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.
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?
- Crispy Sesame Chicken
- Cheesecake Factory Mandarin Cashew Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Easy Mongolian Beef
- Panda Express Recipes… every single one in fact: Panda Express Recipes Index
- Many more Chinese food options…
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.
Easy Bourbon Chicken
- 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.