Meem’s Bourbon Chicken

Do you remember the bourbon chicken from the food court at the local mall? Well, this is my take on it. I remember that every trip my family and I took to the mall, we had to have lunch at the food court.

We always had the bourbon chicken from the same vendor. It was delicious, and of the many options, the healthiest. Served over a bed of white rice, this sweet, somewhat spicy chicken was very nostalgic.  The sauce was thick and sticky, and the chicken was never dry.

I don’t know the reason for it being called bourbon chicken, as I don’t think the mall vendors  actually added bourbon to their recipe. However, I added a bit of bourbon to mine.

This is a pretty simple dish with a ton of flavor. It’s one of those dishes that would be great for meal prep days too. This bourbon chicken pairs well with white rice, noodles, or veggies. Also, if you prefer chicken thighs, you can switch out the chicken breast. Lets eat.

Here is the recipe:

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 4


    • 4 chicken breasts, cubed
    • 1 tsp of salt, plus more to taste
    • 1 tsp of black ground pepper, plus more to taste
    • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • ¼ tsp of ground ginger
    • ⅓ cup of light brown sugar
    • 2 Tbsp of ketchup
    • ½ tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
    • 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar
    • ⅓ cup of soy sauce
    • ¼ cup of bourbon
    • 2 Tbsp of honey
    • 1 Tbsp of cornstarch (slurry; for thickening the sauce) *optional
    • 1 green onion, chopped for garnish
    • Black or white toasted sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken, then place it in the hot skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until browned.
  3. Once cooked, move the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  4. Turn the stove top setting down to medium low heat.
  5. Now add the garlic, ground ginger, light brown sugar, ketchup, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and honey.
  6. Stir to combine all the ingredients together. The sauce will start to thicken in approximately 3 minutes.
  7. Finally, add the chicken and the bourbon into the sauce and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
  8. If you would like the sauce to thicken, add the cornstarch slurry and stir for an additional  minute.
  9. Plate and serve over white rice. Garnish the dish with green onions and sesame seeds.

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