Ahhh Memorial Day weekend. The unofficial start of summer. Despite having such a horrendous winter, I feel like the summer really snuck up on us. But here we are, on the last day of school, staring summer right in the face. To the lazy mornings, afternoons spent at the pool, impromptu trips to the ice cream shop, and evenings playing outside: I welcome you with open arms! And to grilling dinner every night: I welcome you with open arms as well!
And to incorporating bourbon into dinner: Joey welcomes that with open arms! He is definitely a bourbon and scotch guy, so I knew this dinner would be a home run with him. Spoiler alert: it was.
It's also super easy and low-maintenance. You mix together super simple marinade, let it do it's thing for several hours, then grill it up. Thanks to the brown sugar and sugar from the bourbon, you get gorgeous grill marks, and amazing caramelization on the chicken. It's good stuff. If you want another punch of bourbon-brown sugar flavor (which, I'm sure you do), you can boil the marinade and thicken it it into a luscious sauce. For spooning over the chicken. Or for eating by the spoonful. I won't judge.
Don't like chicken? This would be fantastic with pork tenderloin, steak, or even salmon. Go wild!
Bourbon-Brown Sugar Grilled Chicken
adapted from Southern Living, All Fired Up
- 2 lbs boneless-skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup minced green onions, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- large pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Trim the chicken of any visible fat.
In a gallon-sized freezer bag, combine the brown sugar, green onions, bourbon, soy sauce, mustard, and peppers. Close the bag and shake to mix well. Season the chicken lightly with salt, and add to the bag with the marinade.
Seal the bag and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours, or up to overnight.
Preheat the grill to 350-400 degrees (medium-high heat). Reserve the marinade, and grill the chicken about 7 minutes per side, or until it registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the chicken from the grill, cover with foil, and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
As the chicken rests, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and whisk in the cornstarch. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Slice the chicken, drizzle the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with sliced green onions. Serve.