Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken is a restaurant-quality meal that you can make in the comfort of your home within 30 minutes or less! While the alcohol content is burnt off during the cooking process, the bourbon whiskey creates a deep and smoky flavor that’s the perfect addition to the sweet and salty barbecue and soy sauce with honey. Let me show you how to make this Instant Pot chicken recipe today!
Yall know how much I love a good Instant Pot chicken recipe. My friend, Melissa, has an amazing crock pot bourbon chicken recipe that we love. I took that concept and adjusted it for the Instant Pot. It’s delicious and you need to try it ASAP!
What Is Bourbon Chicken?
Many assume that this super flavorful chicken dish is named after the addition of bourbon whiskey as one of its ingredients. While this is certainly a happy coincidence, the name behind this dish actually comes from Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the dish originally grew in popularity as a menu offering in the restaurants along that particular street.
Regardless of its origin, bourbon chicken comprises tender chicken pieces that are infused with a rich and flavorful sauce thanks to the use of bourbon, barbeque sauce, soy sauce, and honey. These ingredients all blend together to create a sweet and slightly salty flavor profile that’s absolutely mouth-watering!
Bourbon chicken is usually served with freshly steamed rice (white or brown) but can also be paired with a variety of other side dishes.
Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken Ingredients
Add the following ingredients to your Instant Pot to make this rich and flavorful bourbon chicken:
- chicken thighs
- soy sauce
- barbecue sauce
- minced garlic
- green onions
Chicken thighs – Thighs give the best flavor and are always juicy. You can use chicken breasts of even tenders if you have them on hand already.
Oil – Use your favorite oil here. I prefer olive oil.
Bourbon – You can use any kind of bourbon here. Your favorite brand or even a cheap bottle will work. The alcohol cooks out, but if you want to omit it you can use chicken broth instead.
Soy sauce – Or you can substitute coconut aminos here.
BBQ sauce – Use your favorite BBQ sauce here. You can use homemade BBQ sauce as well.
How To Make Bourbon Chicken
Making bourbon chicken in the Instant Pot only requires a few simple steps. Before you know it, you’re serving tender pieces of chicken infused with smoky and sweet bourbon sauce. Follow the simple instructions below:
Step 1: Prepare the Chicken and Sauce
Start by cutting your chicken thighs into 1-inch pieces, adding these to the Instant Pot, followed by the oil, garlic, bourbon, barbecue, honey, and soy sauce.
Step 2: Set the Instant Pot and Cook
Once your ingredients have been added, close the Instant Pot lid and seal the pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes, followed by a quick release pressure.
Step 3: Create a Cornstarch Slurry
Once the chicken has cooked in the bourbon sauce, set the pot to the Saute setting and add the water and cornstarch to create a slurry while stirring to thicken the sauce.
Step 4: Garnish and Serve the Bourbon Chicken
When the sauce is a lovely thick consistency, switch off the Instant Pot and serve your bourbon chicken over freshly steamed rice with chopped green onions as garnish.
Side Dish Recommendations
Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken is typically paired with rice as a side dish but it can also be enjoyed alongside:
- Roasted vegetables such as Sweet Potato Cubes, Italian Roasted Potatoes, or Quick Honey Roasted Carrots;
- Crockpot Mashed Potatoes or Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (for a low-carb alternative);
- Cauliflower rice instead of traditional rice; or
- Fried rice.
Do I Have To Use Bourbon?
No, you don’t! Of course, bourbon is what gives this dish its rich and smoky flavor, adding to the sweet flavor component of the sauce that pairs beautifully with the barbecue sauce, honey and soy sauce.
If, for whatever reason, you want to omit the bourbon, use apple juice or broth (either vegetable or chicken) instead. This will change the taste of the dish somewhat but trust me, it’ll still be a super delicious meal nevertheless!
What Kind Of Chicken Do I Need For Bourbon Chicken?
I’ve used chicken thighs for my bourbon chicken recipe but you could certainly make use of the breast meat instead, making sure that you follow the recipe instructions by cutting the chicken in cubes.
How Long Does It Take To Cook Bourbon Chicken In The Instant Pot?
Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken can be made in just 30 minutes or less, including the preparation of your ingredients! It’s one of the main reasons I love this dish so much – it’s incredibly quick to make as a midweek family meal and is totally restaurant quality!
How to make Bourbon chicken in the Crock Pot
You can easily make this bourbon chicken in your crock pot too! The best part? It’s a dump and go recipe! You can all your ingredients to your crock pot or slow cooker and allow it to cook to perfection. Follow these instructions on how to make bourbon chicken in the crock pot. (Note – this recipe does not use actual bourbon. I would not suggest using it when cooking in the crock pot as the alcohol will not cook out.)
How To Store Bourbon Chicken Leftovers
Leftover bourbon chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Make sure to store any leftover chicken with the sauce.
To reheat, add the chicken and sauce to a microwave-safe dish with a splash of water or you can add it to a skillet on the stovetop till heated throughout.
Can I Freeze Bourbon Chicken?
Absolutely! Once completely cool, place your cooked bourbon chicken in an airtight container with sauce (or in a Ziploc freezer bag) for up to 2 months.
Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
Instant Pot Bourbon Chicken
A sweet and smokey chicken recipe that is infused with real bourbon flavor.
- 1 lbs. of chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1/3 cup of bourbon
- 1/4 cup of soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
- Green onions for garnish
1. Cube chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add to instant pot.
2. Add oil, garlic, bourbon, barbecue, honey, and soy sauce.
3. Close the lid and seal the pressure valve. Set the instant pot to cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Do a quick release pressure.
4. Set the pot to sauté and mix the water and the cornstarch to create a slurry.
5. Stir slurry into chicken to thicken the sauce. Turn the instant pot off
6. Serve over rice and garnish with green onions
Ingredient substitutions in the post above. Crock pot instructions included above as well.
Other Instant Pot Chicken Recipes To Try
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
- Instant Pot Thai Chicken
- Instant Pot Chicken Tetrazzini
- Instant Pot Chicken Marsala