Easy Bourbon Chicken

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.

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Easy Bourbon Chicken

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


  • 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


  • Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces and in a large bowl toss it with 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  • 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.
  • Add half the chicken pieces and cook for 3 minutes without stirring.
  • Turn the chicken pieces and cook and additional three minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Use the remaining oil to cook the second half of the chicken the same way.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan.
  • Add in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds until you can just smell it.
  • 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.
  • Bring to a boil then add back in the chicken.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half.
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of cornstarch to a small glass with a tablespoon of water and stir.
  • Add into the pan and stir.
  • Cook until the sauce is thickened. Serve immediately.



Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 1437mg | Potassium: 272mg | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1.1mg
Keyword: Easy Bourbon Chicken
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.

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This was amazing. 1000% better than any Chinese store/restaurant I’ve ever been too. Thank you for sharing. It was so simple and delicious ?

  2. Thanks! We are powering through all the meat in our freezer as we prepare for a move. Your recipes help me change it up so we don’t get burn out. Look fwd to your emails everyday!

  3. Made this for dinner & it’s a keeper ! I followed the recipe exactly,except I did not have lite soy sauce & used regular soy sauce. Next time I will reduce the amount that I use as it was almost too salty but not bad. Also will reduce the sugar as it is pretty sweet. My 5 yr. old grandson loves it & called it “Sugar chicken” ! Next time I will also add some peppers, Broccoli, & onion. The only reason I gave it 4 stars was it was a bit too sweet for our tastes . It is better than some that I have ordered or had on buffets.

    1. Thank you for the high praise and I totally get things being too sweet. Everyone’s palette is so unique.

  4. I’ve never had bourbon chicken at the mall however I will look for it the next time I’m there. I made this the other night and it was fantastic! We loved it! The only change I made was I used Wondra because we were out of cornstarch. We will be making this again and again!! Thank you for this recipe!

  5. I’m confused by steps 10-15.

    Bring to a boil then add back in the chicken.
    Cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half.

    Are you supposed to keep it at a boil the entire time? I did and my sauce never thickened. Was this supposed to be a simmer after you add the chicken?

    1. A couple of questions come to mind. Did you toss the chicken 2 T of cornstarch along with the other ingredients? That would thicken the sauce with the 1 remaining Tbsp of Cornstarch when the recipe has been completed. Did the sauce reduce to about half? I’m sorry the recipe was a disappointment.

  6. This was so good . The reason I gave only 4 stars is it was so sweet.
    Should I cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup??

  7. Wow! Made exactly as is but less chicken which is okay because now I have leftover sauce for another batch! Better than takeout!!! Thank you for sharing!!!

  8. The flavor was good but the recipe as is makes way too much sauce, it’s basically drowning in it. Next time I will cut it in half.

    1. I, on the other hand, found the sauce just barely enough, even though I used less chicken. Maybe you didn’t reduce it enough?

    2. Here too. I had so much liquid that I was afraid the chicken would spill over. Had to mulk it down quite a lot with more cornstarch.

  9. Awesome taste! Used Jim Beam Extra Aged Bourbon plus fresh ginger. Also used a lot more corn starch to coat the chicken and therefore didn’t have to add any to thicken the sauce

  10. I normally don’t leave reviews but this was AMAZING. I made it last night for a dinner party and every single bite was eaten, the guests ended up debating who’d get the last few pieces and almost licked the sauce off of the pan. The only alteration I made was that I used 9 cloves of garlic instead of 2, but I always do that lol. Will definitely be making this again, perhaps next time I will coat the chicken with more cornstarch and an egg, to get crispier chicken bits. Absolutely amazing recipe, thank you so much. I will definitely be cooking more recipes from this site, my next one will be the Korean fried chicken and I’m already looking forward to eating and making it.

  11. I made this recipe with everything except the Burbon. Even though I was nervous it wouldn’t taste quite right, I had nothing to worry about, it is AMAZING! And my whole family agrees!
    I followed the recipe except added a little bit more of everything it called for, and then right at the end, added fresh green beans and about 2 cups of mixed sweet peppers. And then served over top of rice! Voila, amazing! This is being added to my personal recipe book as I type, lol. Thank you so very much for the recipe, I will be making it often!!

    p.s. I also used 7 large pieces of chicken breast and it was perfect liquid to meat ratio:)

    1. Yes, tomato ketchup. The red thin condiment you can buy at any grocery store, and they serve it at fast food places.

  12. Best Bourbon Chicken I’ve ever had . Hands Down . I’ve had it at a few restaurants and have always liked it . But this recipe blows those Restaurants recipes away . Very Very Good . I wish I was not so full . I’d eat the whole pan .

  13. I made this dish and followed the recipe completely except I omitted the bourbon. I found it not to be very tasty – it was just mainly sweet with a strong vinegar taste. It didn’t taste like the take-out place I go to. The deep richness was missing, it was just mainly a sweet taste. You couldn’t taste the chicken at all. I don’t know what was wrong but something is missing from this recipe.

