Perfect Summertime Food – Smoked Bourbon chicken, with a Serious Foodie twist.  Warning – this is not that overly sweet mall version of bourbon chicken.  This is smokey, pumped up flavored bird that takes minutes to prepare.

Start with the basics:  dry rub marinate a whole chicken, or pieces (thighs are always the best).  This one small step for mankind makes the difference between average roasted chicken and amazing, lick-your-plate-clean chicken.

For this recipe, we are using our Traeger Pro 575, with applewood pellets.  We found that 225 F is best to get a nice smokey flavor without being overwhelming.  If you like more smoke, we suggested using pellet smoke tube to augment the flavor.

For the rub, we’re using the Serious Foodie Kentucky Bourbon Rub.

TGIGS (thank God it’s grill season)!

Smoked Bourbon Chicken

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people


Chicken Prep

  • 1 whole chicken 4-5 pounds. Alternatively, use 2 thighs per person
  • 1 jar Serious Foodie Kentucky Bourbon Spice Rub

Sauce Prep

  • 2 medium juice from 1/4 lemon minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons Serious Foodie Kentucky Bourbon Spice Rub


Prepare Chicken

  • Pat the chicken dry, then carefully make pockets under the skin with a paring or butcher's knife.
  • Generously apply the dry rub to the inside, outside, and under the skin of the chicken. Tightly wrap the chicken with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight.
  • Set your grill temperature to 225 F. Place the chicken on the well-oiled grill after the cloudy smoke has gone. Put in the temperature probe to the deepest part of the chicken breast - and let it go until the internal temperature reaches 160 F. Take the chicken off the grill, and let rest for 15-20 minutes

Sauce preparation

  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, add the oil, and put on medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger.
  • After the ginger/garlic oil begins to simmer, add the bourbon. Reduce by one half, then add the chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar. Cook for 2 minutes, put on low, slowly add the corn starch while whisking. Once the sauce has thickened, whisk in 2 tablespoons Kentucky Bourbon spice blend.

Finishing Up/Serving Up

  • Once the chicken is cooked and rested, place it under a broiler for about 10 minutes to crisp up the skin. If you like, you can brush the chicken with the sauce before placing under the broiler to get a sweet, crispy skin.
  • Slice up the chicken, and serve with a side of sauce and some lemon wedges. Garnish with chives or chopped scallion.
  • Another way to serve this dish is to remove the chicken from the bones, and shred it while adding about 1 cup of sauce. Makes for great sandwiches.


Check out our line up of amazing spice rubs HERE, and especially our most popular Kentucky Bourbon Rub.
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