Remember when things were simple?

When all you cared about was reading the latest Bop magazine and obsessing about boys who shopped at Structure while memorizing the latest dance to Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” instead of aging 10 years and responsibly accidentally on purpose forgetting to pay bills so you could buy something significantly important like a doughnut pan?

…. no? Okay.

[Oh, but wait: if you’re a girl or a boy and you also obsessed over boys who shopped at Structure, please be my best friend and take me shopping because seriously??? You clearly know your 1990s fashion and girl.needs.hellllp.]

And remember when you could roast a plain old chicken breast and it be the best tasting thing ever, until you had some girl who thinks she knows how to cook tell you to add bourbon to that chicken on the internet?

I do think I know everything, huh?

And! I’ll only force sage down your throat one more time this week. Promise. Or not.

Back in those Bop-reading, Structure-boy-wearing obsession days, I curiously stole a sip of my mom’s bourbon and ginger ale and decided that it literally tasted like rainbows. Why rainbows? I have no idea. It’s not like I’d ever tasted a rainbow. In fact, that really sounds like something my mom would have said back in the 70s after some questionable behavior, so maybe the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But either way… I pretty much love it.

For the record, you don’t have to be a bourbon lover to enjoy this dish. If you were forever ruined on bourbon that one memorable [or let’s be honest, unmemorable] night in college, I’m guessing you can still hang here. Mr. How Sweet nearly had a conniption last spring when I forced him to taste my crispy bourbon glazed salmon, but he was more than pleasantly surprised after that bite and now requests it every few weeks. I love when I’m [always] right.

Roasted Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Breasts

[glaze from my bourbon-glazed salmon]

serves 4-6

4 large, bone-in split chicken breasts (mine totaled 4.8lbs)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups bourbon

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ground mustard

sage, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the bourbon, sugar, mustard, garlic, honey, vinegar and worcestershire in a small saucepan and whisk. Heat over high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture reduces by about half. Set aside and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the chicken. The glaze will thicken a bit at this time.

In a bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season chicken breasts on both sides with mixture, then place skin-side down in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown, then flip and repeat on the other side. When finished, add chicken to an oven-safe baking dish. Pour half of the glaze overtop of chicken, add sage leaves on top if desired, then roast for 30 minutes. Half way through cooking, brush chicken with a bit more glaze.

When chicken is finished, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional glaze for topping.

I’ll tell you about those extraordinary potato slash fry things sometime later. Tomorrow we’re gonna talk about the 90s again.

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109 Responses to “Roasted Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Breasts.”

  1. #
    amyt @ Chicken Nugget Momma — October 19, 2011 @ 11:45 am

    Looks so delish!! I so thought those were carrots for some reason…think maybe I’m craving the orange – I make a carrot dish, in which you cook them in ginger ale – MMMMM. I <3 the 90's….loved some Paula :-) Those were the days…..I can think back – I remember having one of those big watch clocks on my wall….oh I thought I was the coolest – listening to my Paula cassette. I had some flash backs – my hubby got the the just dance for the connect – oh Paula – "Straight Up" yes indeed I kicked some butt!!!!


  2. #
    Erica — October 19, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    Amazingly delicious! I want it with a huge scoop of those brussels. OH Bop! I got so excited to see JTT. I thought he was the hotness


    • Heather — October 24th, 2011 @ 12:04 pm

      OMG loved him! His face papers my bedroom walls:)


  3. #
    Maia — October 19, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

    Bookmarked this one – perfect for the demands of both my hubby’s diet (we’ll just neglect to mention how much sugar there is) and my silently-suffering tastebuds!


  4. #
    Melissa — October 19, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

    I love that you, too, were obsessed with guys who shopped at Structure. I want to let you know that I was all about rocking my Doc Martens and colored leather jacket (2 colors: blue & green) while I lingered outside of Structure. Hotness.


  5. #
    Lisa @ Life in Green — October 19, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

    Just yesterday I heard some remake song of Paula’s ‘Straight Up’ song. I wanted so badly to pull out that album and dance and sing my little heart out. I loved the music video. But loved the video for ‘Opposites Attract’ more…the one with the cartoon cat.

