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Bourbon Chicken

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This bourbon chicken brings together rich, bold, and unique flavors that will have you trying to pinpoint exactly what notes you are tasting. It is made of lightly breaded, perfectly crunchy chicken smothered in a truly unique sweet and savory sauce. You have to try it for yourself.

Side angle of bourbon chicken on a plate with broccoli, extra sauce, and a fork.

When my friend introduced this recipe to me, she couldn’t stop raving about how much her family loved it. She did mention that the sauce has a very distinct smell but that the taste was out of this world to die for. My curiosity was piqued and I had to try it. My oh my was I impressed? It’s a flavor explosion!

Lightly breaded, perfectly seasoned chicken pan-fried to crispy golden brown serves as a beautiful canvas for a silky smooth, savory-sweet sauce. It’s a truly unique flavor that will keep you coming back for seconds.

Bourbon chicken on a plate with broccoli, extra sauce, and a fork.

Why You’ll Love This Chicken with Bourbon Sauce

I love a quick, easy, flavorful dish. This chicken with bourbon sauce certainly fits the bill. Here are a few of my favorite things about it.

  • Quick and easy. In just a few simple steps and only 30 minutes you will have a restaurant-quality entree ready to serve. That’s quicker than ordering takeout!
  • Packed with flavor. The sauce in this recipe is so unique and packed with sweet and savory flavors. It has a unique smell but trust me the moment you sink your teeth into the succulent chicken, your taste buds will be celebrating.
  • Better than takeout. While ordering in can be a deliciously convenient way to go it’s not always the friendliest on your body. This bourbon chicken is even better than the stuff you’ll find at a restaurant and it doesn’t have any of the nasty additives often found in takeout. Do your health (and your pocketbook) a favor and make this easy chicken recipe at home.
Ingredients for bourbon chicken separated into bowls.

What You’ll Need

You don’t need much to make this chicken with bourbon sauce. Here’s a list of ingredients to pick up at the store (you might already have most of them at home). Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • Chicken tenderloins – You can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Just be aware that the cook time will vary with chicken thighs needing about 20 minutes total in the pan and chicken breasts needing around 16 minutes total.
  • Italian breadcrumbs
  • Clarified butter – See my notes in the recipe card to learn more about clarified butter and how to make your own.

For the sauce

  • Dijon mustard
  • Dark brown sugar – Dark brown sugar adds a depth of flavor to the sauce that you would not get from granulated or light brown sugar.
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Unsalted butter – The butter should be chilled.

How to Make Bourbon Chicken

In just a few simple steps and 30 minutes, you could have a delicious, sweet and savory chicken entree. What are you waiting for? Make sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Mix together breadcrumbs and half of clarified butter.
  • Coat the chicken with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Cook the chicken. Heat the other half of the clarified butter on medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a total of 5-7 minutes on either side, flipping often.
  • Make your sauce. Combine the ingredients for the sauce and mix until smooth. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat and immediately remove it from the heat. Gradually whisk in the chilled butter.
  • Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and whatever side you choose to have with it (I like steamed broccoli).

Tips for Success

As always I have some simple tips and tricks for you to help you achieve the best, tastiest restaurant-quality bourbon chicken possible. Here they come.

  • Don’t crowd the pan. When cooking the chicken, it is important that each piece has at least 1 inch of breathing room. Trying to crowd the chicken into the pan will cause the chicken to steam instead of brown. Leaving you with a soggy breading. If your pan isn’t big enough, no problem. Just cook the chicken in batches.
  • Keep it moving. It is important to flip the chicken regularly as you cook it. This will help prevent the breading from burning.
  • Get creative. This recipe is pretty forgiving in the sense that you can easily adjust it to fit your taste preferences. Add a little more sugar if you want a sweeter sauce. Add a bit more bourbon if you want it boozier. Looking for spice? Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Closeup of bourbon chicken on a plate with broccoli, extra sauce, and a fork.

What to Serve With This Easy Bourbon Chicken Recipe

I love whipping up this easy chicken recipe along with steamed white rice and/or steamed broccoli but there are many ways to go about serving it. Here are some ideas for you.

Closeup of bourbon chicken on a plate with broccoli, extra sauce, and a fork.

