Easy Bourbon Chicken

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Easy Bourbon Chicken that’s crispy, sweet, sticky and tastes just like the kind you grew up eating at the mall!

Easy Bourbon Chicken that's crispy, sweet, sticky and tastes just like the kind you grew up eating at the mall!
 

Easy, Crispy Bourbon Chicken

Making this Crispy Bourbon Chicken actually makes me feel like a teenager. A teenager who was a rebel and once actually took Chinese food into the movie theater!

A quick apology to those people who had to watch Dude Where’s My Car in LA in the late 90’s in a Chinese food scented theater. 😉 My bad.

It was kind of the perfect movie to do that in though because the Chinese takeout drive thru scene still makes me belly laugh.

Back to the task at hand, Bourbon Chicken. This chicken is so deliciously sweet and sticky and has a deep bourbon flavor with hints of the apple juice. It’s good. Super good.

Bourbon Chicken. This chicken is so deliciously sweet and sticky and has a deep bourbon flavor with hints of the apple juice. It's good. Super good.

Is there bourbon in bourbon chicken? Yes! There absolutely is, but it cooks down in the sauce so much it just adds a certain unique flavor and won’t impair your driving. If you prefer to skip the bourbon, just double the apple juice.

Some tips to make this the best bourbon chicken ever:

  • I used chicken breast because my mall used to. If you want a more tender cut, use chicken thighs.
  • If you’d like a thicker coating dredge in the cornstarch, dip in a beaten egg then dredge in some flour and deep fry.
  • To make this more spicy double the crushed red pepper or swap the red pepper for Sriracha sauce.

Crockpot Bourbon Chicken Recipe:

To make in the crockpot, cook the chicken (use chicken thighs) as directed and add in half the amounts of the rest of the recipe sauce ingredients (they won’t be able to cook down in the slow cooker). Cook on low for 5 hours. Add in the last tablespoon of cornstarch then cook on high for 30 minutes.

Want more Chinese Food Recipes?

The best nostalgic Bourbon Chicken of your childhood! Crispy, sweet, sticky and full of apple juice and bourbon flavors.

Tools Used in the making of the Easy Bourbon Chicken:
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.
Large Frying Pan: I use this Cuisinart for most of my non cast iron cooking unless I am going with a stainless steel option, then I choose my All Clad.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.

Recipe

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Easy Bourbon Chicken

4.94 from 30 votes
  • Yield: 8 Servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder
Easy Bourbon Chicken that's crispy, sweet, sticky and tastes just like the kind you grew up eating at the mall!  

Ingredients

  • 5-6 skinless boneless chicken breasts - about 3 pounds
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup lite soy sauce lower sodium
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and in a large bowl toss it with 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil into your nonstick skillet on medium high heat and let it heat until adding the first piece of chicken sizzles.
  3. Add half the chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes without stirring.

  4. Turn the chicken pieces and cook and additional three minutes.

  5. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  6. Use the remaining oil to cook the second half of the chicken the same way.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan.
  8. Add in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds until you can just smell it.

  9. Add in the water, apple juice, bourbon, chicken broth, lite soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, onion powder, ground ginger and red pepper flakes.
  10. Bring to a boil then add back in the chicken.
  11. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half.

  12. Add the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch to a small glass with a tablespoon of water and stir.
  13. Add into the pan and stir.
  14. Cook until the sauce is thickened. Serve immediately.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Information

Yield: 8 Servings, Amount per serving: 208 calories, Calories: 208g, Carbohydrates: 8g, Protein: 15g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 67mg, Sodium: 1437mg, Potassium: 272mg, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 105g, Vitamin C: 1.8g, Calcium: 13g, Iron: 1.1g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Easy Bourbon Chicken
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Easy Bourbon Chicken that's crispy, sweet, sticky and tastes just like the kind you grew up eating at the mall!
Bourbon Chicken. This chicken is so deliciously sweet and sticky and has a deep bourbon flavor with hints of the apple juice. It's good. Super good.

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Comments

  1. I made this with boneless skinless chicken thighs and I followed the instructions to the T and it was delicious. I used Jim Bean bourbon

  2. Sabrina, my hat’s off to you!! This is amazing! Spot!! On!!

    I have searched for 2 decades. Yes, 20 years, for a bourbon chicken recipe that replicates the food court offering and none came close. Some were good, but not the genuine item.

    This IS brilliant, you nailed it! I used thigh meat because that’s what my restaurants used, and I just can not believe how good and correct this is!! The flavors are balanced and have “that flavor”. I stumbled on this recipe and site, possibly referenced at Allrecipes, but am I happy I did!!! I see the Orange Chicken, the Sesame chicken, the lemon chicken recipes, and bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making them as well!

    Thanks for selflessly sharing these and can’t wait to check out your other recipes, you definitely have “the right stuff”, bravo and thanks again!

    Kevin

    1. Aw, thank you so much and happy that you were able to find a recipe that brought back memories and the flavor of beloved dishes. Thanks for coming back and letting me know! Hope to hear how the other recipes turn out. 🙂

  3. For crockpot are you doing steps 1-7 or 8? before you put it in the crockpot? Or do you think you can put everything in as is? Let me now. Thanks.

  4. Could I sub half the brown sugar for coconut sugar? Or has anyone tried subbing all brown sugar for coconut OR maple syrup??

  5. So I made this for dinner and it was great. Trying to keep my carbs low I didn’t serve with rice and regret that. I did spice it up a bit and the flavor was amazing. I will definitely make it again only I will compliment it with some rice.

  6. This recipe is amazing and is actually as quick as it lists; I usually don’t prep as fast as recipes indicate. Since I don’t have bourbon in the house, I substitute with vanilla extract and it’s still delicious. Definitely a crowd pleaser in our house.

  7. Great recipe! I used whiskey instead of burboun since that’s what I had and it worked fine. Do NOT use regular soy sauce as it was saltaaay. Use low sodium as directed. And careful not to over cook that chicken or it’ll be tough. I wonder if you diced the chicken up if you couldn’t cook the chicken in the sauce and skip the whole “brown it in oil” step…