“Honey, do we have any bourbon?” … “Check the stash” … “Nope, can you go get some?” … “Why?” … “Cause I want to try something new!” … and 20 minutes later I had a bottle of Jim Beam in my hands.

Voila! Thus orange bourbon chicken was born. Now, honestly I haven’t experimented with cooking with alcohol other than the occasional wine when it’s available. Since I had several oranges lying around, I decided what-the-heck and off I went. Probably didn’t make a ‘true’ orange bourbon reduction, but what I did make was fantastic – or at least so I was told. So with no further ado, Orange Bourbon Chicken.


  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless)
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3.5oz of Bourbon
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 oranges (juiced + 1/2 pulp + 1 tbsp of zest)
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2+ tsp of ground red pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of honey + some to drizzle when plating.


  1. Place the chicken (thawed) into a medium stock pot and add a pinch of salt and garlic powder. The pour the 5 cups of water over top and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, get out a large skillet, pour the juice, pulp, zest, butter, and bourbon into the pan and bring to a medium high heat. Once that starts to boil add the sugar, vinegar, and red pepper. Stir till everything is incorporated then reduce to a med-low heat and let simmer. It will reduce and that’s okay!
  3. When the chicken is done (make sure and slice it to see if it’s all the way cooked), remove from the water and place in the skillet with everything else. It will probably splatter (you know the whole oil + water thing… ow), so just be ready for that.
  4. Continually baste the chicken with the orange sauce, add a little bit of honey or lemon if you want to ‘brighten’ the flavor. Cook till all the sides are nice and brown but make sure that the chicken’s outsides don’t get too rough. I mean – you do have the tools to over come that – but still… moist chicken is good chicken.
  5. When all looks done, you’re ready to plate.  Here are some suggestions to plate with: rice or couscous. I went with the rice route. So here we go. Lay the chicken on a bed of rice – drizzle with honey (just a tad) – serve with steamed veggies (go with a California blend), a slice of orange for presentation,  and Bob’s your uncle!

Pretty easy huh?

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take a “nice” picture for you guys BUT I did take one with my phone!

crappy plating but still tasty.