    1. This can’t be a serious comment. You’re wondering what’s missing when you omitted the bourbon in a recipe titled “Bourbon Chicken”???

    2. “I omitted the bourbon.” and “I don’t know what’s wrong, but something is missing from this recipe.”


      Your brain must be as smooth as glass.

  14. Great recipe! We loved the chicken and especially the sauce. I make this exactly as written and it was perfect. Thank you!

  15. As a pro chef for many years I’ve been searching for the perfect bourbon chicken recipe and this unfortunately was not it, the frying than putting the chicken back in to simmer in the sauce made it a gross soppy fried chicken texture and was super acidicc and salty but the only thing to save this dish was the rice because it balanced our the harsh overwhelming flavors but overall edible and mall food quality

  16. Making this tonight. Discovered this recipe 10 years back or so and shared it with a friend. Both of us still cook it for our partners. The only tweak I make is to use pineapple chunks and use the pineapple juice. Partner and kid request more and more sauce.

  17. Disclaimer: I suck at giving reviews: good or bad, sorry :(.
    In truth though, I have NOT been disappointed in any of the recipes I’ve gotten from you.
    Made this last week and got RAVE reviews, thank you. The sauce is so delicious and easy to make….I’ll definitely be making it again.

  18. Many recipes like this thow ingredients together in a meaningless way and miss the importance of deglazing the pan which loosens all those tasty bits at the bottom before adding the sticky stuff.

  19. The family loved this. They wanted more after it was all gone. Sauce was a little to sweet for me so next time I’ll decrease the brown sugar or add a little more chicken stock. Great recipe. This recipe will definitely be added to my recipe book.

  20. Three star Michelin recipe! This is the best Bourbon Chicken ever! Even though it took me a little longer on my cook time I won’t fuss, it was well worth the wait. I mixed all my wet ingredients up early afternoon, made it a whole lot easier to prepare. Fry chicken, sizzle the garlic, add the sauce, then the chicken, after 15 minutes I added the wet cornstarch and in two minutes it was ready! I did make one switch, I had fresh ginger root so I used it instead of the powder, otherwise it was cooked to given quantities and directions. I cooked this last night, this morning at breakfast my family wanted to know when I was going to make it again…!!! It was a hit with everyone…. Will be trying more and more of Sabrina’s recipes….if I can break the addiction my family has to the Bourbon Chicken!

  21. This is truly the best Bourbon chicken recipe we have ever made! Only thing we changed was taking the ketchup out, since its not a flavor we like. Other than that, this recipe was perfect as is and great over rice. Definitely part of our recipe book. Thank you!!

    1. I loathe ketchup, so I don’t keep it. I replaced it with tomato paste, some extra cider vinegar, and bit more sugar.

  22. Sauce was delicious, spot on. I did use chicken breasts but next time I’m going to try thighs for that more authentic tender texture of bourbon chicken. Didn’t change a thing and everything came out perfect IMO.

  23. This was absolutely delicious! The family highly enjoyed it and requested I make it often. Thank you for the recipe. It’s delicious!!

  24. Recipe was awesome, I used Rum instead of bourbon(that’s all I had). It smelled so good with the garlic and used flour instead of cornstarch

      1. Because it has too many different notes of sugar. Like she used apple juice, ketchup and then packs on one CUP….ONE CUP of light brown sugar.

        Sauce was much too sweet for me to call it bourbon although it is okay to eat.

      2. This was so good . The reason I gave only 4 stars is it was so sweet.
        Should I cut back the sugar to 1/2 cup??

  25. This recipe crushed it! Delicious! I wonder if you take the chicken out after and pan fry it a little more if it would get a little more crispier than added back to the sauce. Either way, as an American born Chinese who grew up with traditional Chinese food almost every night, this was awesome!!

  26. We enjoy this but cannot get it to look like yours. It’s light and TONS of sauce. What am I doing wrong?!

    1. I have not tried this particular recipe, but when I make bourbon chicken I let the sauce bubble and reduce down for 10-15min until it gets dark and thick. This recipe has a lot of liquid, maybe reduce the liquid quantities by just a smidge and let it reduce.

  27. Authentic Bourbon chicken does NOT have Bourbon in it. The Bourbon comes from Bourbon Street, where the recipe was invented.

  28. This was very good and a big hit in the house. I love how much sauce it makes. It’s perfect..and just a little spice.

  29. Nope. Decent recipe but not bourbon chicken at all. Taters and smells more like bbq and not salty like other statements but super sweet

  30. Love this recipe!!!

    When I was a teenager I would get a bourbon chicken salad at the mall! This was spot on.

    We let it cool down some and served over romaine with some corn, tomatoes, cheese, cucumber and ranch! The way it all mixes together is amazing! I’ve made it another time and served over rice.

  31. Love Love this recipe and I don’t have bourbon. Made it for my and family and it’s a keeper.
    Thank you
    Love to try more of your recipes.

