Grilled Chicken or Pork with Bourbon-Brown Sugar Glaze




The heat and humidity we’re experiencing in the South right now is just stifling so I’m always looking at recipes I can prepare outside on the grill (instead of heating up the kitchen with the oven). This recipe can be prepared either way and it’s extremely easy. Simply put everything in a ziplock bag and toss in the fridge tonight, then cook tomorrow when you get home from work! What could be more “Southern” than meat glazed in bourbon??

This simple marinade becomes a tasty sauce and works well on chicken or pork tenderloin. The meat can either be roasted or grilled, your choice. Be sure to marinate at least 1 hour if using chicken or overnight if using pork to allow the marinade to penetrate into the meat.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR 2 1# pork tenderloins

1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup minced green onions

1/4 cup bourbon (I use something decent but not too expensive, like Evan Williams, Jim Beam, etc)

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp cornstarch

Trim fat from meat and place in a gallon size Ziplock bag. Combine brown sugar, onions, bourbon, soy sauce, mustard and pepper and pour into the Ziplock bag over your meat. Seal and let marinate at least 1 hour if using chicken, or at least 8 hours if using pork, turning bag occasionally. Remove meat from marinade but reserve the marinade to make your sauce/glaze.

Grill meat (chicken or pork tenderloins) until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion reads 165F (chicken) or 155F (pork), but try to not overcook. For ideal tenderness and a juicy product, don’t let the internal heat get above 180F or it will dry out.

To make the glaze, pour marinade into a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. Boiling for 1 minute will cook out the alcohol but keep all the flavors of the bourbon. In a small dish, combine cornstarch with 1/2 tsp water and blend. Pour cornstarch liquid into boiling sauce and boil until it thickens, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

At this point you can serve the meat with the sauce as a “gravy” or you can drizzle over meat and slide into a 400F oven for 5 minutes to become and sweet, tangy glaze.