Bourbon Chicken

This super Easy One Pan Bourbon Chicken tastes so much better than the restaurant version! Ready in just 20 minutes, this recipe is perfect for busy nights. Serve with rice, noodles, and vegetables to make it a meal!

Do you love making takeout at home? Try my Pepper Steak or my Kung Pao Shrimp! They’re both ready in under 30 minutes and taste much better than the restaurant version!

Bourbon Chicken with a wooden spoon.

Bourbon Chicken

This Bourbon Chicken is so much better than the standard food court recipe! The chicken turns out tender, juicy, and loaded with tons of sauce. Plus you can control the sweetness, saltiness and spice level when you make your favorite take out dishes at home. I recommend serving this chicken with rice or noodles to soak up all the extra delicious sauce! The sauce is my favorite part of this dish! It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory.

Best of all this recipe couldn’t be easier. This Authentic Bourbon Chicken recipe takes 20 minutes and only one pan. No marinating is required. Simply cook the chicken, pour in the sauce, simmer, and add cornstarch and water to thicken up the sauce. That’s it! It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner with a side of rice and veggies!

Ingredients for this Bourbon Chicken Recipe

  • Chicken: I used chicken breast, however, boneless skinless chicken thighs would also be great.
  • Bourbon: Any kind of bourbon will work in this recipe! I recommend using one that you like the taste of, but it doesn’t have to be expensive!
  • Oil: I used both sesame oil and canola (rapeseed) oil. Sesame oil provides a delicious, nutty flavor and canola oil has a high burning point and is easy to cook with. You can use another neutral-tasting oil instead of canola like avocado oil or olive oil if desired.
  • Ginger and garlic: Two key ingredients in all of my favorite Chinese-inspired dishes: ginger and garlic bring on the flavor!
  • Soy sauce: I opted for low sodium soy sauce however, regular soy sauce would be great, or gluten-free if you need to skip the gluten.
  • Sugar: Adding a little sweetness helps to balance the saltiness of the soy sauce. This time I used brown sugar, however, regular sugar, sweetener (for low carb), or honey are all excellent ways to sweeten up this Bourbon Chicken, depending on your preference.
  • Vinegar: Rice wine vinegar is a fantastic ingredient that elevates all of the other flavors! If you can find rice wine vinegar in the international aisle of your supermarket, dry sherry is a great alternative.
  • Cornstarch: This thickens the bourbon sauce. I make it into a cornstarch slurry by mixing it with a little water before adding it to the rest of the sauce.
  • Garnish: Optionally, you can garnish this dish with sesame seeds and green onions. They add just a little texture and flavor.

How to make Bourbon Chicken

  • Cook Chicken: Heat sesame oil and canola oil in a large skillet. Add in chicken and saute until fully cooked and golden brown on the outside.

Chicken being sautéed in a black pan.

  • Next, add garlic and ginger: And saute for 1-2 minutes. (Add in more oil if needed)

Garlic and ginger added to the cooked chicken in a black pan with tongs.

  • Make the Sauce: In a medium bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, bourbon and rice wine vinegar. Add sauce to the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

The ingredients for the sauce in a measuring jug.

  • Cornstarch Slurry: Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir frequently until thickened, 2-3 minutes. If the sauce needs to thicken more add more cornstarch.

Mixing the chicken and the bourbon sauce with a black spoon.

  • Serve: Immediately with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish, if desired.

Bourbon Chicken in a white bowl with white rice and chopsticks.

Can this be made in the crockpot?

This recipe can easily be made in the slow cooker. Simply add the chicken and sauce ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. When the chicken is done cooking remove it from the slow cooker. Pour the sauce into a small saucepan and add the cornstarch mixed with the water. Simmer until the sauce is thickened and add it back to the slow cooker along with the chicken and toss to coat. Serve the Crockpot Bourbon Chicken with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish, if desired.

Can this be made in the Instant Pot?