  32. Tried it, really good. Question, what do the Chinese places in the mall food courts use instead of bourbon? I’m sure they don’t use bourbon but I can’t find an answer to that question. Thanks in advance.

  33. skipped the red pepper flakes, not a fan of those, and went with thighs as I prefer dark vs breast meat – fantastic! Put the chicken on a bed of jasmine (& garlic) rice, and it was outstanding!

    Saw another comment that the result wasn’t particularly crispy, and I guess I agree that mine wasn’t either, but really it is all about the flavor and this is absolutely amazing!

    Just edited to add my rating – hope it posts!

  34. skipped the red pepper flakes, not a fan of those, and went with thighs as I prefer dark vs breast meat – fantastic! Put the chicken on a bed of jasmine (& garlic) rice, and it was outstanding!

    Saw another comment that the result wasn’t particularly crispy, and I guess I agree that mine wasn’t either, but really it is all about the flavor and this is absolutely amazing!

  35. I made this last night for my son who loved to get Bourbon Chicken at the mall and no longer can get it. It was easy and so fabulous!! Will save the recipe and for sure make it again. We may add some broccoli and snow peas the next time.
    Thanks for a great recipe!!

      1. I used Jim Beam and it turned out stellar. When researching the same question found from multiple sources that any STRAIGHT Bourbon will work.

    1. Makers Mark, Four Roses obviously the better quality of bourbon the better the flavor will be. I live snack dab in the middle of Bourbon country and I use these two for everything.

  36. I reduced to half the brown sugar, marinated chicken thighs over night, and grilled the chicken over Bourbon flavor wood chips. Takes a little longer but definitely worth it.

  37. This is a pretty good recipe. Definitely a keeper. I reduced the pepper flakes by half because some are heat sensitive. I will add some veggies, peppers and onions next time.

  38. Made this last night and followed the recipe exactly. Served it with jasmine rice and my husband & sister both really liked it. I found it to be very easy to make and will definitely make it again when looking for something different from the usual weeknight dinners.

  39. Whole family loved it I had to tweak it a bit cause I ran out of stuff that I had I had but it was still great and the instructions were on point.

  40. Im not a cook and i hit this one out of the park!!!
    Great flavor so happy to have this recipe in the arsenal . And this dad doesnt have to go to the mall food court anymore for some good ole bourbon chicken !!!

  41. While extremely delicious, there is nothing “crispy” about this recipe. Yes, I’ll make it again, the flavour was amazing, but if you take chicken and fry it and then soak it in sauce….no longer crispy!

  42. Your Bourbon Chicken recipe looks amazing, but I noticed that the picture of it shows green onions and yet there isn’t any green onions in the recipe. Can you tell me how much I should use and when to add them when cooking? Thank you!

    1. Hi! Thank you! Its just used for a garnish, not used for flavor so you can add as much as you’d like as the last step.

  43. I added cut up , flash fried purple onion,zucchini,red,yellow and orange peppers also, unbelievably good.

  44. Delicious!! I used less brown sugar so it wouldn’t be so sweet, and it was perfect! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

  45. It was ok. Tasted nothing like the mall court Chinese bourbon chicken at all. Definitely didn’t hit the craving spot but was edible.

    1. My family loves this recipe. I use extra apple juice in place of the bourbon. I’m going to try adding in broccoli and pineapple chunks this time around. Hope it don’t ruin it.

        1. It’s “it’s”, not its. Try to be correct when you correct someone. THAT is WORSE than nails on a chalkboard??

    2. You did something wrong then cause i use this recipe all the time and it slaps Everytime. Try again.

  46. This was way too sweet. The sweetness buried the other flavors. Could not taste the bourbon or red pepper. I might try it again cutting back the brown sugar to about a 1/4 cup. But will probably try another recipe.

    1. This is definitely a favorite of ours!! I always add extra brown sugar because I love the sweet taste. We have made this over 10 times in a 3 year period. We add broccoli to it and its amazing!!!

        1. Better watch the grammar, Sabrina! Karen might correct you. 😉

          Trying this tomorrow, and I have already passed it on to two friends.

  47. This was way too sweet. The sweetness buried the other flavors. I might try it again cutting back the brown sugar to about a 1/4 cup. But will probably try another recipe.

  48. This recipe is absolutely amazing. I added a little more chili flake and made it spicier. So good!!!!!!!!! I think I will try the spice over pulled pork next time.

  49. Absolutely delicious! A marinated the chicken overnight in the refrigerator with the sauce first. Then after draining the marinade from the chicken I followed the rest of the recipe step by step. I pan fried it and used dark brown sugar instead.

  50. Made this tonight with a few adjustments to make it easier. Mixed the sauce ingredients first and used 1/2 tsp powered garlic instead of fresh – was feeling super lazy – (just mixed into the sauce) and 1/4 c of brown sugar (not packed). I let this sit while I partially cooked the chicken. Once the sauce was reduced and cornstarch slurry added – I added the chicken back in to finish cooking and get the sauce to the right consistency. I can’t imagine a full cup of sugar in this – would end up so sweet once it is reduced. In any case you can always add sugar at the end if you need to sweeten it up! But overall a great recipe.

