Bourbon Chicken Recipe | Better Than Take Out Bourbon Chicken
If your family is always craving the flavors of takeout, but you have a “we have food at home” budget, this better than take out Bourbon Chicken recipe is exactly what you need to make everyone happy.
Not to toot my own horn, but I like to think all of the recipes around my corner of the kitchen are tasty. It takes something truly special to be considered a family favorite, though. Here’s what sets it apart from the rest:
- It’s fast. Any meal that is ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes is a clear winner in my book. This recipe can be made in under 20 minutes if you’re quick in the kitchen or prepare the sauce ahead of time.
- Make it cheaper than grabbing takeout. I don’t know about you, but the prices to feed a larger family at a restaurant lately are shocking. Give What family the same flavors they love with food court Bourbon Chicken at a fraction of the price.
- The chicken is packed with flavor. We’re not fans of bland food around here. If I serve something alongside a side dish that doesn’t have a lot of flavor (like steamed rice) the chicken has to be absolutely bursting with flavor.
- No alcohol is required. I try to keep an alcohol-free kitchen. The fun of food is that you can learn to create very similar flavor profiles with ingredients that are safe for the whole family to enjoy. Enjoy this Bourbon Chicken recipe without worrying about the alcohol cooking off.
What Does Bourbon Chicken Taste Like?
Bourbon chicken has a slightly sweet, tangy, and savory taste with a depth of flavors from the ingredients used in the sauce.
If you make this recipe and feel like it is missing a bit of smokiness that bourbon typically lends, you can add a dash of liquid smoke to the sauce before simmering.
Ingredients You’ll Grab
Make sure you grab these ingredients before getting started to make this meal a breeze to cook:
- Chicken Breasts- Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite-sized pieces cook quickly, making this a fast family-friendly meal.
- Chicken Broth- The base of the sauce that adds rich chicken flavor.
- Soy Sauce- Adds a punch of umami flavor that gives this recipe an Asian flare.
- Apple Juice- Provides sweetness and a hint of fruity flavor.
- Ginger- Gives a one-two punch of spice and flavor.
- Vinegar- The acidity in the vinegar helps balance the sweetness of the brown sugar and apple juice.
- Brown Sugar- Serves as the sweetener in the sauce to counteract the saltiness of the soy sauce.
- Cornstarch– This is the thickening agent that makes the sauce perfectly thick and allows it to stick to the chicken breasts.
- Water- Combined with the cornstarch to create a cornstarch slurry.
- Minced Garlic– Adds an element of earthiness to the sauce.
- Salt and Black Pepper– Enhances the flavor of the other ingredients.
How To Make Bourbon Chicken At Home
Create the Bourbon Chicken sauce. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, apple juice, ginger, minced garlic, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
Sear the chicken. Dice the chicken breasts into 1/2″ chunks and season them well with salt and pepper. Toss them into a skillet warmed over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Continue to sear the chicken breasts, stirring frequently, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
Simmer and thicken. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the cooked chicken. Begin to simmer over low heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry. Add that to the chicken and sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Serve and enjoy! Garnish the Bourbon Chicken with sesame seeds and serve with your family’s favorite side dishes.
Tips And Tricks To Use
Need reassurance that your better than takeout Bourbon Chicken will turn out perfect every time? Check out these tips and tricks before getting started:
- Marinate the chicken. For maximum flavor, you can double the amount of sauce and marinate the chicken chunks in half of it for up to 24 hours before cooking. Discard the marinade and cook the Bourbon Chicken according to the directions above.
- Dice the chicken uniformly. Cutting the chicken into uniform pieces ensures it all cooks at the same amount of time without worrying about foodborne illnesses or dry chicken.
- Use the cornstarch slurry immediately. While I’m typically an advocate for prepping as much of the recipe before you get started cooking as possible, the cornstarch slurry needs to be made immediately before using it so that it doesn’t separate.
Variation To Try
Looking for ways to make this tasty recipe even better? Try some of these variations to customize your bite:
- Use chicken thighs. Not only are chicken thighs more budget-friendly, they also retain moisture better when cooked.
- Add some heat. If you like things spicy, drizzle a little sriracha or shake some red pepper flakes into your sauce before adding the cornstarch slurry.
- Pack it with veggies. The tasty Bourbon Chicken sauce makes veggies delicious for even the pickiest eaters. If you want to add some carrots, broccoli, or even diced zucchini to your main course, toss them into the skillet with your chicken. They should be cooked tender by the time the chicken is finished for a vegetable-packed bite.
Storage and Reheating
Unlike fried versions of our favorite Chinese takeout recipes, this Bourbon Chicken recipe is great for storing and reheating later. Simply place any leftovers in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. It should last 2-3 days without sacrificing taste or texture.
To reheat it, place it in a skillet over low heat and add 1/4 cup of water. Stir continuously while it simmers to warm through and incorporate the cornstarch slurry into the sauce.
What To Serve With Bourbon Chicken
- Steamed or Fried Rice- No matter how you prefer your rice, it makes the perfect side dish for soaking up the irresistible sauce.
- Lo Mein Noodles- Perfectly seasoned and slightly crispy noodles are always a hit when you serve them alongside this Bourbon Chicken recipe.
- Roasted Vegetables- To keep carbs and calories at a minimum, consider roasting your favorite vegetable medley and topping it with the saucy Bourbon Chicken.
More Delicious Chicken Recipes
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Bourbon Chicken Recipe | Better Than Take Out Bourbon Chicken
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup Chicken Broth
- 1/2 cup Apple Juice
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Ginger
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tbsp White Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Cornstarch
- 2 tbsp Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsbp Olive Oil
- Create the Bourbon Chicken sauce. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, apple juice, ginger, minced garlic, and brown sugar in a large bowl.
- Sear the chicken. Dice the chicken breasts into 1/2" chunks and season them well with salt and pepper. Toss them into a skillet warmed over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. Continue to sear the chicken breasts, stirring frequently, until they reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- Simmer and thicken. Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the cooked chicken. Begin to simmer over low heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water to create a cornstarch slurry. Add that to the chicken and sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Serve and enjoy! Garnish the Bourbon Chicken with sesame seeds and serve with your family's favorite side dishes.