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Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy

Crispy Pecan Chicken topped with Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce and Bacon Crumbles. Chicken doesn’t get any better than this y’all.

Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying cooking from Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous which features recipes from “Favorite Southern Dives”. It’s like taking a road trip without leaving your kitchen. After having a huge winner with Chocolate Meringue Pie, I moved on to my second recipe from this book, Pecan Chicken in Woodford Reserve Maple Cream Sauce. It’s from Lynn’s Paradise Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cooking With Bourbon

I have been salivating over the picture for months. Any recipe with bourbon immediately catches my eye. Love the stuff. And how timely that my Pumpkin Pancakes with Bourbon Vanilla Maple Syrup were featured yesterday in Buzzfeed’s 23 Ways to Use Whiskey In Every Meal. Now I have a long list of Bourbon recipes to try including Chocolate, Whiskey, and Bacon Chili and Creamy Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Sauce

Make It Spicy

I changed the proportions of the ingredients up a little and added some cayenne pepper and the end result was one of my favorite meals that I’ve cooked. Ever.

Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy on a plate with mashed potatoes.

When it comes to telling you what I love about this dish I don’t know where to begin. Everything! I love everything about this.

I’ll start with the chicken. Coating a chicken breast in chopped pecans and pan frying it is one of my favorite ways to cook chicken. Pecans add such a wonderful buttery crunch. Just the chicken alone would make a delicious meal.

The Gravy. Oh, the gravy. I do so love you.

Finished chicken dish on a plate and bottle of bourbon.

The gravy is quite sweet. I added a little cayenne pepper to balance the sweetness some. Think chicken and waffles. Only no waffles. The gravy is out of this world. I mean, can you go wrong with heavy cream, maple syrup, bourbon, and bacon? I think not.

Serve with some mashed potatoes  and get a little bit of mashed potatoes, a small piece of chicken, and a whole lot of gravy for each bite. Heaven!

It’s a down-home meal made a little gourmet!

Type Of Bourbon To Use

You can use pretty much any bourbon for cooking. I typically use Maker’s Mark. Jim Beam and Four Roses are other good choices.

Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy on a plate with mashed potatoes.

How To Tell If Chicken Is Done

I recommend investing in an instant-read thermometer so there is no guess work. Chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. If you don’t have a thermometer, press down on the chicken. If it still has quite a bit of give and doesn’t feel fairly firm, it needs to cook longer. When you think it is done, cut into the thickest portion of a piece. The juices should run clear.

Recipe Tip

The sauce is definitely on the sweet side. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, reduce the maple syrup to 1/4 cup or less.

Pecan chicken covered in gravy and bacon.

More Amazing Chicken Recipes

Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy

Pecan coated chicken breasts topped with a sweet Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy and bacon. Serve with mashed potatoes for a delicious comfort food dinner.
PREP: 4 hours 10 minutes
COOK: 35 minutes
TOTAL: 4 hours 45 minutes


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy

  • 3 bacon slices
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole grain Creole mustard
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream


  • Prepare Pecan Chicken. Combine chicken and buttermilk in a large zip-top bag and place in refrigerator for 4-6 hours.
  • Pour 1 inch of Vegetable oil in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees.
  • Place pecans in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Place in a pie plate and combine with flour and 2 teaspoons salt.
  • Remove chicken from buttermilk and discard buttermilk. Dredge chicken in pecan-flour mixture, turning to coat both sides well.
  • Fry in oil 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Place on wire rack to drain off oil. Keep warm.
  • Prepare Maple Bourbon Gravy. Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until crispy. Place bacon on paper towels. And crumble once cooled.
  • Add shallots to bacon drippings and sauté over medium heat for 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.
  • Whisk in maple syrup, Creole mustard, bourbon, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  • Cook and stir for 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently for 5 to 8 minutes, or until thickened. If too thick, thin with a little milk.
  • To serve, top chicken with gravy and sprinkle with bacon crumbs.


The gravy is fairly sweet. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you probably want to reduce the maple syrup to 1/4 cup of even less.
Nutritional info is provided as an estimate only and can vary based on brands of products used and measuring techniques.


Calories: 915kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 58g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 1962mg | Potassium: 819mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1500IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 194mg | Iron: 3mg
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dinner, Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: bourbon, fried chicken

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Originally published March 28, 2014.

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24 thoughts on “Pecan Chicken in Bourbon Maple Cream Gravy”

  1. This is a winner in our book!! My husband ate every bite and was looking for more! I did cut the maple syrup down to 1/4 cup as the note suggested, and it was divine. My chicken breasts were quite thick, so I had to put them in the oven for a few minutes before I put the sauce on and served, just to make sure they were done, but outstanding!! Love the spice.

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