Get ready for the food rush. Once you put these babies on the table, people will stop what they are doing to get one of these sweet, salty, buttery and deeply Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken Skewers.
Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken Skewers
There is a game of backyard cricket going on, I am not sure who is enjoying it more, the kids or their Dads. Actually I do know, it is the Mums. They are all sat on my back veranda with a glass of wine just enjoying the down time. I’m in the kitchen, but not for long. The sticky maple bourbon glaze is ready, bubbling, filling the kitchen with a sweet smoky aroma of maple and bourbon, an oh so enticing scent of brown sugar and wood fire.
The chicken is brined and ready for the grill. I place the chicken skewers on the outdoor grill, they sizzle instantly and the rich smell of smoke fills the air. They don’t take long, a few minutes a side as they develop dark char lines and a golden hue.
The sticky maple bourbon glaze is drizzled over and I can’t resist a sneak taste. I choose the smallest, no need to be greedy now, I have made plenty. The sauce is perfectly sticky, not too sweet with a hint of salt, the background taste is the subtle smoky bourbon. And the chicken is so juicy, this is soft tender chicken that melts into the sauce as you chew. These are chicken skewers I would be happy to eat everyday.
I can’t help but smile, the people I love, together on a Saturday afternoon, a few glasses of wine and some delicious food.
How to keep you maple bourbon chicken skewers juicy
When you cook chicken on the grill there is a danger of it drying out. Especially when you use chicken breasts or chicken tenders.
That is when a simple brine comes in. A simple brine is just a salty water bath for your meat. The salt starts to denature the proteins and some of the water gets absorbed into the meat. The science geek in me wants to explain more 😉 but I will run out of space and probably bore you all silly. But if you want to know…..let me know below 😉
So when you cook the meat over a high heat, it won’t dry out.
Genius!!! Plus you can flavor your brine with whatever you feel like. Today it is just a simple salt and brown sugar brine. But I have a wonderful more in-depth brine recipe here.
I like to skewer the chicken onto wooden skewers and then soak them in the brine. This means they are ready to go on the grill and also soaking the skewers means they are less likely to burn on the grill.
Tips for making the maple bourbon glaze
The glaze needs to be thick, you want it to stick to the chicken. The trick is to get it thick enough to stick, but not so thick that you end up chewing toffee!
I like to just bubble the maple syrup and bourbon together until it has the consistency of heavy cream. This way it will pour nicely.
If you find it is getting too thick then you can carefully add hot water. Only add a small amount of hot water otherwise you have the risk of the sauce crystallising.
p.s If you love food on skewers check out all my other amazing skewer recipes:
- Hot and Spicy Chicken Skewers
- Indian Spiced Chicken Skewers
- Super Tender Pepper Beef Skewers
- Cured Brown Sugar Salmon Skewers – Oh you just have to try these!!!!
Why not pin this recipe for these Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken Skewers for later. Pin it here
Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken Skewers
- 2 cups hot water
- 1/4 cup table salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup cold water
- 4 chicken breasts - skinless and boneless
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the maple bourbon sauce
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tbsp salted butter
- Fresh parsley or thyme
- Dissolve the table salt and sugar in the hot water. Once fully dissolved, add the ice and cold water, then transfer the brine to a shallow baking dish. (see note 1)
- Slice each chicken breast into 5 thin strips and thread each strip onto a wooden skewer.
- Set aside to brine for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- After the four hours, drain and pat the skewers dry.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and then grill over a medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes a side.
To make the maple bourbon sauce.
- Add the maple syrup, bourbon and butter to a small saucepan.
- Heat over a medium heat until bubbling and slightly thickened. (see note 2)
- The sauce will thicken as it stands.
- Use a baking dish long enough to fit your wooden skewers.
- The sauce should have the constancy of heavy cream.
Sticky Maple Bourbon Chicken Skewers Anecdote
(aka my recipe ramble for those who love the waffle)
I have to confess, I am think I might have a big bourbon problem!!!! I’m not kidding it is serious!
I am obsessed with using it in cooking! I just love the slightly smokey earthy flavour it gives your food. I have been using it in everything, from glazes, to marinades and to add a splash to a finishing sauce.
BUT, try having the bottle out at 9:30am…..that is a hard one to explain when Stew walks into the kitchen to make a coffee.
“oh yes, hi darling…..no I am not starting early….it’s for a recipe. Honest. Yes maple bourbon chicken…..you can have some for lunch….honest!”
Oh bourbon….you get me into trouble 😉 😉
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