Today we've got a delicious bourbon peach chicken recipe that blends the flavor our whiskey with the sweetness of peaches. It's both savory and sweet and will quickly become a family favorite.
This Bourbon Peach Chicken recipe is packed full of southern flavors! This dish blends the richness of bourbon with the sweetness of peaches, creating a unique and delicious chicken dinner. It's a perfect choice for family dinners, special occasions, or when you simply crave something extraordinary.
This recipe is ideal for summertime gatherings, outdoor barbecues, or festive occasions. Its roots in southern cooking add a touch of nostalgia and warmth, making it a beloved choice for holidays or family reunions.
If you enjoy the flavors in this Bourbon Whiskey Peach Chicken recipe, you might also love some of our other chicken dinner ideas.
For a spicy kick, try our Baked Hot Honey Chicken Tenders. If you're in the mood for something comforting, our Creamy Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie Soup is a must-try. For a more traditional take, check out our classic Chicken Cacciatore. And if you're a fan of crispy delights, our Buttermilk Fried Chicken won't disappoint.
What You'll Love About This Recipe
- Rich Flavor Profile: The combination of bourbon and peach preserves creates a sauce that's both deep in flavor and delightfully sweet.
- Versatility: Perfect for various events, from casual barbecues to elegant dinners.
- Comforting: Its hearty and fulfilling nature makes it a comfort food favorite.
- Easy to Make: Despite its gourmet appeal, this recipe is straightforward and manageable for cooks of all levels.
Olive Oil: A kitchen must-have for cooking. It helps brown the chicken and adds a subtle flavor.
Unsalted Butter: Adds a creamy richness to the dish. Using unsalted butter lets you control the saltiness.
Chicken Thighs: The star of the show! Go for bone-in, skin-on thighs for juicy and flavorful meat.
Salt and Black Pepper: Simple seasonings that enhance the natural flavors of the chicken.
Onion: A small, diced onion adds a mild, slightly sweet flavor to the sauce.
Bourbon: This brings a deep, rich flavor to the dish. Choose a bourbon you enjoy drinking for the best taste. Or you can grab your favorite Whiskey. Both work amazing in this recipe.
Barbecue Sauce: This adds sweetness and tanginess. Pick your favorite type - spicy, smoky, or sweet.
Peach Preserves: They add a lovely fruity sweetness. Look for high-quality preserves for the best flavor.
Worcestershire Sauce: A dash of this brings all the flavors together with its unique tang.
Peaches: Fresh, ripe peaches add a burst of sweetness. They should be firm but slightly soft to the touch.
Water (optional): Add this if your barbecue sauce is thick and you want to thin it out a bit.
- Large Oven-Proof Skillet: A 15-inch skillet is ideal. If unavailable, any large, deep pan will work, but remember to transfer contents to a baking dish for oven cooking.
- Aluminum Foil: Essential for covering the skillet in the oven.
- Measuring Tools: For precise ingredient quantities.
- Knife and Cutting Board: For preparing the onion and peaches.
Start by Heating the Oven: First, set your oven to 300°F (150°C). This low and slow heat is perfect for making the chicken tender.
Prepare Your Skillet: Place a large (preferably 15-inch) oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter. Wait until the butter melts and starts to sizzle a bit - that's your cue that it's hot enough.
Season and Brown the Chicken: While the skillet is heating up, season your chicken thighs with a good sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Then, lay them in the skillet. Give them about 5 minutes on each side until they're nicely browned. This browning adds lots of flavor! After they're browned, take them out and put them on a plate. Keep them nearby, you'll need them again soon.
Remove Extra Grease, If You Like: If there's a lot of grease in the skillet after cooking the chicken, you can spoon some of it off. Just be careful, as it'll be hot.
Cook the Onion: Now, add your diced onion to the same skillet. Cook it for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the onion to get soft and a bit golden. It'll pick up all the tasty bits left by the chicken.
Add the Bourbon: Pour the bourbon (or whisky) into the skillet with the onions. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. You’ll notice it bubbling and reducing slightly, which means it’s concentrating all those lovely flavors.
Make the Sauce: Next, stir in your barbecue sauce, peach preserves, Worcestershire sauce, and a bit of water if your barbecue sauce is on the thicker side. Mix everything well, ensuring it's combined into a lovely, rich sauce.
Add Chicken and Peaches: Now, bring back your browned chicken thighs. Nestle them into the sauce, giving each piece a flip to coat them evenly. Then, tuck your sliced peaches around the chicken. The peaches will soften and add their sweet flavor to the dish as it cooks.
Bake in the Oven: Cover the skillet with aluminum foil – this keeps the moisture in and makes the chicken super tender. Carefully place the skillet in your preheated oven. Let it bake for about 90 minutes. You'll know it's done when the chicken is so tender it nearly falls off the bone.
