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

EatingWell.com, October 2021; updated October 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
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


Ingredient Checklist


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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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


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

about 4 oz. chicken & 3/4 cup rice
521 calories; fat 15g; cholesterol 136mg; sodium 732mg; carbohydrates 48g; dietary fiber 3g; protein 40g; sugars 5g; niacin equivalents 4mg; saturated fat 2g; vitamin a iu 47IU; potassium 226mg.