Yes, it’s so easy! Firstly, add the chicken and the sauce ingredients to the Instant pot and set to pressure cook on high for 12 minutes. Once the chicken is done cooking allow it to naturally release pressure, and then open the lid and select the saute button. Next, slowly whisk in the cornstarch and water slurry and cook for a few minutes or until the sauce is thickened. (This can also be done on the stovetop as well). If you are making this recipe using frozen chicken simply add 6-8 more minutes to the cooking time.

Can this be frozen?

Yes! This is a great recipe for meal prepping. I recommend freezing the chicken and the sauce ingredients raw in a large ziplock bag. The cornstarch slurry should not be frozen and can be added after it’s cooked. Store up to 3 months in the freezer. When you are ready to cook defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can add this frozen to the Instant Pot or to the Slow Cooker. Just make sure to add extra time for both. I have not tried freezing this recipe after it’s been cooked.

What to serve with this Bourbon Chicken Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Bourbon Chicken sauce made of? This easy and delicious bourbon sauce recipe contains ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, and bourbon. It’s absolutely packed full of flavor!
  • Does Bourbon Chicken have alcohol? Yes! Bourbon Chicken contains bourbon which is kind of like whiskey, however, made from corn in the USA. Most of the alcohol is evaporated during cooking. If you are not a fan of adding bourbon to this dish feel free to substitute apple juice instead.

Bourbon Chicken with a wooden spoon in a silver pan.

Here are more delicious chicken recipes to try!

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Bourbon Chicken

5 from 13 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4
Super Easy One Pan Bourbon Chicken. Serve with rice and noodles to make it a meal!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sesame seeds for garnish if desired
  • green onions for garnish if desired

Instructions

Images:
  • Heat sesame oil and canola oil in a large skillet.
    Add in chicken and saute until fully cooked and browned.
    Add in garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes. (Add in more oil if needed)
  • In a medium bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, bourbon and rice wine vinegar.
  • Add sauce to the chicken and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Meanwhile in a small bowl whisk together cornstarch and water.
    Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce and stir frequently until thickened, 2-3 minutes.
    If the sauce needs to thicken more add more cornstarch.
  • Serve immediately with sesame seeds and green onions for garnish, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Bourbon Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 382 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 145mg48%
Sodium 799mg35%
Potassium 898mg26%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 49g98%
Vitamin A 68IU1%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bourbon Chicken, chicken, Easy Recipe, Take out recipes

 

 

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Comments - page 1/2

  • This sounds deceptively easy (and obviously delicious)! There’s no hidden trick, missing ingredient, or sink-load of dishes at the end, right?

    Meals like this that can be prepped for in advance and then just get thrown into one pan to cook are great for families who are always on the move for kids’ activities. I’ll definitely have to try this one! Thanks!

  • Gaby

    This looks amazing!! Will have to give it a walk tonight. When you say bourbon, do you mean the alcohol or is there a sauce already remade to use for this recipe?

  • I made a similar recipe before. I wanted more gravy, and doubled the bourbon, extra water, extra soy sauce and a little extra rice vinegar. Wow, the bourbon taste was a little to strong. Oh, everyone in my family liked it, but we all got a little buzz.
    Would you please instruct me to get the correct way, to get a double amount of gravy.
    Thank you, Gertraud aka Gigi Hammer.

    • Hi Gigi,

      There is not a whole lot of bourbon in this recipe I would double the recipe and try only adding 3 tablespoons of bourbon or to taste.

      Thanks!

      Kelley

  • Ms E.

    Delicious, quick and easy. If ever a recipe to go to with bourbon and chicken, this was it; add some stir fry veggies too— omg.. 🙂

  • DJ

    THE BOURBON IS UNNECESSARY. BOURBON IS THE NAME OF THE STREET IT WAS CREATED ON.

  • Pamela A

    This is an absolutely delicious, easy recipe. I double the recipe for my jasmine rice, I also made garlic broccoli. Tasty, very very tasty. I plan to marinate some chicken wings in the sauce.

  • Cathy

    I made his tonight and it was perfect!! Thank you so much for the recipe and hints. I don’t normally comment, but this was exactly what you said it would be. Quick, simple and delicious!!!

  • sandy ines

    Very easy to make! It was very good, and we will be making this again very soon. I served it over rice and added pineapple. Thank you so much!

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