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Orange Bourbon Grilled Chicken

  • Author: Steve Peters
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


In this flavorful orange bourbon grilled chicken recipe, you toss chicken thighs in a well-balanced zesty, and boozy bbq sauce for an easy, finger licking meal.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha (or more, if you like things spicy)
  • zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs 


Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, paprika, and tomato paste to the pan and cook for another couple of minutes while stirring.

Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, orange juice and zest, broth, and bourbon. Simmer for about 30 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened up. If it gets too thick, add a splash or two more broth to thin it out.

While the sauce simmers, heat up your grill to a medium flame. Brush the chicken thighs in the remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the thighs until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. 

Remove the chicken thighs from the grill and add them to the pan of sauce. Coat the chicken in the sauce and simmer for about five minutes as you toss the chicken around in the pan.

Serve the chicken with the sauce, along with your favorite cornbread and a green salad.


For bone-in chicken thighs with skin, you'll want 3 to 3 1/2 pounds of meat.

If bourbon's not your thing, you can leave it out and still have a delicious sauce.

If you insist on using chicken breasts despite my rant, fine. Go ahead. Use an equal weight.

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Grilling
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken thighs, oranges, bbq sauce, bourbon, smoked paprika, brown sugar, tomato paste