How to Store & Reheat Leftovers

I recommend storing the sauce and the chicken separately. Allow each component to cool completely before seeling in separate airtight containers and storing them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat, arrange the chicken on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until heated through (15 minutes if heating from frozen). While the chicken is in the oven, warm the sauce over medium heat on the stovetop.

More Easy Chicken Recipes:

Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins out there. I love how many different, tasty preparations you can play with. Bourbon chicken not quite what you’re looking for? Here are some of my other favorites.

Closeup of bourbon chicken on a plate with broccoli, extra sauce, and a fork.

Bourbon Chicken

This bourbon chicken brings together rich, bold, and unique flavors that will have you trying to pinpoint exactly what notes you are tasting. It is made of lightly breaded chicken smothered in a truly unique sweet and savory sauce. You have to try it for yourself.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • 5 chicken tenderloins
  • ½ cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons clarified butter*

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon bourbon whiskey
  • ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1 tablespoon (14g) cubes

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


  • In a small casserole dish, mix together breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp. (28g) of clarified butter.
  • Cover each chicken tenderloin, both sides, with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • In a large skillet, heat up your remaining 2 tbsp. (28g) of clarified butter on medium-high heat.
  • Add in your chicken and cook both sides until brown and chicken is cooked all the way through, about 5-7 minutes. Flip often as you don’t want the breadcrumbs to get black.
  • To make your sauce, combine the Dijon mustard, brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and bourbon. Mix until smooth in a small saucepot over medium heat then remove from heat when it starts to simmer.
  • Whisk into the hot sauce the butter in 1 tbsp. (14g) cubes at a time.
  • Plate your chicken and sides (I just steamed broccoli) and drizzle sauce all over, plus extra on the side for dipping.

Recipe Notes

Clarified butter is another term for drawn butter. It’s unsalted butter that has the milk solids and water removed and you’re left with pure golden butterfat. It lets you cook foods at a higher temperature without burning. To make yourself some clarified butter, gently melt some unsalted butter in a small skillet over low heat until the butter breaks down. You will see the top layer of white bubbles or foam begin to form. Remove from heat and skim off the top with a spoon. The milk solids will drop to the bottom therefore you should strain it through a mesh strainer and then you’ll be left with delicious, golden butter fat. Who doesn’t love that?! You can refrigerate this and it should keep for several months.


Serving: 1 serving | Calories: 845 kcal | Carbohydrates: 40 g | Protein: 33 g | Fat: 58 g | Saturated Fat: 34 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 217 mg | Sodium: 1511 mg | Potassium: 634 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 20 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Cajun, Chinese
Keyword: bourbon chicken, chicken with bourbon sauce, easy bourbon chicken, easy chicken recipes

Photographs by Eat Love Eat

Recipe Rating


Thursday 16th of May 2013

Thank you so much! This is one I will be holding on to! Perfect for when you only have 30 mins to put something together.


Wednesday 20th of February 2013

Ok, so I am really a novice in the kitchen, but this recipe looks delicious. Any other tricks involved? Also, I wanted to substitute for very thin sliced chicken breasts, do you know approximately how many lbs would work for this recipe? 5 chicken tenderloins doesn't sound like much, maybe a lb? Thanks so much! I'm so happy I found your website today!!


Wednesday 20th of February 2013

Approx. 1- 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts would work. I really don't know because I never have cooked this with chicken breast before, but it should be ok. Good luck and enjoy!

Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies

Wednesday 9th of May 2012

This looks so good! Quick tip regarding clarified butter: it's also known as ghee, and can be found in many Indian markets (or the Indian section of the grocery store). Makes life easy - it comes in a resealable tin, and you can use as much or as little as you want, when you want.

I haven't opened my new can yet, but I think I just found the recipe to get me to do that.


Saturday 17th of December 2011

Made this tonight for dinner, it was great. I served it with white rice and green beans, very tasty.

jamie wendel

Monday 12th of December 2011

Making this right now and I am looking forward to it-looks delicious. But I wanted to alert you that when you hit printer friendly it somehow adds 1 cup additional dark brown sugar to the sauce. I came back to check because I thought that was a bit odd. thanks!


Monday 12th of December 2011

thanks for catching that -- it's fixed now :)