  51. This is my second time making this dish for family and it’s always not enough. So this time I am doubling the recipe so hopefully it will be enough. This is 1 of our favorite dishes. Thank you. Oh I also make shrimp fried rice to go with it.

  52. Great recipe but not exactly like the mall bourbon chicken. I made the sauce first and put the raw chicken breasts in the instant pot, poured half the sauce and cooked for 20 minutes. Let the slow release for 5 minutes and then quick release. Took the chicken out and shredded it. I then sauteed the sauce that was left in instant pot adding a mixture of water and cornstarch to thicken the sauce and cooked for 5 minutes. Then I added back in the chicken and served with brown rice and broccoli. It’s definitely a new fave and using the instant pot made it easy

  53. I can’t wait to try this! I want to share a good tip regarding soy sauce. I love Chinese/Asian food but the sodium makes me swell like a balloon! Substitute COCONUT AMINOS. It tastes exactly like soy sauce and has NO coconut flavor at all. Google it. I buy mine at Trader Joes.

  54. Made this for Christmas eve dinner for the family. I made a huge batch, 5 large chicken breasts, so it took a while to make it, but with a little prep before dinner, it was no problem. It was delicious and made a nice change from turkey or salmon, which is what we usually fix for a crowd. This recipe is a keeper for sure.

  55. Lot of good in this recipe. Wife and I made it tonight. we so miss the Mall’s Food Court Bourbon Chicken. Well, we made this recipe. And, it’s not exactly like the food court, because the chicken is fried on a skillet. Which, we found, is not the same texture or feel or taste of the Food Court’s. However, the sauce is WORLD CLASS.

    We will not make the chicken this way again (as the recipe says), but we will use this sauce on a different chicken preparation technique. Now, DtD says it is easy, so this is probably what most people can do in a limited amount of time. But, we’re willing to figure it out, where we never have to go out and spend loads of money to eat at places that don’t give ya much. So, we plan to try Sabrina’s sauce with this chicken approach …

    I think Copy-KAT might have the approach that makes the chicken closer to the Mall’s look, taste, and texture. And, funny, this is first time that we ever used Bourbon, and DAMNED — does it add incredible flavor. Thanks to Sabrina for teaching us the difference in a sauce before & after Bourbon. Man, is it a huge change.

    I’ll update this, if I can remember and if we get it conquered in this century. Also, if anyone has ideas, please let me know too. Thanks.

  56. I’m about to make this dish. Can you use white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar? I’m already subbing apple juice for the bourbon. Thank you.

  57. Excellent recipe! I had a little over 2 lbs. of brown meat chicken left over from making ramen broth, and this was the perfect use of it. We usually end up with not enough sauce, so this was just the right amount of sauce to chicken for us. I made a few modifications: using 3/4 cup of sugar and double the bourbon. It was perfect! This will be one of my go- to recipes.

  58. I tried it for the first time today. My boys said they would pay for it if they were in a restaurant. The bomb dot com.

  59. This is a great recipe! I found it very sweet and might do only half of the brown sugar next time. Mine also came out quite light, not sure how to get it so dark?

  60. This was delicious!! I used half the amount of sugar and it was still a little sweet for me. I also added some carrots, yellow pepper, and onion because I like more substance to my dish and try not to eat rice. There was plenty of sauce to handle the extra veggies. Definitely a keeper recipe and will be making it often.

  61. Holy cow I’m stuffed!
    Portion control??? Out the window!!
    Husband is loving on this recipe, telling me I could open a restaurant on it. Lol Too bad I can’t take credit!

    Thanks for the recipe, it was very good! Only substitute I had to the recipe was the soy sauce. I didn’t have enough Kikkoman low sodium, so finished off with a Chinese soy sauce.

    Sorry if you feel this ruins your recipe, but I also added some veggies cuz I have to have veggies – (bamboo shoots, straw mushroom, onions, a few jalapeño slices, and celery). But the heart of the recipe remained true.
    Thanks again!

  62. Well I made this tonight 17/11/2020 and it was absolutely gorgeous the only thing I did was lower the amount of soya sauce as I find it to salty and i laid it on a bed of egg noodles with bean sprouts with garlic and finely chopped shallots. I’ll definitely be making this again me and my son loved it

  63. Looks lovely! However, I am an underage chef ? what’s a good alternative to the bourbon due to being unable to purchase it?

  64. Husband cooked this tonight and it turned out more like a soup with chicken pieces in it. I’m use to bourbon chicken sauce being thick and sticking to the chicken. Not sure what went wrong…

    1. Oh no! It sounds like he didn’t let the sauce get to a full boil to be able to thicken up. Did he also add then cornstarch slurry at the end?

    2. We made it tonight following the recipe to a T and the same thing…… I’m so confused.

  65. I wanted to make this recipe. However I do not know what bourbon is? Knowingly, I do not cook at all so I have no idea what exactly I am looking for in grocery stores. All I see is bourbon brown sugar seasoning in a packet?

