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Bourbon Chicken (without the bourbon)

Bourbon Chicken (without the bourbon)
  • Pinterest

A few days ago I was running errands with MyHandsomeHusband. Nothing big and important…just picking up cottage cheese and carrot sticks. Because that’s what I have been craving like mad  lately. And you know how carrot stick cravings go. You’ve got to get to the store and get some fast, before you kill over dead and all. 

Anyhow, after we purchased food that will cure cancer and make our eyes shine in the dark, MyHandsomeHusband casually said…

“So, I’m pretty sure you are due for a cell phone upgrade. Isn’t your phone a couple of years old? Would you like to stop at the T-Mobile store and see what they have for you.”

“I guess so.” I said.  “I mean, my phone is totally fine. I just need to be able to call, text and check my email. But I guess if I am DUE for an upgrade, we can see if they have something that will do all of that.”

So we did. 

And who can believe it! But the advances technology makes in two years time is flat out stunning. Who knew that phones these days can play a game about angry birds, while playing some Pandora tunes, while notifying me of new emails, texts, stats, pins….while taking a picture or two and I think it may even be able to vacuum my floors and do the dishes. (Still trying to find that app….any tips anyone?)

Suffice it to say, technology is really incredible. Who are you genius type people out there thinking up all these clever ideas, anyway? I hope someone is making you something really good to eat. You deserve it. 

Bravo, is what I have to say. 

PS…could one of you please come, at your earliest convenience and show me how to work the blessed thing. I think I may have sent everyone I know 3 texts inviting them to go swimming with me tomorrow.

Help a girl out, won’t you….I could promise you a whole bag of carrot sticks in return. :)

 Since finding this fabulous recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I have made it twice already. It’s very simple to put together and tastes wonderful. Every person in my family gives it a thumbs up. 
Seven thumbs up, my friends. 
That’s a lot of thumbs.
Come right along now, let’s make it. 
Bourbon Chicken
Time: 30-40 minutes
Yield: 5 servings
Recipe from Big Oven via Pinterest

***Note: This recipe is actually a great freezer meal. Cook according to recipe instructions. Allow it to cool and then place in a deep 9×9 aluminum foil pan and cover tightly with foil. When you are ready to use is allow it to thaw completely and then bake at 350 just until its heated through. Should take about 30 minutes. I would suggest making the rice fresh, when you are ready to serve.
5 chicken breasts
2 T oil
1 t minced garlic
1/4 C apple or pineapple juice
1/3 C brown sugar
2 T ketchup
1 T apple cider vinegar
1/2 C water
1/3 C soy sauce
pinch red pepper flakes
1 T cornstarch

***NOTE: Here is a little trick I use to thaw chicken. Set the frozen chicken breasts in a large bowl in your sink. Pour hot tap water over the chicken. Let the it sit for about 10 minutes. Pour the water out and then pour fresh hot water over the chicken again. Let it sit for 10 more minutes, and it should be thawed. Pour the water off of the chicken and you are ready to use it.

1. Cut your chicken into small 1-2 inch pieces with some kitchen scissors. 

2. Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Once it is hot, pour 2 T Olive Oil into it. 

3. Add your chicken pieces to the pan and let them cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

4. The chicken will start to get a bit juicy and bubbly. 

Put the lid on the pan, slightly tilted and drain the juices out into the sink. Return the pan to the stove top and continue cooking over medium high heat. 

5. Into a medium sized mixing bowl combine 1 t garlic, 1/4 C apple or pineapple juice, 1/3 C brown sugar, 2 T ketchup, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1/2 C water, 1/3 C soy sauce, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 1 T cornstarch. Whisk it all together until the cornstarch is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined. 

6. When your chicken has a nice brown sear on some of the pieces…

pour the sauce into the pan. Stir it around to cover all the chicken pieces. 

7. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pan with the lid at an angle to allow some of the steam to escape. Let this baby simmer away for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the cooking period. 
8. Serve over white or brown rice


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  1. 101
    February 5, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Do not thaw chicken with hot water, please!!! You are lucky you’ve never got sick from doing this. Thaw chicken with cold water to avoid raising the temperature of any part of the meat too much. When you thaw chicken with hot water you are raising the temperature of the outside to much hotter than it ever should be before being cooked to thaw the inside. This promotes bacteria to grow and chicken is probably the most dangerous meat to do this with. But you shouldn’t really do it with any meat. even fully frozen meat seems to thaw in less than an hour in cold water as long as the pieces are small like chicken is. If you are ever thawing a full chicken or bigger slab of meat, I’d strongly advice you to remember to move it to the fridge so that it will be thawed to cook when you need to.

    • 102
      April 9, 2014 at 11:58 am

      THANK YOU for saying this as it was the first thought that came to my mind when I read to defrost in hot water! I worked in food service for 15 years and never ever would you thaw any type of poultry, beef, sea food etc. in this manner.
      I hope people pay attention as salmonella is nothing to play with and if it is on your counters, or hands, it will get into other foods.