    Those def were the the simple days – if only I could stay in my bedroom for hours and hours just jamming out. Now I jam out at home, but always while doing something like cleaning, working , cooking, etc.

    p.s. chicken looks good :)


  6. #
    Sara @ Sara Says.. Bake. — October 19, 2011 @ 12:47 pm

    I’ll have to try this. We love chicken in this house! And your pictures of brussel sprouts makes me allllmost want to try them.


  7. #
    Adele — October 19, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    BAHAHAHAHAHA STRUCTURE!!!! I almost forgot about Structure! Thank you so much for bringing that up. HAHA pretty much the highlight of my day so far.

    And oh yeah, the food – the food looks and sounds amazing as usual ;)


  8. #
    WenDee Riffe — October 19, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    wow–your food pics are getting sooo great!!! beautiful–not that they were not efore but they just keep getting better and better!! love the recipe-putting in the menu plan for next week–thanks and keep em’ coming!!


  9. #
    Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — October 19, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    This looks so delicious. I made your bourbon glazed salmon a few months ago, and was actually JUST thinking yesterday that I need to make it again. It was so amazing. Now I have a dilemma. Do I make it again with salmon, or do chicken? Decisions, decisions.


    • Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen — October 19th, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

      Oh, and P.S.

      My neighbor growing up was a handsome blonde boy who shopped exclusively at Structure. I’m pretty sure I pined over that kid for the majority of 6th and 7th grade.

      Boys who shopped at Structure didn’t like flat chested, braces wearing, frizzy haired 12 year olds who shop at JCPenney. So sad. Haha…


  10. #
    Esther — October 19, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    Look at all those vegetables! Who are you?



  11. #
    Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef — October 19, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    sounds delicious!! i need some simple in my life.


  12. #
    Emelia — October 19, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    I absolutely cannot go a day without reading your blog. I don’t know how you do it! PLEASE share your secrets to photography. I am a new blogger and cannot seem to make my food look as tasty (in pictures) as yours does. PS – now my mom is hooked and requests we make every meal you post…..but we can’t all be this motivated.


    • Jessica — October 19th, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

      Thank you Emelia! Haha, I don’t have any secrets – I don’t even like photography! The best tip I can give you is to only photograph in natural light. And if you don’t have a DSLR, use the macro (little flower) setting on your camera!


      • Emelia — October 20th, 2011 @ 7:55 am

        Wonderful, thanks so much! And yes, I could not agree more about the photography bit. Who knew food blogging also required spending absurd amounts of time taking pictures of every single ingredient!?

  13. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — October 19, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

    Crispy sage really is one of the best things out there! No complaints here… :)


  14. #
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest — October 19, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    Those Brussels sprouts are calling my name! So is the chicken…


  15. #
    betty — October 19, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

    that is a complete and healthy and delicious meal!


  16. #
    Maureen — October 19, 2011 @ 10:15 pm

    Oh, I loved all the boys who shopped at Structure. Does anyone remember Wet Seal? I loves shopping there!
    This chicken sounds amazing…I may even have to steal the sides. Love me some brussel sprouts!


  17. #
    Emmy (Wine and Butter) — October 20, 2011 @ 2:05 am

    Ha – I was just scrolling through your comments and see there is another Emelia who recently became obsessed with your site… so probably this comment is going to get lost in cyberspace – how many Emilia fans can you keep up with :)?! Really I just wanted to say Ive just properly discovered your site and I am loving just trawling through the archives like a weirdo, picking out everything I want to eat! And I have to say my husband is LOVING my new obsession and when I say things like ‘maybe some weekend we should try lobster mac and cheese, he looks like Ive just said ‘I think I’ll only start cooking in heels and my underwear’. :) – I made your cream cheese frosted cupcakes ages ago and I think all your recipes will go down a treat!!!


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 8:08 am

      Thanks so much Emmy!


  18. #
    Happy When Not Hungry — October 20, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    My hubby loves his bourbon, so I def need to make this for him. Beautiful dish!


  19. #
    Sandra — October 20, 2011 @ 8:53 am

    You nailed this Jessica. On second tbought you nail all of your recipes. Gorgeous presentation!