      1. Karen,
        Ha ha ha. Yeah, we could have “almost” said the same comment as Quinessa. First time with Sabrina’s recipe that we used Bourbon. A good Bourbon to use with this is Jim Beam’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey. We got it at Spec’s down the street for cheap. I couldn’t believe it, like 200ml for $3.99. You will barely use a fourth of it. So it is very cheap to make this dish.

    1. Quinessa,
      See comment to Karen. We bought Jim Beam’s Straight Bourbon cheap at Spec’s. I expected a $20 dollar bottle just to make dish, but we bought $4 bucks. Could have been a 100ml for $1.99 — if I’d known how little we’d use.

  66. Tried this tonight and it turned out extremely salty. Not sure what went wrong. ? Does anyone know how to help me balance the salty taste? I’m sad. ?

    1. Oh no! Sometimes chicken is pumped with a sodium/water solution so maybe that added to the extra saltiness of the dish?

    2. Hi Davina white I made some sauce the other week and it said to put half a cup of soya sauce in and mine came out the same it was so salty we had to throw the hole dish away. I didn’t know where I had gone wrong cos I fallowed the recipe to the t. Anyway me no my son tasted all the ingredients I had used and it was the soya sauce it’s so salty so I made the sauce again but this time I only put 3 teaspoons in instead of half a cup and the sauce turned out perfect. You could try doing this and then taste to see if it’s ok or needs more soya sauce. I’m making this dish tomorrow and I’ll be lowering the amount of soya sauce I put in not what’s it’s saying in the recipe Hope this helps. I’ll post tomorrow how it turns out.

      1. Hi, it sounds like you might have used regular soy sauce instead of low sodium like the recipe suggests? Or try coconut aminos, they taste the same as soy sauce but much less salt! Good luck!

  67. I made this dish and served it over white rice. I followed the recipe exactly. My kids and husband went nuts for it. I got so much praise and I had 0 leftovers. I will definitely be making this again very soon.

  68. My family’s favorite chicken dinner is your bourbon chicken! We all love it! Thank you so much for sharing!!! It’s fantastic,I I would give it 100 stars if I could!!

  69. Made this for my family , they loved it!!!! It’s so hard to get everyone to agree. We have found a winner!

  70. Amaaaazing!! Will be making over and over. I marinated my boneless cut up chicken thighs in garlic, onion powder, soy, salt, pepper, and meat tenderizer the night before. Very much recommend thigh meat. More like the mall recipe.
    Coupled with this sauce…I can eat half the pan myself ????? ??

  71. God bless you! I was just looking through YouTube videos for bourbon chicken and they all looked so gross, just chicken boiled in some sauce. Thank goodness I found your recipe on Google. I will be making this tomorrow for a friend’s birthday dinner.

  72. Amazing!!! I made this last night for dinner and followed the recipe to a T – it was delish! But I have to say, when I had the leftovers this evening it tasted even better – the glaze was thicker and the chicken was so much more flavorful (probably from marinating in the glaze overnight). I served it with steamed veggies last night and steamed veggies and homemade mac and cheese tonight. Next time I make it, I’m definitely making mashed potatoes. Thank you so much! This recipe will be a “go-to” for me in the future. 🙂

  73. Tried your sauce on charcoal grilled barbecued chicken kebabs and substituted pineapple juice for the apple…….YOU seriously need to try too. The pureed bacon helps hold the sauce on the kabobs.

  74. This recipe is fantastic. We live in Scotland and have never found anywhere that serves Bourbon chicken over here. Won’t get to come to USA on holiday this year but this brings back fond memories of previous visits.

  75. What can I substitute for apple juice? The only juice we use on a regular basis is orange juice. Could I just use more chicken broth or what? Thank you.

  76. Was wondering if this re-heated well? I am hoping to make it to take to my mum who is isolating?

  77. I am so excited to try this recipe and as I got everything out to make it in the slow cooker, I don’t have any apple juice. Ugh!! Anyone have any tried and true substitutions/suggestions I could try?

    1. I would recommend using white grape juice as a substitute. If you don’t have that, you can add more broth instead though it will change the flavor of the dish.

  78. My family loves Bourbon Chicken so I’ve tried several recipes. No need to look any further, this one is perfect! The amounts make the right amount of sauce which is lacking in other recipes. And it couldn’t be easier for a quick weeknight meal or special occasion. Everyone was raving after the first bite! Thank you for a fantastic recipe!

  79. If I ordered this from a restaurant, I would not be disappointed! It’s really good. We have made it twice with no alterations. It’s just the two of us so we have plenty of leftovers (no complaints about that!)

  80. Has anyone tried marinating in the bourbon or any of the other ingredients through-out the day before cooking?

    1. Marinating meat in alcohol will not be successful. It will start cooking the outside of the meat and stop any other marinade flavors from being absorbed. Alcohol, in this case bourbon, should only be added to the sauce.