    • 103
      July 1, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      I actually do this to all my meat. I know the risks stated. I also know that no one has gotten sick in the 25 years I’ve done it. Perhaps it’s how long it’s defrosting or in making sure the meat is cooked through. I just know that I don’t have room to thaw everything in a refrigerator and I don’t always have time to use the cold water method either. I think no one getting sick using this method in 25 years is a pretty good record, at least in our case.

    • 104
      December 14, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      Since any bacteria would be on the outside of the meat, it doesn’t much matter if you are sauteing or frying it.

    • 105
      January 27, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      In regard to thawing chicken:

      You do not even have to thaw chicken in water!

      I purchased a tempered glass cutting board and place my frozen on it. It defrosts quickly. If you are defrosting pure chicken breast/strips it also allows you to defrost to the point where you slice away to your heart’s content for desired thickness and shape being halfway or so defrosted.

      When I’m using chicken like the above mentioned as soon as I’m able to put the knife thru it- it goes directly into the pan for saute,etc…

  2. 106
    February 7, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I made this for my husband and he literally drank the sauce it was so good, thanks!

  3. 107
    February 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Made this tonight :) it was a total hit! Thanks for the great dinner idea!

  4. 108
    February 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Made this last night and cooked some spaghetti, drained it and added it at the end. Also added red and green pepper strips and onion. OMG–this was AMAZING! And the few leftovers we had we even better for lunch today. This one’s a keeper!

  5. 109
    February 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Please notify me of updates by email. Thanks!!

    • 110
      March 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Hi Lori,
      Thanks for your interest in my site. If you look under the header there is a gray circle with an envelope in it. Click there and you can subscribe through your email account.

  6. 111
    March 8, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Actually partially frozen chicken breasted cut up easily and are thawed by the time you are ready to cook them. And yes. This is a very good recipe. Try chicken broth instead of water.

    • 112
      February 16, 2015 at 7:30 pm

      You’re the greesatt! JMHO

  7. 113
    March 30, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I used 1/3 c fruit juice from a can of mixed fruit and two-three drops siracha sauce vs. the crushed red pepper because I didn’t have all of the ingredients and I was worried that it would be too spicy for my seven year old. It came out great ! We loved it !

  8. 114
    August 17, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Delicious! A big hit! Would be good with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts, me thinks.

  9. 115
    August 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    When you say T do you mean tablespoon or teaspoon? That’s confusing me.

    • 116
      August 30, 2013 at 6:52 am

      T means Tablespoon and t means teaspoon. Good luck!

  10. 117
    September 2, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    I love this recipe found it on a different site. The only thing I do differently is use boneless skinless chicken thighs. I also double the sauce and add extra garlic. At the end I add cornstarch to thicken it up. It is our favorite meal! The chicken thighs stay moist and don’t try out like the chicken breast does especially when heating up left overs if you are luck enough to have any!

    • 118
      February 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Yup, dark meat chicken beats breast meat most of the time, except maybe for homemade nuggets. Juicier and more flavorful.Recipe sounds yummy!

  11. 119
    October 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    This is VERY delicious – and easy! I’ll make it again often.

  12. 120
    December 10, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Need bourbon for this receipe How much should i use?.

  13. 121
    December 12, 2013 at 11:48 am

    Hi, I am wondering if anyone has made this recipe just putting it all in the oven instead of frying up the chicken? Just curious, it would be easier and probably still be yummy!! Thanks for any reply.

    • 122
      December 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

      I think it would be just fine but allow for the additional time to make sure the chicken is cooked through.

  14. 123
    January 29, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Made this last night and we all loved it! I will definitely be making this again. (I doubled the sauce as we are saucy kind of people) I love your site by the way, there are so many of your recipes I want to make. I made your monkey bread for Christmas morning and the Hubs was in love!

  15. 124
    March 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Your recipe is called Burbom Chicken. there is no burbom in the recipe. How much should I use. Another post ask the same question.I think the burbom would improve the flavor. Thanks for the recipe.

  16. 125
    March 15, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Please excuse spelling of Bourdon. Just now realize how wrong it is.

    • 126
      April 9, 2014 at 1:26 am

      Hi Shirlee. Thís recipe doesn’t actually require Bourbon. There are recipes on the internet that do use Bourbon so search for them instead. They usually state 1/4 cup Bourbon but they leave out other ingredients that are in this recipe

  17. 127
    Isabelita Lizardi
    March 17, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    I am anxious to make that recipe.

  18. 128
    Marie (brazil)
    March 23, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Thats a really simple and amazing recipe, everyone can do it. I have never tasted a good asian chicken recipe like that. Thanks a lot!!!

  19. 129
    April 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    i have a question that it seems that no one has asked,where is the bourbon?i looked at the ingredient list a few times and still can’t find it.

  20. 130
    April 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Bourbon in this recipe refers to Bourbon street in La. or Bourbon country which is Ky. or surrounding area.

