Slow Cooker Sesame Bourbon Chicken

We’ve almost made it through winter. Only a couple more weeks to go. Yay! But please, don’t put your slow cookers away just yet. Not until you’ve had the chance to make this Slow Cooker Sesame Bourbon Chicken. It’s the perfect dish for weeknight meals and sure to quickly become a family favorite.

We usually always have bourbon in the house. It’s one of Ryan’s go to drinks when he wants a cocktail.

Me? It’s WAY too strong. I’m kind of a lightweight and can’t drink the stuff.

Cooking with it however, that is a different story. It is great to cook with. I don’t do it a whole lot because then I get the “whyyyyyy are you cooking with my bourbon??” Question from the hubs. But when I do, I love the smoky sweet flavor it adds. I’ve used it before in recipes like this Steak with Bourbon Caramelized Onions  and in this messy wonderfulness Bourbon BBQ Sauce Cheeseburgers. And now, I’m using it to make this Slow Cooker Sesame Bourbon Chicken.

When I set out to make this dish, I was inspired by the Bourbon Chicken that you can get at the restaurant in the mall. You know, the one where it’s already cooked just waiting for them to scoop it up for you. It’s actually one of Ryan’s favorites and that is why I wanted to make it.

I did some research and realized that, with only a little over a tablespoon of soy sauce, I didn’t have nearly enough soy sauce to make the traditional recipes so I decided to work with what I did have. What I did have, thanks to not checking my pantry before going to the grocery store, was an abundance of sesame oil. I thought that the nuttiness of the sesame would taste really good with the sweetness of the bourbon so I gave it a shot.

Ryan devoured it.

I immediately wished I would’ve doubled the recipe to ensure we had some leftovers. I imagine it would only be better the next day. Next time I will. And you better believe there will be a next time. If I can convince Ryan to share is bourbon with me for cooking purposes of course. :)

Slow Cooker Sesame Bourbon Chicken Recipe

Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:


  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • Cooked rice for serving
  • chopped green onions



Whisk together bourbon, brown sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, sesame seeds, ginger, crushed red pepper and garlic.


Place chicken, onion and green bell pepper in the slow cooker. Pour sauce over the top. Cover and cook on high for 4 - 5 hours. During the last 30 minutes remove the lid and allow the sauce to cook down slightly. Serve over rice, garnish with green onions.



  • Melissa Falk

    Ok, It is 1:30am in the morning and I want this. Thanks!

  • Meg

    My roommate and her boyfriend use to make bourbon chicken all the time in college! I have forgotten about it but you just reminded me how insanely delicious it was!

  • How can you ever go wrong with slow cooker and bourbon in the same sentence?!

  • Elena

    Long live the slow cooker! This looks fantastic!

  • Heather @FrenchPress

    this looks and sounds SO delicious! and I LOVE how easy it is – perfect for weeknights

  • fakeginger

    I can’t stand drinking bourbon but I LOVE cooking with it. This sounds so good!

  • Rebecca P.

    My dream come true! This looks beyond fantastic!

  • Michelle De La Cerda-Nash

    Bourbon chicken!!!! I have wanted a recipe for this!

  • intlpvti

    I added a small can of drained pineapple chunks and some peanuts.

  • Judith

    I hate to be a bummer, but this was kind of terrible. I love all your other recipes but I think this needs something…maybe what Intipvti added below.

  • I’m so sorry to hear that you didn’t like this Judith! It was a huge hit with my family. I think that if you think it needs something sweeter then the pineapple would be a great addition! I appreciate your feedback though. Thank you!