Home Healthy meals Mall-Style Bourbon Chicken

Mall-Style Bourbon Chicken

by Contributing Author

Tender chicken stir-fried in a sweet and tangy sauce on top of fluffy rice, no one complains if it’s sticky bourbon chicken is on the menu! This easy recipe is a light twist on the original New Orleans Chinese American recipe.

Healthy bourbon chicken mole recipe served with rice on a white plate

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Traditional Bourbon Chicken is a stir-fry style recipe of fried chicken thighs in a sweet, gooey, savory brown sugar bourbon glaze.

The taste is sweet, slightly salty and tangy, similar to other popular Chinese American dishes such as General Tso Chicken and Healthy Orange Chicken.

The original recipe originated in New Orleans, but these days you can find bourbon chicken far beyond the French Quarter.

It is a menu that you often see at food courts in shopping malls and take-out Chinese restaurants nationwide.

With this easy bourbon chicken recipe, you can bring all that goodness into your own kitchen.

Easy bourbon chicken fried in a frying pan

5 star review

“Hands down the best bourbon chicken I’ve ever had. Better value than takeout.”

— Becky —

Why is it called bourbon chicken?

Bourbon chicken is named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans (which is also why the “bourbon” in bourbon chicken is capitalized).

  • As the story goes, this dish became popular at Chinese restaurants on Bourbon Street.

Bourbon chicken sauce actually contains alcohol, but most of it is cooked.

  • As the name suggests, bourbon chicken is made with bourbon. Balance the sauce and make sure it’s not too sweet.
Stovetop bourbon chicken on a white plate with green onions

About this bourbon chicken recipe

The food court bourbon chicken recipe I found at the mall was battered and fried, and the sauce contained a ton of brown sugar and other mysterious sweeteners.

  • I wanted to make bourbon chicken that tasted and felt like a food court, but I wanted mine to be lightly pan-fried, not deep-fried.
  • I also wanted to reduce the amount of sugar in my original Louisiana Bourbon Chicken Sauce.
  • Example: Many authentic Bourbon Chicken Mole recipes use 1 cup brown sugar or moreto me is more like a dessert.

Our reader-favorite Crockpot Bourbon Chicken recipe was the starting point for today’s light bourbon chicken recipe.

The sauce is thick and sticky (one of the best parts of this dish!), the meat is tender and juicy, and sweet enough to satisfy any food court craving.

2 white plates of the best bourbon chicken recipe

how to make bourbon chicken

Bourbon chicken sauce has a perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour.

It’s usually served with rice, but you can turn it into a lettuce wrap, mix it with sautéed veggies or roasted broccoli (what we usually do), or crunchy salads like this Asian cabbage salad. You can also serve it with


  • Chicken thighBourbon chicken thighs are juicy! The thighs are tender, have more flavor and do not dry out during cooking.

substitution tips

This recipe favors chicken thighs, but you can substitute chicken breasts if you prefer a cut of meat for protein.

  • cornstarchThe cornstarch helps the outside of the chicken mimic the fried original and thickens the sauce.
  • soy sauceAdds umami to the sauce.
  • bourbonThe Origin of the name of this recipe. The secret to the best bourbon chicken is its authentic flavor, which is not too strong but has a good balance with the sauce.
  • Maple syrupIt helps make sauces sweet, sticky, and delicious.
  • brown sugarA moderate amount to plus sweetness. It also helps thicken the sauce.
  • apple cider vinegarAdd desired sourness to the sauce mixture.
  • green onions. Adds color, crunch, and mild onion flavor. Perfect for decoration.