  81. I’ve been in the culinary industry for the last 15 years. I have my own catering company and I work as a Sous Chef in a restaurant. Anyways last night I had a hankering for some bourbon chicken like I always get when I decide to eat at Golden Corral! Found this recipe and went to the grocery store. Almost all the chicken was gone and all they had was a pack of boneless skinless chicken thighs so I grabbed it. Long story short I went home cooked acceptor the recipe and it came out great! As a chef I always want to take credit for how delicious the food is but honestly I didn’t have to add anything! Just followed the recipe and everything turned out great!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Cam. I really appreciate that you took the time to let me know how much you enjoyed it.

  82. Do I use regular chicken broth or Better than Bouillon? Because when I clicked on “chicken broth” it brought me to the better than bouillon .. I’m afraid it may change the flavor as the better than bouillon very very flavorful and may make it too salty.

  83. Are the nutrition numbers accurate? there’s no way something this amazing is only 8g of carbs and less than 300 calories! made for my girlfriends parents and they absolutely loved it, i think i’m in lol. Thank you!

    1. Well, it’s a program that automatically calculates based on ingredients. I would use it as a guideline but if you’re following a certain diet, you may want to your own calculations to be sure it work. I’m so glad you all love it so much!

  84. It taste so much better when it slowed cooked, my first time making it I slowed cooked it and it taste just like the mall. These instructions for cooking it fast makes the chicken taste dry.

  85. My husband requested bourbon chicken for his birthday this year since we are practicing social distancing and not going out to eat. This recipe was so much fun to make and was such a breeze. It was so delicious!

    I didn’t realize until i was adding my liquid ingredients that I was using half the chicken called for in the recipe. I kept the same amount of bourbon 😉 and reduced the soy sauce.
    I also had to improvise with what I had on hand – (pine)APPLE juice.

    I couldn’t believe how good it came out. Looked and tasted just like it was from a restaurant. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Yes, absolutely. I often substitute additional apple juice for the bourbon when cooking for kids.

  86. OMG this is amazing. I don’t even have face book and I had to leave a comment! I will never order takeaway again, this is it for life lol

  87. This dish is very easy, you can combine almost all the ingredients in a bowl ahead of time to make it all go together fast, and it’s delicious. I made mine with shrimp, but you could even use tofu. I also used fresh ginger. It’s going to be a regular at our house.

  88. I typically don’t write reviews about recipes – however this one is AMAZING!!! It’s so flavorful, the sauce is incredible. I used a combination of chicken thighs and breasts; the chicken turned out tender yet crispy.

  89. Thank you for the Recipe. My wife loves bourbon chicken.

    I did the crockpot method, with one variation. Since I also have a flattop griddle, I cooked the chicken on it with some sesame oil to give it that grilled taste.

    Turned out great.

  90. This was DELICIOUS and so easy! Really had that “mall food court” taste we were looking for. I used arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch, and used chicken thighs instead of breasts. Also added a wee bit extra red pepper as my husband and I like things spicy. Was fantastic and also tasted great for lunch the next day! Will definitely make again!

  91. I did not grow up eating this at any mall! However, I would have liked to have; I feel I missed a part of childhood now 🙂

    Great recipe…

  92. Sounds soooo good but I would like to do a slow cook in the oven with bone in chicken thighs. Would I brown the chicken, start the sauce on the stovetop and then finish cooking everything together in the oven? Any adjustments to the ingredient amounts?

  93. Excellent.. I think the only thing i might disagree with is serve immediately. I tasted it immediately and it was good however after sitting for about 15 minutes and the flavors were absorbed in the chicken it was absolutely delicious!

    1. My daughter is allergic to apples so I wonder if pear juice would be ok to sub for the juice? Apple cider vinegar hasn’t ever bothered her so that isn’t an issue.

  94. What would you recommend as a substitute for the bourbon? I’m celiac and most liquor isnt an option for me but I really miss this dish!

    1. I had the same question. If you try it with extra apple juice, please post an update and let us know if it turned out okay.

  95. This recipe is amazing! It tastes better than the bourbon chicken at the mall! (And that’s a big accomplishment!)

    I recommend using a cast iron skillet, and deglazing it after browning your chicken. This will increase the flavor!

  96. Very good indeed! I just have one question. Whats the point of adding the one cup of water to the mixture if the whole thing gets reduced to half? Wouldn’t that remove the cup of water if not more?

  97. 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

    1. We’ve made this more than three times now and absolutely love the recipe. Our next step is to try it in our instant pot. It is a brand-name instant pot. Have you made it in one before and what do you recommend for settings?

      1. I’m so glad you all love this recipe! I haven’t tested it using an instant pot yet. I’m sure you might be able to find a recipe online using similar ingredients and use that as a guide. Good luck!

  98. 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!


    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. 🙂

  99. 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.

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

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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…

  104. We’ve made this twice so far but not having bourbon on hand, we substituted Laird’s Apple Jack brandy which turned out great.

  105. My hats off to you, this recipe is PERFECT! My husband and father both praised it, and we will be having this again. This recipe is going in my notebook….Thank you!!!

