The Best Whiskey Chicken

4.79 from 14 votes

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Whiskey chicken is a simple meal that looks fancy and complicated. This dinner surprises our readers all the time when they learn how to make this chicken in only 30 minutes using just a handful of ingredients.

A bowl of food on a plate, with Chicken Thighs

About this recipe

This is not your typical bourbon chicken because it isn’t chopped up and fried.  Instead, we use whole chicken parts for this family recipe. It’s a one-pot wonder that stars with a good searing of the chicken. Then, the meat is cooed off in a savory chicken and bourbon sauce with lightly caramelized onions.  It’s hard to think of a better chicken dinner for company or family.

What’s in it

  • Bone-in chicken pieces with skin on
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Bourbon whiskey
  • Peas
  • Italian parsley (optional)

Seared chicken thigh on a serving plate with quinoa and Brussels sprouts.

How to make this

You’ll need a heavy skillet for this recipe, or a Dutch oven. I love making recipes with either of these kitchen pans. Maybe because it makes me feel like a real cook?

A box filled with different types of food on a plate, with Chicken Thighs

  • Start by using some paper towels to pat the chicken dry and then season with salt and pepper.
    • Drying the thighs first will help to get a crisper finish on the sear.
  • Next, give the thighs a nice sear in a hot skillet, using butter and olive oil.
  • Sautée a sliced onion and handful of crushed garlic cloves.
  • Add bourbon and chicken broth to the pot and simmer for a bit.

Seared chicken thighs in a skillet

  • Finally, return chicken to skillet and cook, skin side up, for about 20 more minutes.

During the cooking process, the broth will reduce and thicken up a bit, making for a velvety sauce. Toss in some frozen green peas and a simple garnish of chopped parsley are added, just before serving.

Chicken thighs in whiskey sauce cooking in a pan.

I love to serve this whiskey chicken recipe with some seared Brussels sprouts, fortified with a little garlic and pancetta. It alk goes together well on a bed of quinoa that was soaked in the sauce from the pan.

Give this whiskey chicken recipe a try soon. Keep it warm and keep it delicious! Finally, thanks for reading Platter Talk, it means the world to us.

Common questions

What to serve with this

Plate of whiskey chicken in broth with Brussels sprouts.

We love to serve this chicken dinner with some healthy quinoa and Brussels sprouts on the side. The whiskey and chicken broth add great flavor to both of these things. It also ties the whole meal together.

Pro Cooking Tip: Sprinkle some chopped and fried pancetta over this plate as a garnish.

What parts of the chicken should I use?

There’s no reason you can’t use any parts of the chicken for this whiskey chicken. Many people prefer the dark meat from the chicken thigh because of its deeper flavor. Using the same part for this recipe helps you end up with uniform portions. This also ensures all of the pieces to be done at about the same time.

Cooking Tip:  Did you know that chicken thighs are often a better choice for chicken recipes?

Chicken thighs have a higher fat content than chicken breasts. Besides giving them more flavor, it also makes them impossible to mess up, unlike chicken breasts! Often times chicken breasts will turn out dry and flavorless, this seldom happens if you use chicken thigh instead. And, did you know you can buy boneless chicken thighs? Skin-on, or skin-off!

What Can I do with Chicken Leftovers?

You can wrap and seal the leftovers from this dinner. They will keep in the refrigerator for five days if stored properly. You can easily reheat for lunch later in the week or take to work with you. Finally, we have a terrific leftover chicken recipe that you will love!

How can you Tell when Chicken is Done?

The only real way to know if your chicken is cooked throughout is to measure its temperature. If you get a reading of 165° F., you are good to go!  Akitchen thermometer will take the guesswork out of this every time.

Favorite chicken recipes

We have nearly 70 Chicken Recipes on Platter Tak. We love them all but these are some of our most popular ones!

  • Cornell Chicken Barbecue
    • The unofficial food of the New York State Fair, also known as Fireman Chicken throughout the Empire state.
  • Creamy Crockpot Chicken
    • Crockpot chicken with cream of chicken soup. Throw in a healthy portion of vegetables at the end and your kids will be asking for more!
  • Slow Cooker Chicken Quarters
    • Chicken legs slow-cooked in a savory honey and garlic sauces.  A favorite of many!
  • Oven Fried Chicken
    • Buttermilk-soaked tender chicken, dredged in breadcrumbs, and then lightly fried on the stovetop. It’s finished off directly on your oven rack for a crispy and delicious chicken dinner!
  • Chicken Ramen Noodles
    • Easy and packed with flavor!
  • Spinach and Feta Chicken Rollups
    • Creamy feta rolled up with chicken – so tasty!

If you’ve tried this Whiskey Chicken or any other recipe on Platter Talk, be sure and leave a comment below! You can also FOLLOW US on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, and PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what we have cooking.

Whiskey Chicken

4.79 from 14 votes
Garlic and Bourbon Whiskey Chicken Dinner Adapted from Judy Kim via Delish
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 people


  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken thighs with skin on.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped


  • Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken thighs and then season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons butter and olive oil to large skillet and heat on medium high stove top. When butter and oil are hot, place chicken thighs in skillet, skin side down and sear for 10 minutes. Flip pieces and sear for 2 more minutes then remove from skillet and set aside.
  • Add remaining butter to skillet and over medium add onions and stir for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and stir and sauté for another minute. Next, add broth and bourbon and simmer for 5 minutes and then add chicken back to skillet, skin side up. Simmer for another 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add peas at the end, allow to simmer another minute or so and then garnish with parsley immediately before serving.



  • Using the same parts of the chicken helps to ensure cooking time will be the same for all of the pieces.
  • For food safety, always make sure chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165°.


Calories: 315kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 116mg, Potassium: 254mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 540IU, Vitamin C: 18mg, Calcium: 33mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from the original post of January 22, 2017

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. I tried this, it was surprisingly bland. A lot of the whiskey flavor is lost during the simmering and really all this ends up as is chicken and peas in a reduced chicken broth. It needs more flavors in there and is frankly a waste of whisky.

  2. 5 stars
    I love quick dinners that turn out looking amazing! Is there a suitable alcohol free substitute for whisky?

  3. Oh that sounds AMAZING! I do love a good whisky, and this sounds like just the sort of meal I would really enjoy.

  4. 5 stars
    Looks SO good! I bet the bourbon gives this dish a really complex flavor, and I love the addition of the peas to lighten things up!