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This delicious bourbon chicken recipe is a copycat version of the classic takeout favorite.... only better!
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Table of Contents
  1. Better Than Takeout Bourbon Chicken Recipe
  2. What is Bourbon Chicken?
  3. Does Bourbon Chicken Have Bourbon In It?
  4. Ingredients
  5. Ingredient Substitutions
  6. How to Make Bourbon Chicken
  7. Tips for Making Bourbon Chicken
  8. What to Serve with Bourbon Chicken
  9. How to Make Bourbon Chicken in the Crockpot
  10. More Delicious Chicken Recipes
  11. Bourbon Chicken Recipe

This delicious bourbon chicken recipe is a copycat version of the classic takeout favorite…. only better!

The tender and juicy chicken covered in a sticky, sweet, and tangy sauce that coats the chicken just perfectly.

Chicken with bourbon sauce and scallions on rice in a white bowl

Better Than Takeout Bourbon Chicken Recipe

This bourbon chicken recipe is so easy to make. With the perfect sauce, that coats the chicken just right, served over freshly steamed rice, it’s the tastiest homemade Chinese takeout inspired dish. Best of all, it can be made right from the comfort of home.

Whether you make it in the skillet or opt for the Instant Pot or slow cooker version, our bourbon chicken recipe could not be easier to make.

It only takes about 10 minutes of prep, and with a cook time of just 25 minutes, this is such a quick and simple meal to feed a family of 5.

No need to worry about the next craving for Chinese, we’ve got you covered with this recipe right here. It’s so simple and tasty. You’ll be hooked in no time.

What is Bourbon Chicken?

Many think it is an Asian style dish, probably because you can always find it at your favorite mall food court, but in fact, it was created on the famous Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bourbon chicken gets its name from the sauce that the chicken is coated in it’s an American-Chinese marinade style sauce.

After cooking the chicken, you will mix it with your homemade sauce. Then, the sauce soaks into the grilled chicken to make the perfect combination to top off rice or mixed veggies.Bourbon Chicken in a pan with a wooden spoon

Does Bourbon Chicken Have Bourbon In It?

Typically, you will find that bourbon chicken does call for bourbon in the recipe. However, here we have substituted the bourbon for apple juice! This has a similar flavor when it’s all said and done.

If you do have bourbon at home, you can definitely opt for that instead of the apple juice.

There is no need to worry about putting alcohol in this dish. The alcohol will evaporate off as the sauce simmers! My kids absolutely love this dish, regardless if I’ve made it with apple juice or bourbon. Both are irresistibly delicious!

Ingredients

The recipe list for bourbon chicken includes lots of pantry staples, making an already easy recipe, even easier.

You could also very easily double up on these ingredients if you’ll have more than 4-5 people, or just in case you’d like to have leftovers.

I love this bourbon chicken as leftovers, it’s almost even better the second day! (Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or frozen for up to a month)

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup of apple juice
  • ¼ cup of ketchup
  • ¼ cup of soy sauce
  • ¼ cup of water
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch + 1tsp
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • Sliced green onions (for garnish)
  • Rice (to serve over)

Ingredient Substitutions

Apple juice: As I mentioned above, I have used both bourbon and apple juice in my bourbon chicken recipe. I found both to be absolutely delicious! If you have bourbon at home, you can certainly swap this out in place of the apple juice.

Chicken: I use chicken breast in my recipe. However, if you like a more tender cut, you can also use chicken thighs.

A great option for swapping out the chicken altogether is to add grilled shrimp instead, and make it bourbon shrimp! I absolutely love shrimp. This is a delicious substitute for the chicken, or if you’d like to make it a vegetarian dish instead.Bourbon Chicken with chopsticks

How to Make Bourbon Chicken

  1. Cut and toss the chicken in the coating.
  2. Cook it until browned and no longer pink inside.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce and toss it with the chicken – see the full recipe and instructions below.
  4. Let the chicken and sauce simmer until sauce thickens.

Serve over white rice and top with green onions for a garnish.

