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SLOW COOKER BOURBON CHICKEN – An easy, alcohol free one-pot meal

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Who has time to cook a nice dinner during the week? We all know that cooking a homemade meal is healthier and cheaper than eating out, but who has the time or energy to do it on a busy weeknight? Slow cooker bourbon chicken is the perfect solution! This easy recipe only takes about 5 minutes of prep time, and then your slow cooker does all the work for you. In just 4 hours your bourbon chicken will be cooked through and tender, with a delicious honey glaze.

Slow cooker Bourbon Chicken

A piece of Bourbon street chicken recipe

Between work, errands, and socializing, it’s hard to find time to cook a healthy dinner during the week. Enter the slow cooker bourbon chicken! With just 5 minutes of work and about 4 hours of cooking, the end result is a tender, juicy chicken breast that’s smothered in a delicious honey sauce very similar in taste and texture to the traditional Bourbon street style recipe.

This Bourbon street chicken is a delicious recipe for a glazed chicken that melts in your mouth. It’s tender and packed full of flavor. On top of this, it’s just so easy-peasy to make in the slow cooker! Try my quick recipe for a great meal!

Just search your pantry for a few handy ingredients that you likely already have, throw them in the slow cooker and have a great chicken for when you come home after a busy weekday at work. This will be a welcome twist from the classical recipes you repeat over and over again.

Want more slow cooker recipe ideas?

Image of a piece of sliced honey bourbon chicken

What is Bourbon chicken?

This chicken recipe was named after two things: the Bourbon street in New Orleans, Louisiana, where it is said this dish had originated. Its original cook and place of origin is still disputed, but it seems it was first made in a Chinese restaurant on Bourbon Street. Also, after the Bourbon whiskey usually added to this recipe.

This delicious chicken recipe gained great popularity and is also found in many Asian restaurant menus. In reality, it’s neither an American, nor an Asian dish, but rather a fusion between many styles, developed over time and in many variations. The sweet and sticky sauce is a rule of thumb, though.

Of course, the original recipe was cooked in a skillet or wok like all classic recipes. Nowadays it has evolved and is one of the most delicious slow cooker recipes, as good as the old ones when it’s cooked on low heat.

Bourbon street style chicken is also a very popular mall and takeaway dish you might have already enjoyed on a day out. I guarantee you, though, the homemade version is a lot more delicious and you won’t get back to takeaway. Plus, you can tweak it to your own taste aaaand is a lot cheaper and healthier.

Close up image of crock pot bourbon chicken

Does bourbon sauce have alcohol in it?

When making my slow cooker bourbon chicken I actually prefer not to add any kind of bourbon, at least until my daughter Ellie gets older. But you can always add a little to your crock pot bourbon chicken, if you love the flavor. Most of it will eventually evaporate anyway, so you won’t get an alcoholic dish.

Does bourbon chicken get you drunk?

No. You’d have to eat a lot of it to even feel tipsy and that would take a while. If you stick with my recipe for slow cooker bourbon chicken, you’re safe from the dreaded hangover!

What kind of meat cuts can I use?

Most of us usually opt for chicken breast as it is the most common and readily available, and that is what I used now, too. It’s also the leanest option. However, if you want a more tender cut or don’t mind a little extra fat, you can always go for boneless skinless chicken thighs.

You can also switch to pork loin if you like it, but don’t use a fatter cut. Try making a vegetarian alternative using tofu.

What goes well with slow cooker bourbon chicken?

Bourbon chicken goes great with rice, noodles, vegetables, green beans, fries, mashed potatoes or a fresh salad. As it is already full of contrasting flavors, it’s better to keep the side dish simple and not too seasoned.

I usually like to garnish it with freshly chopped green onions for some freshness before I serve it. For a more Asian hint, opt for sesame seeds. You can also use both if you like them.

Over head image of bourbon chicken breast

Cooking bourbon chicken in a pan

Don’t worry if you don’t have a slow cooker. This is a perfect one-pan dish and it will still be quick enough for weeknights. Once you have everything at hand, it’ll take no more than 30 minutes to make this recipe on the stove top.

There are a few differences though:

  1. Cut the chicken into small pieces before cooking.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients and marinate the chicken.
  3. To get a nice brown crust, sear the pieces into smaller batches, so that they get half-cooked. Set aside.
  4. You can either finish cooking the chicken in the sauce or cook the sauce separately on low heat until it thickens and becomes sticky, then mix with the chicken. In this case, cook the chicken chunks completely.
  5. Thicken with cornstarch slurry (cornstarch dissolved in water with a 1:1 ration), until it reaches the consistency you like. The sauce should stick to the chicken pieces.

