Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken – Mommy’s Home Cooking

This Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken is a quick, flavorful, and versatile dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. This recipe gives you all the satisfaction of takeout with the added bonus of knowing exactly what’s in your food. Serve it over rice with steamed veggies, and you’ve got a balanced meal that will surely be a hit.

overview of Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken in a cast iron skillet.

Oriana’s Thoughts On The Recipe

This Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken is one of those meals that you can whip up in just 30 minutes or less. It’s perfect for busy weeknights when you need something quick but still want to impress your family. Trust me, the sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors are a hit every time!

I know some of you might be concerned about the bourbon, but don’t worry. Most of the alcohol cooks off, leaving behind a rich, deep flavor that makes this dish so special. And for those who prefer a booze-free version, apple juice works wonderfully as a substitute. It’s a win-win for everyone!

We love serving this over a bed of rice with some steamed or roasted broccoli on the side. It feels just like takeout, but even better because it’s homemade and customizable to your family’s tastes. Give it a try, and I’m sure it’ll become a staple in your dinner rotation.

Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken with sliced green onions.

What I Love About This Recipe

Dinner in a Flash: This recipe is perfect for those nights when you’re short on time but still want to put a delicious meal on the table. From start to finish, you’ll have this sticky, flavorful chicken ready in under 30 minutes.

Homemade Goodness: There’s something incredibly satisfying about making takeout-style food at home. This Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken is not only more affordable but also healthier and just as tasty as your favorite restaurant version.

Customizable: One of the best things about this recipe is its flexibility. Adjust the level of spiciness to suit your family’s taste. Not a fan of bourbon? No problem! Just swap it out with apple juice for a booze-free option.

Flavorful: This dish packs a punch with its combination of sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors. It’s a delicious mix that keeps everyone coming back for seconds.

Potential Cons Of The Recipe

  • Alcohol Content: Some people might be concerned about the alcohol in bourbon.
  • Spiciness: Not everyone enjoys spicy food.

Tips To Mitigate These Cons

  • Alcohol Content: Use apple juice instead of bourbon for a kid-friendly, alcohol-free version.
  • Spiciness: Adjust the red pepper flakes to control the heat level, or omit them entirely if you prefer a milder dish.

Ingredients You’ll Need, Substitutions & Notes

Ingredients needed to make Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken with name tags.

Please check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact quantities and detailed instructions (scroll down).

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts: Or use chicken thighs for a juicier alternative.
  • Salt & Black Pepper: For seasoning the chicken.
  • Cornstarch: Helps to give the chicken a nice crispy coating.
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil: For frying the chicken.
  • Sliced Fresh Green Onion: Optional garnish that adds a fresh touch.

Bourbon Sauce:

  • Garlic: Adds depth and flavor.
  • Apple Juice: Use as a substitute for bourbon if desired.
  • Bourbon: The star ingredient, adding a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Water: Balances the sauce.
  • Soy Sauce: Adds umami and saltiness.
  • Brown Sugar: For sweetness and a hint of caramel.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds tanginess.
  • Ketchup: Contributes to the sauce’s sweetness and thickness.
  • Ginger: Use fresh for a more robust flavor or dried if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Onion Powder: Adds a savory note.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: Optional, for a bit of heat.

Process Overview: Step-by-Step Photos

Please check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact quantities and detailed instructions (scroll down).

Step 1 – Season The Chicken

Season the chicken and then toss it in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

pieces of chicken breast seasoned to make Sticky Bourbon Chicken in a bowl.

Step 2 – Saute the Chicken

Cook the chicken in batches until the chicken is browned. Remove to a plate.

Step 3 – Make The Sauce

Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Sticky Bourbon Chicken sauce in a bowl.

Step 4 – Reduce The Sauce

Simmer the sauce in the same skillet for 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol. 

Sticky Bourbon Chicken sauce in a skillet being reduced.

Step 5 – Add The Chicken

Add chicken back to the skillet and simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Step 6 – Garnish and Serve

Sprinkle with chopped green onions, if desired, and serve.

Sticky Bourbon Chicken in a skillet with sliced green onions on top.

Slow Cooker Version

Want to have dinner ready long before dinner time? No worries! You can make my Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken in the slow cooker!

To make Bourbon Chicken in the slow cooker, brown the chicken as directed in the recipe. Then mix only half the amount of sauce ingredients (they won’t be able to cook down in the slow cooker, so you don’t need as much). Toss the chicken and sauce into the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 – 5 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.

Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken on a serving spoon.

Recipe Tips

  • Chicken: I use chicken breast because my family likes it. If you want a more tender cut, use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Either works, so use what your family prefers!
  • Bourbon: Apple juice can be used instead of bourbon if you don’t prefer to cook with alcohol. 
  • Spiciness: Try adding some sriracha, cayenne pepper, or extra red pepper flakes for extra spiciness. 
  • When cooking the chicken, do it in small batches, and don’t overcrowd the pan. This allows the chicken to turn golden and crispy! It takes a bit of extra time, but you’ll get a better brown on it, which makes the chicken extra delicious.

