicken in the Slow Cooker.
Slow Cooker Cooking Times Chart (Free!)
We spent years testing slow cooker timing for various recipes for our second cookbook. We put all our knowledge into one handy printable cheat sheet for you. Never overcook (or undercook) a crock pot meal again!
How to Serve Honey Bourbon Chicken
I like to round out this spicy-sweet chicken and sauce by serving it on top of some brown rice (or quinoa or cauliflower rice) and stir-fried veggies.
There’s a lot of sauce to spare, so whip up a big pot of rice and a pan of stir-fried veggies to help soak up all that delicious sauce. To save time, make your brown rice in the Instant Pot or buy pre-made brown rice at the store and use the frozen stir-fry vegetable mix.
Freezer Tip: Freeze the Leftover Rice!
If you don’t end up using all the cooked rice in a recipe, you can freeze the leftovers. We’ve written an in depth post on how to freeze rice here.
What Should I Know About Cooking with Bourbon?
I personally don’t drink or enjoy the taste of bourbon. However, when used in cooking, I’ve found that the bourbon lends a smoky caramel-like sweetness that’s hard to replicate with another ingredient.
If you have kids, don’t worry, the alcohol will almost entirely evaporate when the sauce is simmered at the end.
Look for small bottles by the liquor counter, if you don’t have some at home in your cabinet.
Update: One of our readers said she used chicken stock as a replacement with decent results.
How to Freeze Honey Bourbon Chicken
Like most of our freezer meal recipes, this freezer-friendly chicken dish is one you can easily double, eat one for dinner tonight, and freeze the other for later. Here’s how easy it is to make ahead and freeze:
Freeze For Later: Make the sauce. Pour the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: Note: Have cooked rice, cornstarch, and (optional) stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Thaw using one of our safe thawing methods. Cook as directed starting in step 2.
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- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce (For Gluten-Free: use coconut aminos or GF tamari soy sauce.)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup organic or all-natural ketchup
- 1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey (For Gluten-Free: Omit or use chicken stock/broth instead.)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (decrease to 1/8 teaspoon, if sensitive to heat)
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish
- 1 1/2 – 2 pounds boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Cooked basmati rice or brown rice, for serving
- Stir-fried vegetables, for serving
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Make It Now:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, bourbon, oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions. Add the chicken and stir to coat with the sauce. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
- Place the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours or until cooked through. (The chicken is done when it is no longer pink inside and/or registers 165°F internally.) Carefully transfer the chicken to a wooden cutting board, dice or shred the meat, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Carefully pour the juices from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan. Add in the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes.
- Return the chicken and sauce to the slow cooker. Stir gently to combine. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and serve with stir-fried vegetables, if desired.
Freeze For Later: Follow step 1. Pour the sauce and chicken into a gallon-size freezer bag or container. Seal and freeze.
Prepare From Frozen: Note: Have cooked rice, cornstarch, and (optional) stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Thaw. Follow steps 2 through 4.
Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves.
You can make this meal in the Instant Pot using these instructions.
One of our readers tested this recipe without the bourbon and reported that their family thought it was still delicious.