Slow Cooker Bourbon Pulled Chicken isn’t just for Game Night, it’s great for any time you’re feeding a crowd. Bourbon and a molasses barbecue sauce are perfect with chicken. An EASY and healthy dish that everyone will love.
All we are thinking about right now is our Kentucky Wildcats, last nights’ game was jut a little too close for comfort. This has led to a Kentucky theme with my cooking. Other than basketball, Kentucky is pretty well known for its bourbon. The Makers Mark distillery is fairly close to where my husband grew up, but in the “wet”county next door. This bourbon flavored pulled chicken sounded too good to pass up.
It took less than 5 minutes to put together in the slow cooker and then I just left it for a few hours and we had the most amazing pulled chicken you can image. If you didn’t know, you would never guess it had ¾ cup of bourbon in it, it just has a smooth rich flavor.
How to make slow cooker bourbon chicken
This is so simple to make, you can put it all together in a few minutes before you run out the door.
Step 1: Add skinless bone in thighs to the slow cooker.
Step 2: Combine the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the chicken.
Step 3: Cook on low for seven hours or four hours on high. Take out the chicken, remove the bones, shred and add back to the slow cooker.
Sometimes when you add bourbon to baked goods, you can really identify the bourbon flavor, but not with this chicken. Since it cooks so slowly, the meat is tenderized and absorbs the rich flavor from the bourbon and the molasses without the strong bourbon taste. If you’re not sure what type of bourbon to use, I would suggest one that you like. When cooking, I go for a mild bourbon like Hibiki.
The result is a slightly sweet, spicy pulled chicken that is great if you are feeding a crowd. Since it’s cooked without the skin, there is very little grease, just a great bourbon barbecue flavor that isn’t as sweet as the traditional barbecue sauces you see in the grocery. You could easily add bacon or slaw to the top, but I thought it was great all by itself. With just a little brown sugar, this is a pretty healthy dish.
I serve pulled chicken on Hawaiian rolls which have a slightly sweet taste. I’m not sure which are better the rolls or the chicken, but when combined these are extraordinary.
More CHICKEN recipes
- Our favorite chicken recipe is chicken marsala meatballs
- When you’re in a hurry, try queso chicken
- Simple chicken with mozzarella and roasted tomatoes might hit the spot
- Add a sun dried tomato sauce to chicken breasts
Game Day recipes you’ll love
- Mushroom bites
- Bite sized mini croque monsieurs
- Tortilla pizza’s
- Buffalo chicken wings
- Sausage balls
Adapted from Cooking for Keeps
Slow Cooker Bourbon Pulled Chicken
- 4 lbs bone-in skinless chicken thighs about 10 thighs
- ¾ cup bourbon
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 clove garlic
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 teaspoons dark molasses
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Remove skin from chicken thighs and place in slow cooker.
- In a bowl whisk the remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour over chicken and toss. Cook for 31/2 to 4 hours on high or 7 hours on low until chicken is falling off bone. Remove chicken and shred, removing the bones. Return to the slow cooker and set on warm until ready to serve.
Barbara's Tips + Notes