Delicious! Put this on your blog!” said my enthusiastic husband after the first bite. So here it is – a copycat Bourbon Chicken Recipe. Great meal in under 30 minutes.
I told my husband I’d have to make it again to tweak a few things and he said “sure, you can make it again tomorrow if you want”. I took that as a thumbs up.
Bourbon chicken is commonly found at Cajun-themed and Chinese restaurants. Surprisingly, most bourbon chicken recipes do not contain bourbon. The name comes from a restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
About this Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe
The recipe I used is a Bourbon Chicken copycat recipe with almost 3000 comments. I didn’t read all 3000, but I read enough to tweak the recipe to my liking (and hopefully yours). It’s nowsweet, but not too sweet. It has some heat which you can adjust to your liking. It has great flavor. And it makes lots of sauce. So this recipe is not a full copycat, but close.
Here are the changes I made:
- I grilled the chicken and cut it up instead of sauteing chicken pieces (the recipe shows both methods). I always opt for grilling if possible to avoid the fry smell in my house. Of course not everyone has a grill handy.
- The cooked chicken is now added to the sauce only at the end instead of boiling it in the sauce (which I think would make it rubbery).
- Many people claimed the original recipe was too sweet, so I reduced the sugar.
- Apple juice (which I didn’t have) was replaced by apple sauce which worked perfectly. Orange juice would be fine too.
- I thickened the sauce with some cornstarch.
- I increased the amount of sauce in proportion to the chicken (I like a lot of sauce, enough to soak into the rice).
- Finally, I added a bit of Bourbon.
Although the list of sauce ingredients looks long, the whole dish can be made in less than 30 minutes. I usually make this as a main dish, but it can also be served as an appetizer with toothpicks.
Make Ahead Bourbon Chicken
- You can make the sauce and chicken ahead of time. Ten minutes before you’re ready to serve, cook the sauce and add the chicken to heat through.
Bourbon Chicken Recipe (copycat)
- 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken (white or dark meat)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 green onions, chopped (for garnish)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce (l use light)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple sauce, apple juice or orange juice
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp Bourbon (optional)
- 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes (for medium spicy)
- 1 tsp minced garlic (or 1 clove or frozen cube) or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp minced/grated ginger (or 1 frozen cube (or 1/4 tsp ginger powder)
- 2 tsp cornstarch (or use a tablespoon if you want sauce thicker)
- PREPARE THE CHICKEN: Choose one of these options. Option 1: Cut up chicken into bite size pieces, place in bag with 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt, shake until lightly coated. Saute in oil in a skillet on medium high in two batches until lightly browned and cooked through, about 4-5 minutes depending on size of pieces. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Option 2: Do as above without cutting the chicken into small pieces. Saute 4-5 larger pieces of chicken, transfer to a board, let sit for 5 minutes, then cut into bite size pieces. Keep warm.Option 3 (my preference if you have a grill handy): Toss the larger pieces of chicken with a bit of oil and salt. Grill for a 3-4 minutes per side. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cut into bite size pieces.
- PREPARE SAUCE: Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk to mix well.
- COOK AND SERVE: Heat skillet to medium high. Add sauce and cook, stirring, until it starts to boil and thicken. Add chicken and stir to coat. Lower heat and cook for another minute or two just until chicken is heated through. Serve over rice if desired, topped with chopped green onions.
Other chicken dishes you might like:
Chicken Paprikash Meatballs get the recipe
PF Chang-style Chicken Lettuce Wraps get the rccipe