Bourbon Chicken Recipe

bourbon chicken
I have saw this recipe for Chinese bourbon chicken literally all over the net and I just had to give it a try to see what everyone was raving about. Apparently a lot of Chinese take out places have this but I have yet to see it there or at any buffet.  What’s great is no alcohol actually goes into this recipe. I know what you’re thinking… “but then why is it called bourbon chicken?” To be honest, I have no idea, but it tastes great! The sauce has great flavor – just the right amount of sweetness and spice. For the chicken – it’s your choice whether you want a little breading on it or not. I just lightly dusted the chicken bits with cornstarch to give them a slight crispiness. This is a two step recipe and takes very little time to prepare. This recipe is best served with a side dish of white rice.
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2lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
oil (for frying)
cornstarch (for dusting, optional)
1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ teaspoon ginger
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cooking Instructions:
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Step 1: Cut chicken breasts into bit sized pieces, and if you choose lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok and fry chicken bits in batches until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
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Step 2: In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok and bring to a boil. Add chicken bits back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
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29 Responses to “Bourbon Chicken Recipe”

  1. Ivy — October 9, 2008 @ 10:49 am

    Bobby, I’ve bookmarked your recipe. It looks delicious and how do you take these lovely pictures, I want to jump into the bowl.

  2. Tommy — October 9, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

    This is a different take on the recipe I’ve done before, but nonetheless it looks nom nom. Suggestion to you if you ever feel like using. Using boneless skinless chicken thighs (they just taste better imo) and just cook them in pan with a little oil, little burned bits are great. Make the sauce as you have, and dump chicken pieces in. All the bourbon chicken types I’ve had in malls have never been fried first; just my two cents.

  3. diva — October 10, 2008 @ 1:53 am

    what?! no alcohol. jokes. this looks great. and there’s cider vinegar in it – wow. the flavours must be immense. gotta try it some time. x

  4. ingrid — October 10, 2008 @ 7:28 am

    Oh, my children love the Bourbon Chicken that they give samples of in the mall’s Food Court. I’m gonna give this a try especialy as it seems so easy.

    I’m sure to be a hero after making this, thanks!

  5. Bobby — October 10, 2008 @ 4:15 pm

    Ivy – Thanks for the compliments on my pictures. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

    Tommy – Not a bad idea. I have wanted to use thigh meat for along time. I’m thinking about making some general tso’s with it.

    diva – It does have amazing flavor, you will enjoy it!

    ingrid – Great, let me know how it turns out!

  6. Lee — October 12, 2008 @ 6:30 pm

    Yet another great dish! I made it last night and it was very good. I love the tangy flavor the apply cider vinager gave it. Thanks again!

  7. Kevin — October 19, 2008 @ 8:16 am

    That chicken looks nice and juicy and tasty!

  8. Kat — December 7, 2008 @ 10:25 am

    Hey, me and my lil bro are like IN LOVE with bourbon chicken! so I just have a question about this recipe: How many servings does this rcipe make?

  9. Bobby — December 7, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

    kat – I would say 4 small servings or 2 big servings. I hope you enjoy the rice.

  10. Christine — December 19, 2008 @ 5:43 pm

    I made this tonight for dinner and my 4 year old daughter just LOVED it! She thought it tasted just as delicious as the one at the mall that she loves. Thanks for an easy and tasty recipe!

  11. Michelle — January 24, 2009 @ 9:56 am

    This was fabulous I have Gerd which keeps me from eating certain things because of the spices and such but this was awesome did not bother me at all thank you for a recipe I can make thats not tasteless!!

  12. Michelle — January 26, 2009 @ 4:58 pm


  13. tonya — February 13, 2009 @ 8:54 pm

    Saw the recipe on the net and got very excited about making it. My husband and I had great bourbon chicken at the mall. And I said that I was going to try to make it. The recipe looks very easy and. Can’t wait to try it!!!!

  14. Tonya — April 11, 2009 @ 11:03 am

    This was awesome! Made it exactly according to recipe and the whole family loved it.

  15. Samantha — May 5, 2009 @ 11:26 am

    hey, does any1 know how much this will cost 2 make?

  16. Bobby — May 5, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

    Samantha – That would depends on things such as prices and how many of these ingredients you already have. Assuming you have none, I would say no more than $15.

  17. Deb — July 6, 2009 @ 9:45 am

    It sounds like a winner! Do you use grated ginger or ginger powder? Thanks to anyone who can answer this question!

  18. Bobby — July 6, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    Deb- Powdered ginger for this recipe.

  19. donna — July 18, 2009 @ 8:35 pm

    I tried this. It was good but not great. It did not taste anything like the one in the mall that I go to

  20. Prêt-à-Porter P — August 8, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

    we just made this recipe. it was good, but not like the mall taste, but i would make it again.

  21. Sami — December 8, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    This was wonderful! We had white rie and steemed brocolli with it. I thought it was pretty spicy, but not bad enough to be the only thing you taste. cut the red pepper a bit if you think it will be too spicy for you. I also used the ginger puree in the jar you keep in the frige, and it was great! I’m definently keeping this on the normal rotation. The best part is that the only thing I needed to get was the apple juice, and the hubby picked that up on the way home from work!

    Thank you!!!

  22. Shilan and Montese — April 9, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

    My hubby and I made this together and it was great!! Plan on using this again, Thanks for sharing!

  23. nick — November 16, 2010 @ 7:53 am

    Add some fried and stemmed veggies and your all set! I will try this and add fried rice and steemed veggies im sure it will turn out great.
    one question why no bourbon in it?

  24. Miss Babsi — June 25, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    I have bookmarked this recipe. I have always wanted to try making it myself. This will be dinner one night.

  25. Kristine — August 30, 2011 @ 10:01 am

    I made this recipe for the first time last night. It was really AMAZING. A definite new favorite in our household. Thanks!

  26. Tosha — May 28, 2012 @ 7:47 am

    I made this today for the first time!It came out perfect!Thanks for this recipe.It is a new FAV!

  27. C — July 3, 2012 @ 5:42 am

    A lot more “soy” than my mall’s bourbon chicken tends to taste. I’m considering cutting the soy sauce and maybe adjusting up the sugar? The sauce in my part of the us is almost maple syrup-y

  28. Gary — February 16, 2013 @ 6:11 pm

    I substituted brown sugar for Splenda’s version as I’m type I diabetic. I did add 1/4 cup Bourbon and cooked out the alcohol. I rarely make the same dish twice or the same way, but everyone loved this so I’ll keep it as a favorite and return when we wish to have it again.

  29. SharonKay — January 9, 2014 @ 10:21 pm

    In Louisiana we know this dish as ”Bourbon St. Chicken”, its was and still is made and served by the better street food carts in New Orleans during our Mardi Gras Season.

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