There is so much flavor packed into this Grilled Bourbon Chicken, you will want to make it over and over again. It’s so easy to make but make sure to give the chicken enough time to marinate. Bourbon marinade is the bomb too, made with bourbon, garlic, oil, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ginger, salt, and cayenne pepper.
GRILLED BOURBON CHICKEN
If grilled chicken breast is where you turn for a when you can’t think of what to make for dinner, I have the perfect recipe for you. One simple bourbon marinade will take any boring chicken breast to the level of “wow!” It’s sweet, salty, a little spicy, and boozy. There is a lot of flavor in this marinade and for the best results, let it marinate overnight or for 8-12 hours.
Chicken breast is not even the only chicken cut you can use. This recipe will be just as great with chicken thigh meat, chicken drumsticks, or a whole broken down chicken. The only difference will be in time to cook the chicken because bone-in chicken will take longer to cook. It’s best to start cooking bone-in chicken over direct heat first to get some sear, and then moving it over to indirect heat to finish cooking. Most boneless chicken breast and boneless chicken thigh meat is thin enough to cook over direct heat.
This chicken recipe will be great with rice, salads, and grilled vegetables. The flavors come through great even after reheating the leftovers. I actually find it even more delicious in a salad or a wrap the next day. Probably because the smokey grill flavors seem so much stronger when you haven’t been standing over the grill smelling it while cooking. So the aroma seems so much stronger the next day.
BOURBON CHICKEN MARINADE
This is a simple, throw-it-all-together kind of chicken marinade. Just combine the ingredients in a bowl, whisk it together, and pour over the chicken in a zip-lock bag. Make sure chicken is coated well with marinade and place it on a plate in the fridge to do it’s job.
What is in Bourbon Marinade?
Canola oil (can also use vegetable oil)
Coals: briquettes or lump coal
Grill temperature: medium: 350°-425° (1/2 to 2/3 filled chimney)
Placement on the grill: indirect for bone-in chicken and direct for boneless chicken breast and chicken thigh meat
Wood if desired: hickory, oak
HOW TO COOK GRILLED BOURBON CHICKEN
Prepare chicken and start marinating the night before or in the morning. Make sure to give it about 10 hours to marinate. You can, of course, give it a little more time beyond 10 hours but it is not recommended going over 12 hours.
How To Marinate:
First of all, ALWAYS marinate meats in the refrigerator.
Use food-safe plastic bags or a glass container with an air-tight lid. If using a zip-lock plastic bag, place the bag inside another container, bowl, or on a large plate.
If you want to make some of the marinade into the sauce, make extra and save it separately without coming in contact with raw chicken. Mix cold marinade with some cornstarch and simmer until thickened.
Marinate the chicken overnight or for up to 12 hours.
Discard the bag and leftover marinade when ready to cook the chicken.
Cooking the Chicken:
Start the coals and build a two-zone fire when coals are ready. (Or set your gas grill to medium.) Close the lid and let the grill preheat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the grill grate is clean and seasoned.
Cook chicken breasts over direct heat for 6-8 minutes per side. Exact time will depend on the size of each breast. Cook chicken until internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 165°.
Cook bone-in chicken directly over the coals for 4-5 minutes per side and then move the chicken over to indirect heat. Close the lid and let the chicken finish cooking until internal temperature reaches 165°.
SOME MORE GRILLED CHICKEN RECIPES TO TRY
Bacon Ranch Chicken Foil Packets
Pineapple Grilled Chicken Kebabs
Grilled Hawaiian Teriyaki Chicken
If you made any of my recipes and shared them on Instagram, make sure to tag me @grillingsmokingliving and #grillingsmokingliving so I can see all the things you tried!
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Grilled Bourbon Chicken
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
Bourbon Chicken Marinade:
- 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (more or less per personal preference)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Place chicken breasts into a large zip-lock bag.
- Whisk all ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl and pour it over the chicken in the bag.
- Let all the air out and seal the bag tight. Place it in to a clean mixing bowl or on a large plate and place it in the refrigerator to marinate.
- Let chicken marinate overnight.
- Start the coals and build a two-zone fire when coals are ready. (Or set your gas grill to medium.)
- Close the lid and let the grill preheat for about 10 minutes. Make sure the grill grate is clean and seasoned.
- Cook chicken breasts over direct heat for 6-8 minutes per side. Exact time will depend on the size of each breast. Cook chicken until internal temperature of the thickest part reaches 165°.
[…] or chicken drumsticks. You can even use boneless chicken breast or thigh meat, just follow these grilling instructions as bone-in chicken is different to grill than boneless […]