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Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon Chicken – a quick and easy homemade chicken with a sweet, spicy, sticky and delicious sauce! Great for any night of the week!

Getting dinner on the table can get to be a bit much when schedules get busy. So a lot of people rely on take-out, but this Easy Bourbon Chicken is just as fast and so much better for you! Plus you can add whatever veggies you like.

You know I love making take-out at home, so much better for you and always so fast! Check out so many of my Asian Recipes for quick weeknight meals.

bourbon chicken in a bowl with rice and chopsticks

Why Is It Called Bourbon Chicken

There is a lot of debate as to why it is called this, and if it should include bourbon. One theory is it was it was invented on Bourbon Street in New Orleans at a Chinese style restaurant. And that is doesn’t have bourbon in the sauce. It is a sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce that is tossed with chicken and served over rice.

The other theory is that it is name bourbon chicken for the bourbon in the sauce. There really is not that much bourbon in the recipe, so it definitely cooks off. But if you don’t want to use it, or don’t have any, I will include substitutions for you.

bourbon chicken ingredients

What You’ll Need

  • Chicken – breast or thighs work great
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cornstarch
  • Oil
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Chicken Broth
  • Bourbon
  • Soy Sauce – I always use low sodium
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

I think this is best served over rice (white, brown or cauliflower, your choice) and topped with green onions and sesame seeds. You can also serve mix in veggies if you want to turn it into a full on stir-fry.

white bowl with bourbon chicken and rice

What To Use Instead Of Bourbon

Don’t have bourbon or don’t want to cook with alcohol? No problem! You can either use more soy sauce or if you want to mix up the flavor a little using hoisin sauce makes it extra delicious! Some recipe recommend apple juice, and yes it works, I just find it a little more sweet than I want, there is a fair amount of sugar in it already, so I like to use something savory.

How To Make Bourbon Chicken

  1. Star by tossing together the cut up chicken pieces with the cornstarch, salt and pepper. This helps get the chicken crispy and makes it stay super tender and juicy.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and brown chicken for 6-7 minutes, until it is crispy and golden on the outside, but not cooked all the way through. Remove it from the pan and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic, ginger, chicken broth, bourbon, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar until well blended.
  4. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium and pour in the sauce. Bring it to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes, until it starts to reduce and thicken.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and cook for 5-6 more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nice and thick with a rich brown color.
  6. Serve over rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds to serve.
bourbon chicken in a white bowl

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • You can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe. I usually use chicken breasts, just because that is what I have on hand. But both work really well and the cooking time doesn’t change.
  • Like it spicy? Add some heat to your sauce with Sriracha, chili flakes or a little bit of the spicy chili garlic sauce. Mix it in when you are mixing together the sauce and cook like the recipe directs.
  • Add veggies! You can mix in onions, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, bell peppers or even broccoli to make this a complete meal. Whatever you like works great.
  • Want crispy chicken like Chinese take out? Use store bought crispy chicken (tenders, nuggets, popcorn chicken etc). Just cook like the instructions on the package, and add to the sauce once it is cooked and thick.
  • Don’t have bourbon? Use soy sauce, hoisin sauce or some people even like apple juice in its place.
looking down on a white bowl with rice and bourbon chicken

What To Serve With Bourbon Chicken

I think this is best served over white rice. This Instant Pot Jasmine Rice is my favorite to make and just have ready when I am.

Storage

Don’t worry if you have leftovers, this makes for a great lunch the next day! Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Then just heat in the microwave to serve.

close up bourbon chicken for pinterest

More Easy Dinner Recipes

Yield: 5

Bourbon Chicken

cropped in image of bourbon chicken topped with sesame seeds

Bourbon Chicken - a quick and easy homemade chicken with a sweet, spicy, sticky and delicious sauce! Great for any night of the week!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken, cut into cubes (breasts or thighs)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, grated
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups white rice

Garnish

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Green Onions

Instructions

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper and toss with cornstarch until everything is well coated.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and brown chicken for 6-7 minutes, until it is crispy and golden on the outside, but not cooked all the way through. Remove it from the pan and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic, ginger, chicken broth, brown sugar, bourbon, soy sauce, and vinegar until well blended.
  4. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium and pour in the sauce. Bring it to a boil and cook for 7-8 minutes, until it starts to reduce and thicken.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pan and cook for 5-6 more minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nice and thick with a rich brown color.
  6. Serve over rice and top with green onions and sesame seeds to serve.

Nutrition Information

Yield

5

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 538Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 13gCholesterol 122mgSodium 768mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 1gSugar 18gProtein 44g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on dinnersdishesanddesserts.com should only be used as a general guideline.

Did you make this recipe?

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Catalina

Wednesday 7th of September 2022

One of my favorite chicken dish! I am so glad to make it at home now!

Beti | easyweeknightrecipes

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

I can't wait to try this! It sounds fantastic!!

katerina @ diethood.com

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

WOW! This sounds incredibly delicious! My family would love it!

Juliane

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

This is SO good! Excited to serve this on our table this coming family dinner!

Sandra

Monday 5th of September 2022

This recipe is my family's most requested dinner lately! Love it!

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