Tips and tricks for crockpot bourbon chicken

  • For a more sweet and spicy flavor, add a little ginger. The contrasting flavors will add a delicious Asian hint, together with the soy sauce;
  • You can substitute honey with brown sugar or maple syrup;
  • If you don’t have bourbon at hand, you can always switch to brandy, whiskey or scotch;
  • For an alcohol-free version, try adding apple juice, a splash of apple cider vinegar or just use nothing instead like I did;
  • You can also make this recipe spicy. Add a little Sriracha sauce, hot chilli or red pepper flakes. If you don’t want to cook it spicy (in case children will eat it, or people that don’t like spicy food), serve aside a little hot paprika or hot sauce, so that everyone can adjust their dish;
  • Use sesame oil for extra flavor;
  • Stir in some chicken broth for extra flavor.
  • Don’t marinate the chicken if you like it dry.

How long does this recipe keep?

Bourbon chicken will easily keep for up to 3 – 4 days in the fridge, or between 1 – 3 months in the freezer. Keep it in a sealed bag or an airtight container. Thaw frozen leftovers overnight in the fridge, then gently reheat in the microwave or a skillet.

What ingredients do you need for honey bourbon chicken

  • chicken breasts – cut in half lengthwise
  • raw honey
  • sweet ketchup
  • soy sauce
  • lemon juice
  • ground pepper
  • sweet paprika powder
  • garlic cloves
  • onion, cut Julienne
  • butter
  • salt to taste if you’re using low sodium soy sauce
  • optional – bourbon

Close up image of a bite of bourbon chicken cooked in the crock pot

Can you just put raw chicken in a slow cooker?

Yes,  raw chicken works great in slow cookers. They’ll be cooked to a long period of time where the slow cooker eventually reaches the right temperature to kill the harmful bacteria.

Do you need to brown chicken before putting in slow cooker?

For this recipe you won’t need to brown the chicken first. However, if slow cooking the chicken in its raw form, you want to make sure that you slow cook it long enough for it to become tender. If not cooked thoroughly, the bacteria in raw meat could still be alive and cause food poisoning.

Can I put frozen chicken in slow cooker?

Yes, if slow cooking frozen meat, there’s no need to defrost or thaw it beforehand. You can place the frozen package inside the crockpot without worrying that the contents will be undercooked by the end of your recipe.

However, if you put frozen chicken in the slow cooker, make sure to increase the cooking time.

Is it better to cook chicken on high or low in crockpot?

It is best to slow cook chicken on low heat. If you slow cook the meat on high temperature, it will not only overcook but also become overly dry.

What type of slow cooker should I use?

You can use any slow cooker for this recipe. It doesn’t really matter what slow-cooker you choose to make this chicken recipe. What matters is that you get a slow-cooker that cooks at low temperature and has a removable crock pot for easy cleaning.

How to make slow cooker bourbon chicken?

  1. Place the chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker
  2. Top with the rest of ingredients. Alternatively you can whisk all ingredients first in a small bowl.
  3. Gently toss all ingredients to combine
  4. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours

This yummy bourbon chicken breast is covered in a sweet and sticky glaze that keeps everyone delighted, especially children. Remember their sweet tooth, right? Truth is, my whole family craves this chicken and they cannot be blamed, lol. Fear that anyone might get bored? Just switch the side dish and voila!

If you already tried this recipe, please let us know what you think of it, and what did you do to make it your own special recipe.

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Photo collage of slow cooker bourbon chicken

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Slow cooker bourbon chicken

This slow cooker bourbon chicken is a delicious and easy one-pot meal! The chicken is moist, tender and finger-licking ooey-gooey delicious!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 5 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bourbon chicken, honey bourbon chicken, slow cooker bourbon chicken
Servings: 4 people
Author: Petro


  • 3 large chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • ¼ cup raw honey
  • ½ cup sweet ketchup
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika powder
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 large onion cut Julienne
  • ½ stick butter


  • Place the chicken to the bottom of the slow cooker
  • Top with the rest of ingredients
  • Gently toss all ingredients to combine
  • Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours
    Close up image of crock pot bourbon chicken



Bourbon is optional but if you really want to add some, I'd recommend about 1/4 a cup for this recipe. 
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about petro


Hi, I’m Petro, author and founder of Easy Peasy Creative Ideas. Sewist, crafter, avid DIY-er, foodie, photographer, homemaker and mommy to one. I’m an expert at coming up with quick, clever sewing tips, recycling crafts and simple, easy recipes! You can find my ideas featured in reputable publications such as Country Living, Good House Keeping, Yahoo News, WikiHow, Shutterfly, Parade, Brit & Co and more. Thanks for stopping by and hope you’ll stay for a while, get to know me better and come back another time. Stick around for real fun projects! Read more…

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    Looks delicious Pedro! Can we make a smaller portion version with this recipe? Maybe only one breast?

      1. 5 stars
        Thanks Petro! I wonder if this recipe works with dark meat chicken. Or even other meats

  2. I don’t see bourbon mentioned as one of the ingredients. Is this an oversight?? How much bourbon would you use, and would it go in with the rest of the ingredients?

    1. Hi Kellee! It’s not an oversight. As specified in the article I didn’t use alcohol in my recipe. Plus the name Bourbon chicken comes from the Bourbon street not the actual bourbon. You can add bourbon to your recipe though, I’d recommend about 1/4 cup.