Bourbon Chicken

Yield: 4 servings

Based on comments, here's an updated version of the recipe.  The original is further down if you prefer.


  • Chicken
    • 2 lbs. boneless chicken (breasts or thighs), cut into bite-sized pieces
    • Cornstarch
    • Oil for frying
  • Sauce
    • 5 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp powdered ginger
    • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
      • This is the ingredient to change if you want to dial-up the heat
    • 1 cup apple juice
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup ketchup
    • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
    • 2/3 cup water
    • 1 1/3 cup bourbon
    • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • Thickening
    • Cornstarch mixed with cold water, for thickening
  • White rice
  • Sesame seeds
  • Stir fried vegetables


  1. Dredge the chicken pieces in cornstarch.  Make sure they're well-coated.
  2. Deep fry the chicken in oil.  Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, combine all the sauce ingredients.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Use enough cornstarch slurry to thicken.  Add it gradually while whisking.  Don't overdo it.
  5. Stir the chicken into the sauce to coat and rewarm it.
  6. Serve over white rice and vegetables.  Garnish with sesame seeds.

[Original Recipe]


  • Chicken
    • 2 lbs chicken breasts, cut into pieces
    • Cornstarch
    • Oil for frying
  • Sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 tsp ginger
    • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1/2 cup apple juice
    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 4 tbsp ketchup
    • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
    • 1 cup water
      • If preferred, substitute 2/3 cup bourbon, 1/3 cup water
    • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • Sauce thickening, if needed
    • Cornstarch mixed in cold water


  1. Dust chicken pieces in cornstarch.  Deep fry in oil.  Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, combine all sauce ingredients.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  3. If needed, add cornstarch + water to thicken.
  4. Stir in chicken pieces and coat well.
  5. Serve over white rice with a side of vegetables.


  1. I have made this recipe multiple times. However, I do find that 2/3 cup of brown sugar is SOOOOO sweet for us. I actually just slowly add in brown sugar until desired taste. I think that ends up being a couple table spoons, at most. Otherwise, I don't change anything and it is so delicious!

  2. Sherri, thanks for sharing. I'm glad you were able to find a modification that fits you tastes.

    Happy cooking!


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