Looking for extra pizza? Add some sesame seeds for texture and a little chili flakes!


raw meat in a bowl
  1. Stir together chicken and some of the cornstarch.
Food court Bourbon chicken sauce in a measuring cup
  1. In another small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients and remaining cornstarch.
How to cook chicken in a frying pan
  1. Cook chicken.
Authentic Bourbon Chicken Thigh Recipe in a Frying Pan with Spring Onions
  1. Stir in the sauce. After simmering for 2-4 minutes, add green onions. Please enjoy with rice.

storage tips

  • to the storeRefrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • reheatReheat chicken in skillet on stovetop over medium-low heat or microwave.
  • To freezeFreeze leftovers in airtight, freezer-safe storage containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

meal prep tips

Cut the chicken up to a day in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to complete the recipe.

remaining ideas

Of course, leftovers are delicious served over rice or noodles, but they are also delicious served on lettuce leaves (my beloved lettuce wrap spin).

what to eat with bourbon chicken

Steamed white rice or Instant Pot brown rice (or cauliflower fried rice) alone should make this dish feel completely complete, but I often add one or more of these other delicious Asian-inspired side dishes or appetizers. I like using it to complete the takeout experience. .

White plate of bourbon chicken with fork and rice

Recommended tools for making this recipe

  • liquid measuring cupA glass measuring cup for measuring and mixing ingredients.
  • large skilletPerfect for making this recipe. You can also use a wok!
  • measuring spoonThere are a lot of ingredients to measure in this recipe, but these measuring spoons are good for the job.

my favorite everyday skillet

This large cast iron skillet is a high quality, versatile and easy to clean option. It can be used in the oven, so it can be used in a variety of recipes.

Bourbon chicken with rice on a white plate

Are you the one who made this recipe?

Let us know what you think!

Let us know how you liked the recipe by leaving a rating below in the comments.


Is all alcohol cooked out of bourbon chicken?

Most alcohol is cooked from the source, but if you’re concerned about any consumption (pregnancy, abstinence, etc.), it’s best to avoid the recipe.

Can you make bourbon chicken without bourbon?

I’m partial to making this sauce with bourbon (I promise it’s worth it!), but you can try swapping out the bourbon for 1/4 cup apple juice or chicken broth. a bit The taste is different, but it should be delicious.

Is Bourbon Chicken Chinese or Cajun?

It’s a little bit of both! Originating in a Chinese restaurant in New Orleans, the dish is a hybrid that combines ingredients and preparation methods from both cuisine and culture.

Is bourbon chicken gluten free?

To make this recipe gluten-free, you’ll want to opt for your favorite brand of tamari instead of traditional soy sauce. many Due to the distillation process, it is considered safe for people with celiac disease. Recommended.

  • 1/4 cup Reduced salt soy sauce (or gluten-free tamarind)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon Enough to mix into a cocktail (Brett is my go-to)
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Four cloves garlic Chopped (about 4 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger chopped
  • Four tea spoon cornstarch Divided
  • 1/2 tea spoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken thigh cut into bite-sized pieces (or boneless and skinless chicken breast)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil, vegetable oil or grapeseed oil
  • 1/3 cup Chopped green onion Addition for Serving
  • 2 cup preparation brown rice for serving

  • Place chicken in medium bowl; Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of cornstarch on top and stir with a spoon to coat the chicken evenly with the cornstarch.

  • In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine soy sauce, bourbon, maple syrup, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch.

  • In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat on the stovetop. When the oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add the chicken, breaking up any sticking parts. Brown on all sides, stirring occasionally, until chicken is golden brown and cooked through. increase.

  • Add bourbon sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is glossy and thickened, 2 to 4 minutes (you still have excess sauce, so it’s perfect for spooning over rice). Stir in scallions. Place green onions on top of hot rice.

  • Adapted from my Crockpot Bourbon Chicken.
  • store: Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
  • reheat: Reheat chicken in skillet on stovetop over medium-low heat or microwave.
  • To freeze: Freeze leftovers in airtight, freezer-safe storage containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Serving: 1(out of 4) without ricecalorie: 359kcalcarbohydrates: 18gprotein: 34gobesity: 12gsaturated fat: 2gPolyunsaturated fat: 3gMonounsaturated fat: 6gTrans fat: 1gcholesterol: 162mgpotassium: 525mgfiber: 1gsugar: 12gVitamin A: 126IUVitamin C: 3mgcalcium: 47mgiron: 2mg

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