Bourbon Chicken 

One of our favorite dinners is bourbon chicken. It’s this lovely, amber-colored, tender, sticky chicken that is so delicious served over jasmine rice or as I prefer mine, over brown rice or couscous. The recipe is so simple as it uses ingredients you have in your kitchen pantry. What really adds the flavor to this dish is Kentucky bourbon. My daughter lives in Lexington KY, so this New Yorker has become well versed in Kentucky bourbon. Drink it, cook with it, bake with it, bourbon is so versatile. Just remember to use good quality bourbon…if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!As I said this recipe is quite easy. There are only two problems with this recipe. The first being, you have to plan ahead so your chicken has time to marinate overnight, you can get away with a few hours, but I highly recommend overnight. The second problem, parting with your KY bourbon, don’t worry they’ll make more.


                    Bourbon Chicken

1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs Cubed

Marinade/sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce – I use low sodium

3 tbsp vinegar – apple cider, rice, red wine any will do

2 tsp sesame oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup bourbon

4 cloves minced garlic

1 tbsp. fresh minced ginger

green onions sliced

Vegetable oil for sautéing

The night before: Place the chicken in a Ziploc bag. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together and pour over the chicken and let marinate at least 30 minutes up to overnight.


In a large skillet heat the vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add half the marinade to the chicken and continue cooking until the marinade turns into a thicker sauce and the chicken is fully cooked. Should take another 5 to 10 minutes.

At this point you have two options:

option 1 – serve over rice and garnish with scallions – the sauce will be a bit thin

option 2 – this is my preference – remove the chicken from the pan and thicken the sauce slightly on the stovetop with a cornstarch slurry – then serve over rice and garnish with scallions

If you want some extra sauce, cook the remaining marinade in a small saucepan over medium heat, for about 5 to 10 minutes until it reduces about half and thickens a bit.

I always make a double batch of the chicken and sauce and freeze it for a quick week night meal. 

When my husband finished dinner he proclaimed it was better than a restaurant!

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