  20. #
    Elise — October 20, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    Seriously- you make my day everyday. I come into my boring office job, read your blog, and laugh hysterically. It’s amazing. Keep up the amazing work, I don’t know how I would make it past 9am in my office without you!


    • Jessica — October 20th, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      Thank you for reading Elise!!


  21. #
    Julie — October 20, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    I always read your blog but not sure why I never comment, especially considering you are a fellow ‘burgher! Anyways, the Structure reference brought me out of silence. My high school boyfriend shopped at Structure, wore Curve cologne, and took me to Chili’s for dinner every Friday. Swoon.


  22. #
    Karyl — October 20, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    ‘Looks delicious! Have you tried the glaze with a whole roasted chicken?


  23. #
    Melanie — October 21, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    that reads, FALL!! like totally!! I can almost smell it…(sniff, sniff)


  24. #
    CouponClippingCook — October 22, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    Wow, this must have smelled so good cooking. Love the idea of a bourbon glaze on this chicken. Sounds really good too with salmon.


  25. #
    amy — October 24, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    This was FABULOUS! Feeling a bit guilty about the sugar (I usually take my sugar during dessert and I wouldn’t want to expend my allocation during dinner) so next time I am going to try using more honey? What do you think?


    • Jessica — October 24th, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

      I think taste-wise is would be okay… but I don’t think the glaze would thicken up as much. In fact, for the amount of honey you’d have to use to make it thick, it may work out to be the same in brown sugar. You know?


      • amy — October 25th, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

        Gotcha… I am going to try it tonight with less honey and brown sugar and maybe use some flour to thicken a little. I absolutely love it and could eat it everyday, but can’t eat all that sugar… I will let you know how it turns out!

  26. #
    Aubrianne — October 25, 2011 @ 11:46 am

    Is there a way to make this dish that will still taste yummy without using alcohol?


    • Julie — November 9th, 2011 @ 11:30 pm

      I made a salmon with brown glaze tonight that was pretty similar. I have been wanting to make a bourbon glaze since I saw this post. I just did balsamic, olive oil, worchestire, brown sugar, honey, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Heated a
      nd reduced by half while stiring. It was really good! Thank you for the idea Jessica!


  27. #
    megan — October 27, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    this was soooooo good. tip: while making the glaze do not put your nose in the pot and smell. silly bourbon… it singes! but that did not take away from the delight!


  28. #
    Stephanie — November 15, 2011 @ 10:24 am

    I made this and now my boyfriend wants me to put it on the turkey for Thanksgiving.


  29. #
    Katie — August 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    This looks so delicious, but I’m wondering what the benefit is of using bone-in chicken breasts. My local Trader Joe’s just doesn’t have them…would it be okay with boned chicken breasts?


  30. #
    Melanie — October 12, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

    That chicken sounds and looks amazing! However, waiting for “sometime later” to know what you did with the sweet potatoes isn’t something I want to do. I love, love, love sweet potatoes – won’t you just pass that one along as well?? They look so good together. I’d hate to have to make something else with the chicken!!


  31. #
    Curtis Dibari — May 21, 2013 @ 5:53 am

    Most JCPenney stores are located in suburban shopping malls. Before 1966, most of its stores were located in downtown areas. As shopping malls became more popular in the latter half of the 20th century, JCPenney followed the trend by relocating and developing stores to anchor the malls. In more recent years, the chain has continued to follow consumer traffic, echoing the retailing trend of opening some standalone stores, including some next door to competitors. Certain stores are located in power centers. The company has been an Internet retailer since 1998.^-:,

    My favorite online site


  32. #
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm — July 29, 2013 @ 11:08 am

    This is AWESOME, I need to try this one!


  33. #
    Sheila — October 31, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

    This was amazing! I made this tonight using whole leg portions of chicken, skin on. I cut the sauce recipe in 1/2 because I only had 2. Because my husband is not fond of overly sweet meats, I cut the brown sugar in half. The best part: the gooey caramel left over at the bottom of my roasting pan. I must admit, I could not stop eating it!

    Turned out great! Looking forward to trying another one of your recipes very soon. You’re wonderful!



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