Kentucky Derby Bourbon Chicken Skewers

May 1st is Derby day!

Are you ready to kick off the outdoor party season?  The Kentucky derby is a great way to start the season off right.  Invite a few friends over and set the TV outside for a fantastic party event. Even if your backyard isn’t very large, you can still create a special setting for your guests on your patio or deck. Just invite as many people as you can comfortably accommodate in your space. If you do decide to host your party outside, just have a contingency plan for moving everything indoors if it decides to rain.   Set the dress code and do not forget the hats.   Have some fun with a pre-race hat contest for the best-looking hat.

You want to create a wonderful experience for your guests, so as you are putting everything together, think about appealing to all the senses. Sight. Smell. Sounds. Decorate with a few roses and mint sprigs and set up a betting table for a little friendly gambling fun.

The best appetizer to pass around while you and your friends watch the race is this yummy bourbon inspired chicken skewers.    Add a Mint Julep and you are off to the races!


  • 1 pound boneless (skinless chicken (thighs or breast))
  • 6–8 wooden skewers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup bourbon


  1. Cut the chicken into long strips, then skewer. Set aside.
  2. Combine the rest of ingredients in a bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the sauce to a large, wide saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat.
  4. Add the skewers and turn in the sauce to coat.
  5. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Turn occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning.
  6. Remove the chicken skewers from the pan and set aside. Spoon any remaining sauce into a bowl to be used as a dipping sauce on the skewers.

Party Checklist:

  • Create and send invitations
  • Purchase decorations (plates, napkins, cups, mint julep cups, race cards)
  • Order food (or prepare from scratch if you are ambitious!)
  • Make simple syrup for mint juleps
  • Make desserts
  • Print out odds sheet for guests to choose their winning horse
  • Set up tables and chairs, decorate the tables
  • Chill drinks and make mint juleps
  • Tie some balloons to your mailbox to let your guests know where the party is!
  • Change into your Derby finery, don’t forget the hat
  • Welcome your guests and have a fabulously fun day!

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