  106. So tasty and easy to prepare. My husband thought the sauce was so good that I couldn’t have made it all from scratch ! ?

  107. I’ll give 5* easy, the fam loved it and wife says tastes just like the chicken her and her Mother used to get at the mall. My problem was I only had 1/4 c of Lt brown sugar and to mix with dark and only bourbon I had on hand was some local cheap rot-gut bourbon that work gave out as a Christmas gift?
    Hint people, try reducing the sauce before you add your “white meat” so as to not overcook it. Thats why I chose to use well trimmed thigh meat and it turned out great. And may I suggest Makers Mark bourbon, trust me, I live in the middle of bourbon country. Thanks for this recipe!

  108. What a phenomenal recipe! Thank you to the cook that came up with this flavor combination, I did not and would not change a single thing!

  109. I made this for my family and they loved it! They said it tasted just like the Chinese food at the mall! This will be my go to recipe for bourbon chicken from from now on!

  110. Hi Sabrina, I have 2 questions.
    -how can I make this recipe gluten free
    -can I substitute boneless chicken thighs for chicken breasts

    1. You’d have to make sure that the ingredients you use are labeled as GF (mainly the soy sauce and bourbon). Thighs have a higher fat content than breasts but it will still work with this recipe. Enjoy!

  111. It’s got a decent taste, but maybe I did something wrong. It’s not really sticky or crispy. It’s kind of just a sauce. I’m sure if it was crispy and sticky I would have loved this, but either I did it wrong or it needs a coating over the chicken to make it a little better, for me at least.

  112. Just as it reacts EASY!! My family loved the meal. You’re a GodSend. I’m absolutely speechless.

    Keep up the good work!

    * Used cognac because I wanna out of Bourbon. Also used pineapple juice because I was out of apple?

  113. This recipe is so delicious!! But, I found that when I reheated it in the microwave the next day for lunch, my chicken was overdone. I struggle with overcooking chicken. Is it possible to make this in the crockpot?

    1. Yes, you can make this in a slow cooker. If you scroll above the recipe card in this post, I wrote a whole paragraph with instructions to follow. 🙂

  114. Could you make this recipe without the bourbon? I have all the ingredients already except for the bourbon lol

  115. Hey Sabrina!
    This is Dawnelle….
    Do you remember me from the Culinary Business Academy?!
    I was looking for a good recipe for Bourbon Chicken for 150 people I am catering for in New Orleans in August. We are going to serve it as a topping on Macaroni and Cheese; perfect for New Orleans cuisine! I saw “Dinner, then Dessert” and it was a nice blast from the past and knew it had to be good What a nice coincidence that the very last event I am catering will include a recipe from my beginnings. I have decided this is my last year and I am finally at peace with my decision. All of my cooking has been done on a 10 foot grill that holds 120 pounds of charcoal with 2400 square inches of cooking surface. It has been a blast, a lot of hard work, and never a dull moment. I would love to hear from you! I gave this a recipe 5 stars because I reviewed the ingredients and it has to be good!

  116. Question. I see the sauce calls for both water and chicken broth. Is there any reason I couldn’t replace the water with more broth? It seems like it would be more flavorful that way. Thanks.

  117. This recipe was amazing! Even my picky 4 yr old was a fan! I will definitely be making this again. ?

    1. I love when even the picky eaters love a dish! Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you all enjoyed it.

  118. I saw this recipe and been wanting to try…i finally made it. Exellent! It really did taste like the mall bourbon chicken. Also it was very easy, usually i take recipies and put my own additions or subtractions to, but this is really just like free samples

    1. If you’re asking about the apple cider vinegar in this recipe, you can substitute with lemon juice, lime juice or 2 tablespoons of white wine. Hope this helps!

  119. Why is this site sending me around in circles?? I’m just trying to get the bourbon chicken recipe. I was asked to create an account in which I did but when I click on save recipe, it keeps asking me to log in when I’ve already done so. This site sucks and will rate it unsatisfactory!!

    1. Oh no, I’m so sorry you’re having issues. Not sure what the glitch is that’s happening but please email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com and let me help you with it.

  120. Love this easy recipe. It is now my favorite New dish for company. I just put it in my crockpot on low to keep it warm until served. I have served it over rice or quinoa with stir fried fresh veggies on the side. Great leftover the following day.

  121. I made it and it looked nothing like the pics. The sauce was runny and it tasted ok. But I was expecting the same flavor or close to what you get at the food courts in the mall. This did not reheat well the coating was soggy the next day. Would have to consider less liquid and make enough just for one meal, no left overs. Didnt taste bad but it won’t be on my must make again list.

  122. Quick question, in step 11. Am I cooking for 10-15 minutes still on medium-high heat? I’ve made a similar recipe before and found the chicken ended up over cooked, so trying to avoid that. Thanks

    1. Yes, you it’ll still be on medium high heat. You have enough liquid in there that it won’t be over cooked. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Depends on the state you live in. In CA I could purchase it almost anywhere. A major grocery store would certainly carry it too.