And that's it! You've got delicious bourbon peach chicken ready to serve.
Sear the Chicken Thighs Well: Don’t rush the browning process of the chicken. A good sear not only adds a beautiful golden color but also locks in juices and creates a depth of flavor in the chicken that will infuse the entire dish. Make sure the skillet is hot before adding the chicken and give each side enough time to develop a nice crust.
Choose Quality Bourbon: The bourbon you choose can significantly impact the overall flavor of the dish. A good quality bourbon will add a rich, deep flavor to the sauce. If you’re not sure which bourbon to use, opt for one that you enjoy drinking. The nuances of the bourbon will come through in the final dish.
Use Ripe Peaches: The peaches are a star ingredient in this recipe, so their quality is paramount. Use fresh, ripe peaches for the best flavor and texture. They should be firm yet give slightly under pressure. This ensures they'll hold up during cooking while imparting a sweet, juicy taste that perfectly complements the savory elements of the dish.
- Chicken Thighs: Chicken drumsticks or breasts can be used, though cooking times may vary.
- Bourbon: If you prefer not to use alcohol, apple juice or chicken broth with a splash of apple cider vinegar can be a good substitute. This won't replicate the bourbon flavor exactly but will add a different depth to the dish.
- Barbecue Sauce: Feel free to experiment with different types of barbecue sauces, whether homemade or store-bought, to alter the flavor profile.
- Peach Preserves: Apricot preserves can be a suitable substitute, offering a similar texture and sweetness.
- Peaches: Nectarines are a great substitute for peaches, providing a similar texture and flavor profile.
- Spicy Bourbon Peach Chicken: Add some heat by including chopped chili peppers or a dash of hot sauce to the barbecue sauce mixture.
- Herb-Infused: For an aromatic twist, add fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme to the sauce. This adds a fragrant depth to the dish.
- Honey Bourbon Chicken: Replace peach preserves with honey for a different kind of sweetness and a more pronounced bourbon flavor.
What to Serve With
Want to know what to serve with your whiskey peach chicken? Here are a few of our favorites.
- Crispy Air Fryer Frozen French Fries: A classic and simple choice that provides a crispy contrast to the tender, flavorful chicken.
- Best Ever Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes: The creamy texture and garlic flavor will pair nicely with the rich and sweet notes of the bourbon peach chicken.
- Cauliflower Au Gratin: A cheesy and comforting dish that adds a deliciously rich creamy side to the meal.
- Italian Chopped Salad (With Zesty Dressing): A refreshing and zesty salad to balance the sweet and savory chicken dish.
- Bacon Wrapped Asparagus: The smokiness of the bacon and the freshness of asparagus offer a delightful complement to the chicken.
This bourbon peach chicken is a delightful mix of sweet, juicy peaches, tender chicken and rich, deep bourbon flavors. The barbecue sauce adds a tangy twist, making this dish an irresistible combination of sweet and savory notes.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 8 to 12 Chicken Thighs
- Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 small Onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups Bourbon (or favorite whiskey)
- 3 ½ cups Barbecue Sauce
- ½ cup Water, optional
- 1 cup Peach Preserves
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 to 6 Peaches, pitted and sliced
- Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C).
- In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper, then brown in skillet for 5 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
- In the same skillet, cook onion until soft.
- Add bourbon, reducing slightly.
- Stir in barbecue sauce, water (if needed), peach preserves, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Return chicken to skillet, coat with sauce. Add sliced peaches.
- Cover with foil, bake for 90 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Ensure a good sear on the chicken before baking. This step is crucial for flavor development and sets the foundation for the entire dish.
Have leftover chicken? Here's our suggestions for storing leftovers.
Refrigerator Storage: Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The flavors often meld and deepen, making the chicken even more delicious the next day.
Freezer Storage: You can freeze this dish for up to 3 months. Make sure it's cooled down before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or bags. This is a great way to save a batch for a quick and tasty meal later on.
Reheating: To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen, then warm in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave, but be sure to cover it to avoid splattering and ensure even heating. The chicken should be steaming hot all the way through before serving.
Note: The sauce may thicken upon cooling. If it's too thick when reheating, just add a little water or chicken broth to thin it out.
FAQ Questions and Answers
Yes, you can use chicken breasts, but the cooking time may vary as they can dry out faster than thighs. It's advisable to check for doneness earlier.
For a non-alcoholic version, you can use apple juice or chicken broth with a splash of apple cider vinegar to mimic the bourbon's sweetness and acidity.
Yes, thawed frozen peaches can be used, but they may not hold their shape as well as fresh peaches.
If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet, transfer the contents to a baking dish before placing it in the oven.
Chicken is fully cooked when its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) or when it easily falls off the bone.
Yes, you can prepare it in advance and reheat it in the oven. The flavors often deepen when the dish is reheated.