Easy Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

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This easy instant pot honey bourbon chicken evokes memories of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It is also a quick and easy weeknight dinner!

Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken in serving bowl

I first went to New Orleans on a work trip in 2018, and I absolutely loved it! The incredible live music scene and vibrant nightlife are one of a kind. The food scene is also unparalleled! The mix of Acadian and Creole flavors. It is truly a unique and special place for food! Julian is also a fan of bourbon, so I decided to incorporate it into our dinner one night!

What is Bourbon Chicken?

Bourbon chicken is a dish named after the famous Bourbon Street in New Orleans as well as for the bourbon that goes into the sticky sauce. This dish is often served in Cajun restaurants, but also in some Chinese restaurants. It has a sticky sweet sauce with some sour bite from soy sauce and red pepper flakes. It's an awesome weeknight meal that the whole family will love - try this for dinner tonight!

Bourbon chicken is a delicious meal that is one of my favorite instant pot recipes! This quick and easy meal comes together quickly and has lots of flavor. Trust me, this is so much tastier and healthier than the chicken you can get at the mall food court. I love to serve this over brown rice topped with some green onions and veggies on the side. It is a complete meal in under thirty minutes!

Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken in serving bowl

How to Make Easy Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

While the full recipe instructions are available below, here are some tips to make this family favorite instant pot recipe.

  • First, we will put our sauce together in the instant pot. No need to mess up more dishes so simply add the ingredients right to the pressure cooker! In the instant pot, whisk together a moderate amount of honey with a third of a cup soy sauce, ketchup, bourbon whiskey, olive oil, Worchestershire sauce, crushed fresh garlic, black pepper, ground cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the diced onion. Now, add your boneless skinless chicken thighs to the instant pot. Make sure you coat both sides of the chicken in the sauce.
  • Set your instant pot to cook on high pressure and your cook time for fifteen minutes. Once the cooking time has ended, let it sit for five minutes. Use the quick release valve to release the remaining pressure. Finally, create a cornstarch slurry by mixing together cold water and cornstarch in a small bowl. Remove the chicken from the instant pot and set aside in a serving bowl. Turn on the saute setting of the instant pot and add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce. Whisk it in and let the sauce reduce. Pour the sauce over the chicken for serving. Note that this will make a lot of sauce, so you may not need to use it all! If you are looking for ideas of what to do with the rest of the sauce, it would be great on seared broccoli as a side!

I recommend serving this over a bed of rice to soak up the rich flavor of the sauce. Top with sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve. If you are trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake, cauliflower rice would be great with this meal too! This honey bourbon chicken recipe is one of my favorite quick weeknight dinners since it is delicious and no fuss. This entire meal takes about twenty minutes to make, but tastes like it took much more effort!

Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken in serving bowl

Frequently Asked Questions About Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

Can I make this in my slow cooker instead? Of course! I recommend following the same steps to make the sauce and add the onions and chicken to the slow cooker. Coat the chicken in the sauce, then set your slow cooker to cook on low for six to eight hours or on high for roughly four hours. In the last hour of cooking, mix in your cornstarch mixture and place the lid back on the slow cooker.

Can this recipe be made gluten free? Totally! To make this recipe gluten free, simply swap out low sodium soy sauce for coconut aminos, which are gluten free. Bourbon is considered gluten free because it has been distilled. All of the other ingredients used in the sauce should be gluten free, however I recommend double checking the bottles on your ingredients to be safe!

Can this be made a freezer meal? Yes this can! You could put your ingredients except the cornstarch mixture together and freeze the chicken in the sauce before cooking in the instant pot. Be sure to thaw the chicken and sauce before placing in the instant pot to cook. You could also cook the full recipe and freeze the completed meal and simply thaw and reheat later. Either way, the meal can be kept in the freezer in an airtight container for up to two months.

Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken in serving bowl

Other Recipes You Might Enjoy

Looking for other quick and easy weeknight recipes? Check these out!

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Easy Instant Pot Honey Bourbon Chicken

This easy instant pot honey bourbon chicken evokes memories of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It is also a quick and easy weeknight dinner!

Author:
Kirsten

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup white onion, diced (approx. 1 medium)
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • scallions and sesame seeds for serving

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of the instant pot, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, ketchup, bourbon, olive oil, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the diced onion. Add the chicken thighs and mix to ensure they are well coated in the sauce on both sides.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the instant pot natural release for 5 minutes and then flip the quick release tab.
  3. Once pressure has released, remove lid and remove chicken into a serving bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water. Turn the sauté setting on the instant pot and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Let it bubble and cook to reduce. Once the sauce is your desired thickness, turn the instant pot off and pour the sauce over the chicken. This makes lots of sauce so you may not need the full pot of sauce for this meal.

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