  123. My best friend and I live in Bermuda where there is no such thing as burboun chicken, we’ve been to some malls in America and our favorite thing to eat is the burboun chicken in the food court. We go crazy just thinking about the taste and now that I’ve found this recipe her and I are going to make it for dinner tonight. This is great, thanks so much!!!

    1. Nicole – Wong’s Golden Dragon In St. George’s serves Bourbon Chicken. It’s not on the regular menu. It’s part of their hidden selections. Pleasant Appetite!

  124. My family loves this recipe! I make it about once a month. So juicy and tender, and the spice combination is just right

    1. I may be a little late, but thought I’d mention that vanilla extract can be used as a decent substitute for bourbon. Just use a teaspoon or two though, a little goes a long way with vanilla extract. I would also suggest adding a little extra apple cider vinegar with the vanilla to make up for the lost liquid, and get it closer to a bourbon taste. hope this helps for those that can’t use alcohol for various reasons.

      1. Thank you. I hate when people who post recipes that have alcohol just say “oh no you need the booze” with no regard or thought to those who can’t/don’t want to have it (or any ingredient for that matter). I have honestly never seen a dish like this that would be ruined without the alcohol, just mildly altered in flavor but not drastically so when you substitute it. Even the ones that have a significant more alcohol flavor, it still is similar but different. This seems like no exception. So thanks again.

        1. Hey there, in further recipe testing after these comments I’ve altered the post to include the option of doubling the apple juice in place of alcohol. Vanilla was too aromatic but doubling the juice really seemed to help.

  125. We made this tonight. My son and I got into the kitchen together and cooked 😀 It was, as always, fabulous! My son doesn’t have his own household yet, and that is fine by me. He knows dinnerthendessert 😀 When he makes his own place in the world I know he will eat right 😀

  126. I see the slow cooker recipe, but could you just put everything in the slow cooker without browning the chicken in a pan first ? When I use a slow cooker, I ONLY want to use the slow cooker!

  127. Made this last night, it was fantastic and easy. I used chili sauce instead of ketchup and cayenne pepper instead of red pepper flakes. Next time I’ll try real ginger. Even picky daughter ate it. Served it with steamed broccoli and rice.

  128. This is absolutely amazing!!! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a while, and it was a huge hit! A nice amount of heat. I’ll have to check out more of your recipes! Thank you!

  129. I made this last night and it was a hit!!!  Very saucy!  I also used fresh ginger, added when I cooked the garlic.  I also used about 8 cloves of garlic!  This is a new regular!  Love the leftovers!

  130. I made this a couple of weeks ago. Very tasty recipe but a little salty for me. Next time, I will use low sodium chicken broth and/or reduce the salt in the coating mixture. There was plenty of sauce to spoon over the chicken and onto the rice. I added frozen/fresh green beans for an added color.

  131. I made this last night and my boyfriend loved it. It was tasty and was saucy enough to have a little extra sauce to spoon over rice. I did the complete recipe but increased the sauce ingredients by more than 1/2. I have an extra 1 1/4 cup left for future uses. The only changes I would make would be to eliminate the salt in the cornstarch mix and/or use low sodium chicken broth, as well. I felt it was a little salty but I did use Aged Soy Sauce (which was not low sodium). The more it cooks down the more the salt will become concentrated. I would also increase the garlic and use fresh ginger instead of powder if you have it (but that is just my taste). I added whole petite green beans at the end for a crunchy feel to it.

  132. Just made this last night and it was a BIG hit. Tasted great, but the sauce did not quite thicken. Would you recommend adding less water or having sauce at a boil for a longer time?

  133. How many people does this serve? I’m only cooking for two and we’re both really bad at eating leftovers. Should I halve it?

    1. This recipe yields 8 servings so depending on the size of your portions, you may want to halve it as to not have leftovers.

  134. OMG!!!!!! THANK YOU FOR THIS!!!! I’ve been looking for a recipe like this forever and finally here it is. I can not wait to make this. I’ve already made your version of Panda Express Honey Walnut Chicken (which was a hit with my family and so delicious ) So I already know know this is not going to disappoint also. 

  135. Just made this for dinner, and it’s delicious! My sauce didn’t cling to the chicken as the picture shows. I added fresh broccoli florets and served over basmati rice.

    1. I didn’t have apple juice either but I used the apple flavored bourbon (not sure if I could say the name) and added an extra 1/4 cup of water and burbon and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. It came out perfect!

  136. WOW, this has blown my mind. I need to make this ASAP. I wonder if this could be made in the slow cooker. Loving the flavor idea.

  137. I am SO excited to see this. My son LOVES what he calls “mall chicken”. He’ll flip when he finds out that I have a recipe for it. I’ve actually been thinking about emailing you a request to see if you would be willing to try a recipe like this. Serendipity! 🙂

    (I probably won’t make it until next week, AFTER the holidays. But I’ll be happy to report the results when I do. Thanks again!)