Tips for Making Bourbon Chicken

  • Red pepper flakes are a wonderful addition to this recipe if you like a bit of kick. Add between ⅛-¼ tsp when making the sauce, depending on how much spice you like! Another option would be to add in a bit of Siracha for spiciness.
  • If you have bourbon on hand, replace ¼ cup apple juice with ¼ cup of bourbon.
  • To keep this recipe at a quick 35 minutes prep and cook time, you’ll want to be sure that your chicken is fully thawed before you begin cooking it. I can sometimes forget to grab some chicken out of the freezer, so I always appreciate that friendly reminder!

Bourbon Chicken close up

What to Serve with Bourbon Chicken

I always serve my bourbon chicken over fresh jasmine rice. No Asian inspired dinner recipe is ever complete without rice, right? It is also amazing with our Better Than Takeout Fried Rice or if you want to keep it low-carb, our Cauliflower Fried Rice!

You could also try this over some noodles, or over a pile of mixed veggies. Or, you could opt for veggie noodles like zucchini. We love to serve this with broccoli. You can also just eat it plain, as is, too. It’s delicious either way.

How to Make Bourbon Chicken in the Crockpot

To make this recipe in the crockpot, you’ll want to follow all of the instructions from above with just a few minor changes.

  • You will want to use half the amounts of the recipe sauce ingredients because they won’t cook down as well in a crockpot as they do in the skillet.
  • After cooking the chicken, you will place it (along with the sauce) in the crockpot and cook on low for about 5 hours. Then, add in the last teaspoon of cornstarch and cook on high for 30 more minutes.

My mouth waters just thinking about this bourbon chicken recipe. I love the tangy sweetness of the bourbon chicken sauce, especially when it’s piled on top of freshly steamed rice.

It hits the spot every single time, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s so easy to make. I can’t wait for you to enjoy this one!


More Delicious Chicken Recipes

Creamy Tuscan Chicken | Italian Chicken Sheet Pan DinnerChicken Pot Pie CasseroleChicken Pot Pie CasseroleChicken Alfredo BakeThe BEST Chicken EnchiladasCreamy Pesto Chicken SkilletMozzarella Chicken


Bourbon Chicken Pinterest

5 from 7 votes
HR-Bourbon Chicken hero square 2

Bourbon Chicken

Serves — 4
This delicious bourbon chicken recipe is a copycat version of the classic takeout favorite.... only better!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • cup light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Sliced green onions for garnish
  • 1 tsp cornstarch yes, you need an additional teaspoon

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl add chicken pieces and sprinkle pepper over them. Toss to coat all chicken. Add 1 tbsp cornstarch and toss to coat all chicken.
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat add the olive oil and chicken pieces. Cook until browned and no longer pink.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together apple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, water, brown sugar, minced garlic, and ground ginger. Whisk together 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 tbsp water in a separate small bowl and then add to the sauce mixture. Whisk to combine.
  • Once chicken is browned add sauce to the skillet and stir to coat all chicken. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens up.
  • Serve over white rice and top with green onions.

Jenn's Notes

  • Red pepper flakes are a wonderful addition to this recipe if you like a bit of kick. Add between ⅛-¼ tsp when making the sauce, depending on how much spice you like! Another option would be to add in a bit of Siracha for spiciness.
  • If you have bourbon on hand, replace ¼ cup apple juice with ¼ cup of bourbon.
  • To keep this recipe at a quick 35 minutes prep and cook time, you’ll want to be sure that your chicken is fully thawed before you begin cooking it. I can sometimes forget to grab some chicken out of the freezer, so I always appreciate that friendly reminder!

Nutrition Info

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 1085mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Quick tasty meal for a family of 5! We had zero leftovers! Thank you Princess Pinky Girl! ❤️❤️❤️

  2. 5 stars
    The bourbon chicken is fast and delicious!! Everyone in my family raved about it. I didn’t want to waste any sauce, so we poured it over cauliflower. Thank you Princess Pinky Girl!!