Food Allergy Swaps

  • Gluten-Free: Ensure your soy sauce is gluten-free.
  • Soy-Free: Instead of using soy sauce, you can use coconut aminos. Coconut aminos is a popular soy-free alternative that provides a similar umami flavor without the soy. It’s slightly sweeter and less salty than soy sauce, so you might want to adjust the amount to taste.
  • Nut-Free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
  • Dairy-Free: This recipe is naturally dairy-free.
Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken in a cast iron skillet garnished with sliced scallions.

Variations & Additions

  • Veggie Additions: Add bell peppers or snap peas for extra veggies.
  • Different Protein: Try this sauce with shrimp, pork, or tofu for a different twist.

Serving Suggestions

Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken pairs well with lots of different sides! Depending on what your family prefers, here are a few ideas for completing your meal:

You really can’t go wrong with noodles, rice, or potatoes as a filler plus a vegetable. Any combination will add color, texture, and flavor that will only enhance the bourbon chicken.

overview of a plate with rice, broccoli and Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken.

Storing and Freezing Instructions

Store: If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator. Easy Bourbon Chicken will still be delicious to reheat for up to four days.

Freeze: Easy Bourbon Chicken is a fantastic freezer meal! The key is to let it cool completely before freezing. Once the chicken and the sauce are both completely cool, store it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe zip-top bag for up to one month. Don’t forget to label the container with the date and contents!

Defrost: When you’re ready to eat your frozen bourbon chicken, be sure to thaw it completely before reheating. Pulling it out of the freezer and putting it in the refrigerator the day before you plan to eat it should give it ample time to thaw out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the sauce ahead and store it in the fridge. Cook the chicken fresh when you’re ready to serve for the best texture.

Is there a non-alcoholic substitute for bourbon?

Absolutely! Apple juice is a perfect substitute that keeps the sweetness and tanginess intact.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Sure! This recipe works well with chicken thighs, shrimp, pork, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust cooking times accordingly.

close up of Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken.

More Easy Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Recipe Card 📖

Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken in a skillet with a serving spoon

Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken

64569017466b70122dc3c6f02423c7db?s=30&d=mm&r=gOriana Romero

This Easy Sticky Bourbon Chicken is sweet, tangy, slightly spicy and oh so delicious! Taking only 30 minutes or less from start to finish, this easy dinner is both simple and quick! A tasty homemade takeout that the whole family will enjoy.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 6 servings

Instructions 

  • Place the chicken pieces in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Then toss with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Make sure all the pieces are coated.

  • Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken in batches; do not overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes, then flip. Do not move the chicken too much so it can get brown and crispy. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate.

  • Mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.

  • In the same skillet, pour the sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to help cook off the alcohol. Use a wooden spoon to mix and deglaze the pan.

  • Mix the 2 teaspoons remaining of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and add the mixture to the bourbon sauce to thicken it; mix well to incorporate.

  • Add the chicken back in and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced by about half and thickens a bit, and the chicken is fully cooked. The sauce should be glossy and coat the chicken.

  • Serve the chicken over rice if desired and garnish with the sliced green onions.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Season and brown the chicken as directed in the recipe (steps 1 and 2).

  • Then mix only half the amount of sauce ingredients.

  • Toss the browned chicken and sauce into the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 4 – 5 hours.

  • In the last 30 minutes of cooking, mix the 2 teaspoons remaining of cornstarch with 2 teaspoons of water and add the mixture to the slow cooker; mix well to incorporate.

  • Serve the chicken over rice if desired and garnish with the sliced green onions.

 
STORE: If you have leftovers, place them in an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
 
FREEZE: Easy Bourbon Chicken is a fantastic freezer meal! Let it cool completely before freezing. Once the chicken and the sauce are both completely cool, store it in an airtight container or a freezer-safe zip-top bag for up to one month. Don’t forget to label the container with the date and contents! Thaw it completely before reheating.

 

Quick Tips And Variations:
  • Apple cider vinegar can be substituted for rice vinegar.
  • Apple juice can be used instead of bourbon if you don’t prefer to cook with alcohol.
  • Try adding some sriracha, cayenne pepper, or extra red pepper flakes for extra spiciness.
  • When cooking the chicken, do it in small batches, and don’t overcrowd the pan. This allows the chicken to turn golden and crispy! It takes a bit of extra time, but you’ll get a better brown on it, which makes the chicken extra delicious.
  • I use chicken breast because my family likes it. If you want a more tender cut, use boneless and skinless chicken thighs. Either works, so use what your family prefers.
  • Veggie Additions: Add bell peppers or snap peas for extra veggies.
  • Different Protein: Try this sauce with shrimp or tofu for a different twist.

 
 

I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!Recipe reviews on the website are extremely valuable to other readers online. So, please don’t forget to give it a 5-star rating below.

Nutrition

Calories: 610kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 57gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 169mgSodium: 1133mgPotassium: 658mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 308IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course

Cuisine Asian

Calories 610

Keyword bourbon chicken dinner easy spicy takeout

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