Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken

Between the Three Bean Chili I made the other day and this Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken, I can already tell that my slow cooker is going to get a work out this winter. I’m not sure why it’s taken me this long to fall in love with it – it’s so easy and I love having dinner ready and waiting for me when I get home at night.

To make this recipe even easier, you can throw all of the ingredients together in a tupperware container the night before you want to eat it. That way, it only takes about 30 seconds to set up in the morning before work.

While you can always use your favorite prepared barbecue sauce to make pulled chicken, I love to make my own. I typically use a base of ketchup, tomato paste, and molasses and then add whatever additional flavors I’m in the mood for. This time, I based my sauce on the “Whiskey Barrel” wing sauce served at the sports bar around the corner from my house. While my version of the sauce isn’t an exact replica of theirs, it’s delicious in its own right. The long, slow cooking process gives it slightly sweet, caramelized flavor but without the stickiness that is the one downside of the restaurant wings. It’s rich and complex, with a subtly spicy tang to it.

Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken
Prep time
Total time
Low fat chicken breasts sop up every morsel of the honey-bourbon sauce that they're cooked in, pulling in tons of moisture and flavor that rivals some of my favorite barbecue restaurants. In fact, it was so flavorful that I kept forgetting it wasn't pork! If you don't have a slow cooker, this recipe can also be made in a dutch oven or similar oven safe pot with a lid. Simply combine all of the ingredients in the pot and bake at 350 for 2 hours, or until the chicken falls into shreds when you press on it gently with a wooden spoon.
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup Ketchup
  • ¼ small Onion, minced
  • ¼ cup Bourbon
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, smashed
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 2 (approx. 1 lb.) boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 teaspoon Butter
  • 4 Sandwich Rolls, preferably whole wheat
  • Pickle Slices for serving (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in your slow cooker. Mix well. Add the chicken breasts, turning so they are coated with the sauce.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Use the back of a wooden spoon to gently shred the chicken. Stir so that they shredded chicken is evenly coated with the sauce. Set slow cooker to warm and let chicken stand for 15 minutes to soak up the sauce.
  3. While the  chicken is resting, melt the butter in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add the sandwich rolls, cut side down, and cook until lightly toasted – about 3 minutes.
  4. Serve the pulled chicken on the toasted rolls. Top with pickle slices, if desired.



  1. My slow cooker definitely has not gotten enough use lately…so sad since I typically have NO time to cook when I get home from lab! Love the sound of that barbecue sauce…I need to add it to my repertoire!

  2. Hey Lauren, your Pulled Sandwich is a Recipe Guessing Game on Knapkins. Think your friends can win? http://knapkins.com/guess_games/817?source=blog

  3. I really need to pull my crockpot from the back of the cupboard.

  4. This dish looks great. I love my slow cooker especially on busy nights. I love great tasting sammie meat. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Another slightly different sauce recipe:

    12 oz Dijon mustard
    12 oz sugar-free apricot preserves

    Put 2 lbs chicken breasts (boneless/skinless) in slow cooker. Add mustard and preserves. Cook until it falls apart. MMM – Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce.

  6. Lauren! a) beautiful photos, love the light. b) I have to make this soon. I’m always on the hunt for a fabulous pulled pork recipe and the fact that this has bourbon puts me over the edge!

  7. I made this for dinner tonight and my family inhaled it. This one’s a keeper. Thanks for sharing!

  8. I can tell that my slow cooker is going to get a lot of use this winter too… starting with this delicious chicken!

  9. I’ve tried two pulled chicken crockpot sandwiches recently and loved them both…but this is next on my list, it sounds SO good!

  10. This sounds so gorgeous, I can’t wait to try it! So often I look at pulled pork/beef/chicken recipes and am disappointed to see ‘one bottle bbq sauce’ in the ingredients list – it seems such a copout! Will definitely give this a go, maybe using thighs instead of breasts as they’re a bit juicier?

  11. this almost makes me want to get a slow cooker, but my kitchen space is too limited ;(
    The sandwich looks divine! I’d want some sweet potato fries and pickles with it. Thank you!

  12. In the slow cooker as I’m writing this. I CANNOT wait to try it when I wake up!

  13. You take really good photos. They look professional. I like the light blue tint of plate and bowl.

  14. TY for inspiring me to use my crock pot again! The sauce recipe sounds absolutely scrumptious & tangy. I’ll bet it’s fab on pork also.

  15. This looks delicious!! Definitely going to get added to my list of crockpot meals to make in the near future!!!


  1. [...] on Sunday I made this phenomenal recipe for honey bourbon pulled chicken (I don’t eat pork so I was trilled to find a recipe for [...]

  2. [...] made it today and says that it's amazing! The only change she suggests is to double the sauce. Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken | Healthy. Delicious. I'm going to pick up some bourbon and try it next week. I've already got the rest of the [...]

  3. [...] *Recipe adapted from Healthy Delicious. [...]

  4. [...] Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken via Healthy Delicious [...]

  5. [...] Honey-Bourbon Pulled Chicken from Healthy Delicious [...]

  6. [...] Pulled Chicken Makes… a lot!  Enough to feed 10 adults Originally posted and adapted form here 2 1/2 cups ketchup 1/2 small Onion, minced 3/4 cup Bourbon 4 Tablespoons Honey 4 Tablespoon Apple [...]

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