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A platter of honey bourbon chicken with rice and stir-fried veggies with chopsticks and a stack of plates.

Crock Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

A little sweet and a little spicy, this Bourbon Chicken recipe is big on flavor and takes just minutes to throw in the slow cooker.

Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
Prep: 15 minutesCook: 3 hoursTotal: 3 hours 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup organic or all-natural ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or other whiskey
  • 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 1/22 pounds boneless, skinless medium chicken breasts or thighs (trimmed of fat)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cooked basmati rice or brown rice, for serving
  • Stir-fried vegetables, for serving

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Make It Now:

  1. Make Sauce: In the slow cooker, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, ketchup, bourbon, oil, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and green onions. Add the chicken and turn to coat.
  2. Slow Cook: Cover and cook the chicken and sauce 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.
  3. Thicken the Sauce: Turn the crock pot on High. (You may want to use a small strainer or slotted spoon to remove any random chicken pieces in the leftover juices.) In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the juices and put the lid on. Let it cook for about 30 minutes, or until thickened into a glaze-like sauce. (Alternately, you can pour the juices into a pot on the stovetop, stir in the cornstarch mixture, and boil for 3 minutes.)
  4. Finish & Serve: Return the chicken to the sauce, and stir gently to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Serve over rice. Garnish with green onions and serve with stir-fried vegetables, if desired.

Freeze For Later:  Follow step 1, placing all the sauce ingredients into a gallon-size freezer bag instead of the slow cooker. Seal the bag, gently toss and massage to combine, and freeze.

Prepare From Frozen:  Note: Have cooked rice, cornstarch, and (optional) stir-fried veggies on hand to complete this meal. Thaw completely using one of these safe thawing methods. Follow steps 2 through 4.


  • 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.
  • Gluten-Free Version:
    • Use coconut aminos or GF Tamari soy sauce instead of soy sauce. 
    • According to Beyond Celiac, most bourbon is gluten-free due to the distillation process, however, you can omit bourbon/whiskey and use apple juice or no salt chicken stock/broth instead.
  • Instant Pot Instructions: Use our Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken recipe.
  • How to Replace the Bourbon: One of our readers tested this recipe without the bourbon and reported that their family thought it was still delicious. Another tester said it worked with chicken broth instead. Other recipes say to use apple juice instead.
  • 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. 
© Author: Rachel Tiemeyer
Cuisine: Asian Method: Slow Cooker