One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken


Bourbon chicken gets coated in a slightly sweet-spicy sauce for a flavorful dinner that comes together quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights.

Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins

What Is Bourbon Chicken?

Bourbon chicken is a dish named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans and also for the bourbon in the ingredients list. It can often be found on menus at Chinese American restaurants.

How to Make Bourbon Chicken

All you need is one skillet to make this easy recipe for bourbon chicken! Here are tips on how to make it:

Make the Soy-Bourbon Sauce

This sauce gives bourbon chicken its signature flavor. It's made with soy sauce, bourbon, apple juice, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. It's essential to use fresh ginger in this recipe. If you need a refresher on how to peel fresh ginger, we've got you covered. Once peeled, we recommend using a Microplane to grate the ginger. If you don't have maple syrup, you can use honey.

Coat the Chicken in Cornstarch

Coating the chicken in cornstarch might seem like an extra step, but the reward is twofold: it gives the chicken a crispy exterior and also thickens the sauce. Use a large nonstick skillet to ensure the chicken isn't overcrowded during cooking.

How to Serve One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken

We recommend serving our bourbon chicken with cooked brown rice. You can also serve it with cauliflower rice.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


  • ¼ cup lower-sodium soy sauce

  • ¼ cup bourbon

  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple juice

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon, divided

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 teaspoons water

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice

  • Sliced scallions, for garnish


  1. Combine soy sauce, bourbon, apple juice, vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.

  2. Toss together chicken and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a large bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the soy-bourbon mixture; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy consistency and the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.

  3. Combine water and the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch in a small bowl; stir to mix well. Add to the pan; cook, stirring often, until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Divide rice among 4 plates; top with the chicken and sauce. Garnish with scallions, if desired.

    One-Skillet Bourbon Chicken
    Photography / Antonis Achilleos, Styling / Christine Keely, Ali Ramee


Large nonstick skillet

To make ahead

Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

521 Calories
15g Fat
48g Carbs
40g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size about 4 oz. chicken & 3/4 cup rice
Calories 521
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 48g 17%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 40g 80%
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 136mg 45%
Vitamin A 47IU 1%
Sodium 732mg 32%
Potassium 226mg 5%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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