Bourbon Chicken – a quick and easy one skillet chicken dish that is smothered in a deep bourbon and soy sauce mixture. Deliciously sweet and savory homemade version of your favorite take-out meal ready in less than 30 minutes. Super easy and delicious!
I was pretty surprised when I first learned that this favorite food court meal isn’t one those favorite Chinese takeout. And come to think of it, I’ve been eating it for years along with my other favorite take outs like these Mongolian Beef and Chow Mein.
In fact, this Bourbon Chicken is actually a Cajun dish in origin and was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, in the heart of New Orlean’s oldest neighborhood.This crazy delicious chicken dish is usually found at Cajun-themed Chinese restaurants which are significant in the southern part of the US.
But it doesn’t matter actually, ’cause this chicken meal is incredibly good up to the last bite without much work in the kitchen. We’re not even talking yet about the sauce. So sit back.
This meal is as easy as browning the chicken, pouring in the bourbon soy sauce mixture, adjusting for thickness and simmering until cooked through. Pinky swear, this is one of those dish that you can whip up in less than 30 minutes. And it’s freezer friendly, too. Perfect for busy weeknights!
Now, let’s touch base on the boozy part. Shall we?
What is Bourbon? Is Jack Daniels a whiskey or a bourbon?
I’m not much of a drinker, so let’s take it easy. I got to do a little researching here. 😉
First of all, Jack Daniels isn’t a bourbon although it tastes pretty much like bourbon (says hubby 😉 . It’s a Tennessee whiskey dripped slowly and filtered through sugar-maple charcoal before going into another process for maturing. Bourbon, on the other hand, is an American whiskey, a barrel-aged distilled spirit made primarily of 51% corn and a little sweeter and heavier in texture than other whiskeys. It is also strongly associated with the South.
Now that you know a little about bourbon, let’s get down to how crazy good the sauce is for this meal. You need to make an extra amount of this sauce just so you can pour it on top of your rice. Yes, sticky white rice is definitely the best pair for this Bourbon chicken.
The sauce here is a combination of bourbon, reduced (low sodium) soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, brown sugar and a couple more. It’s deliciously sweet, savory and sticky (depending on your preference).
You can make this dish a little stickier by adjusting the stock. I have mine enough to be pourable so it would coat well with my rice. 😉
For this recipe, I use boneless chicken thighs as they are juicier than the rest but you could always use chicken breast. It’s a matter of preference.
Make sure you spare a bowl of this Bourbon Chicken for yourself before you serve it up or it’ll be gone before you even place the rice platter. 😉 And you can always grab a glass of bourbon, just in case you need something to warm you up.
Tips and Notes:
- You can use chicken breast for this recipe but it’ll be juicier and more tener when you use chicken thighs.
- For the oil, I use vegetable oil but any mild-flavored oil would do.
- If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, white vinegar will work fine.
- If serving to kids, sub bourbon with broth. Although bourbon adds a certain unique flavor to this dish, skipping it would works fine, too.
- If you want this recipe to be spicy, leave the red pepper flakes and add hot sauce .
- Adjust thickness of chicken with broth. It’ll thicken once it cools.
- 1-2 tablespoons (14.15-28.3 g) oil
- 2 pounds (907.18 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon (13.9 g) or more bourbon (replace with broth)
- ¼ cup (63.75 g) reduced soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) ketchup
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) Apple Cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup (85 g) chicken stock (Adjust to desired thickness with more)
- 2 tablespoons (18.75 g) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons (25 g) brown sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons (10-15 g) minced garlic
- 1 teaspoons (5 g) minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon (1.80 g) white pepper
- 1 teaspoon (1.80 g) red pepper flakes
- sesame seeds for garnish , if desired
- green onions for garnish , if desired
- Heat up the skillet with about 2 tablespoon of oil, and then add chicken let it rest for about 30 seconds before stirring. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken has been fully cooked.
- While the Chicken is cooking, whisk together bourbon, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock, cornstarch and brown sugar. Set Aside.
- Quickly stir in garlic, ginger and white pepper into the skillet of chicken and continue cooking for another 2 -3 minutes.
- Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Add red pepper flakes , Adjust thickness of chicken with broth, if desired. As it cools it thickens up
- Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately, over rice , garnish with sesame seeds if desired.
Tips & Notes:
How to Make Bourbon Chicken
Heat up the skillet with about 2 tablespoon of oil, and then add chicken let it rest for about 30 seconds before stirring. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until chicken has been fully cooked.
While the Chicken is cooking, whisk together bourbon, soy sauce, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, chicken stock , cornstarch and brown sugar. Set Aside.
Quickly stir in garlic, ginger and chilli sauce into the skillet of chicken and continue cooking for another 2 -3 minutes.
Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Adjust thickness of chicken with broth, if desired. As it cools it thickens up. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately, over rice , garnish with sesame seeds if desired.