  21. 131
    Melissa Jensen
    April 5, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight! SO yummy.

  22. 132
    April 14, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Has anyone ever tried this in the crockpot? Possibly just leaving the chicken breasts whole…?

  23. 133
    April 22, 2014 at 6:15 am

    this is a delicious recipe. if i could manage to cook this so good, then i’ll never need to go to a good restaurant.

  24. 134
    May 28, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    I cannot believe that you are telling people to thaw chicken in hot water. I recommend you take that part off before you get sued for getting people that don’t know how to cook sick. Other than that, looks good, and thank you for sharing.

  25. 135
    June 5, 2014 at 8:55 am

    So I’m searching the internet for a recipe for bourbon chicken. This one caught my eye but since I saw the tip for thawing the chicken I have decided to move on. Good luck people. PLEASE don’t thaw your chicken in this way if you care for yourself or your loved ones!

    • 136
      July 1, 2014 at 1:19 pm

      It doesn’t effect the recipe… if you don’t like to thaw your meat that way, you don’t have to. I’ve done it that way for 25 years, no one has EVER gotten sick. I realize some are very scared of that, and that’s ok… but if you cook your meat right away and to proper temp, which this recipe will clearly do by the sheer length of time it simmers, then you have nothing to worry over.

  26. 137
    June 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    I have been thawing chicken this way for 30 years and never once has anyone in my family gotten sick. As a side note – I believe it is important to cook the chicken immediately, as soon as it is thawed. I would not recommend thawing it in warm or hot running water then storing it for any length of time.

  27. 138
    June 23, 2014 at 11:35 am

    I have been using luke warm water to thaw chicken breast for years, thaws quickly and is safe as long as do not leave for too long in water, no one my family ever has gotten sick

  28. 139
    June 27, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    i love this recipe this is my second time making it.every one love it.

  29. 140
    July 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

    A note to those fretting over the thawing of chicken in hot water…For the sheer amount of time that these little pieces of chicken are fried, there can be no worry of bacteria build-up! Salmonella is killed at 165-degrees, and I’m pretty sure that after all the combined cooking time this recipe requires, the method of thawing is of no concern. Also, when in doubt, use a meat thermometer.

  30. 141
    July 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Can’t wait to try this… going to make it tonight! Thanks for sharing and for the great blog, which I’ve just discovered.

  31. 142
    karen sundsvalen
    August 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Im just simmering now!! so excited! someone posted about chicken broth instead of water, i disagree, didnt taste good with it. i barely used water, brown sugar and juice were my main. the only changes i made was using fresh puree pineapple juice mixed with pear (that’s all i had)and coconut aminos to replace soy bc my body doesnt agree with soy lol cant wait to taste in 20 min but very stoked!!

  32. 143
    Christopher Davis
    August 14, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    No bourbon?
    Not bourbon chicken.
    That is all.

    • 144
      October 1, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      Bourbon as in Bourbon Street. As in New Orleans. Not the drink. Idiot.

  33. 145
    Thelma Wheeler
    August 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    Thankx will make it tomorrow

  34. 146
    Glad Caldwell
    September 11, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Hey Jamie, Thanks for sharing your talent… ignore those negative posts, those people would die if they saw how our grandparents & parents thawed & cooked our meats and left them on the counter all day… we surely did not die from it, neither did they… they’re all still kicking it in the kitchen. Where I’m from, we have “outside” kitchens that have been used for years – old school style – I’m sure those folks don’t know nothing about… no one dead yet! Amazing how “boojie” people gotta say something negative all the time. Keep posting, you have a great site. BTW no one is forcing them to use your methods or recipes. Now #that!

  35. 147
    September 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    do you think this could be done in a crockpot? If so how long would you cook it?

  36. 148
    Jenny C.
    September 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Jamie, I love your blog! I just ran across this recipe & can’t wait to try it next week. Thank you & God bless :)

  37. 149
    October 13, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Sorry Jamie, I love you but my family did not care for this recipe and I made it exactly! It was just too salty for us. If I make it again I will use half the soy sauce, add cashews, pineapple, and peppers.

  38. 150
    Gladys Caldwell
    December 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Jamie, I made this for my family last week and they loved it. I’m from Guam so we use soy sauce in alot of our dishes. It’s a little salty, but not gross me out can’t eat it salty. No leftovers – that tells you something. Thanks for sharing. BTW it also depends on what brand of soy sauce to use – we only use Kikoman Lite Soy sauce, lower sodium content. Thanks for sharing. We will make this again for Christmas.

  39. 151
    January 6, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    When do you add the bourbon, I didn’t see it in the recipe??

  40. 152
    Ronda Trepagnier
    January 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Hi. I stumbled upon your blog by accident and boy am I glad I did! I tried this bourbon chicken last night and got 5 thumbs up :) . Everyone loved it! It will be in my rotation for sure. I used a can of crushed pineapple and doubled everything. It was excellent! Thank you! I will be trying more of your recipes.

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