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Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken

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Serves 4.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe.

This recipe had an unusual beginning. I followed a recipe from an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook. However, the flavor of the soy sauce was too strong. I like flavors that are more subtle. So I modified the formula for my preferences. If you prefer a stronger soy sauce flavor, adjust the marinade accordingly.


1 cup (240ml) bourbon
½ cup (120ml) soy sauce
¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 cloves garlic
4 chicken thighs (or other pieces as desired, skinless pieces are okay)


Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let cool. Set aside about ¼ cup (60ml) for basting.

Place the chicken pieces in a ziplock bag. Add the remaining marinade and seal the bag.

Let the chicken marinate about 1 hour in the refrigerator, turning the bag over every 15 minutes to flavor the chicken evenly. The chicken can be marinated longer, up to 24 hours, for a stronger flavor.

Heat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Arrange the chicken, skin side up, in a square baking pan, discarding the marinade. Place the chicken in the heated oven and bake, basting every 10 to 15 minutes with the reserved marinade, until cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), 45 minutes to 1 hour.

If you prefer, you can cook this chicken on a grill. Baste the same way.

Remove from the oven, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite vegetables.

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