Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon chicken has been my favorite takeout item for the longest time now. It is juicy chicken that has been seared and cut up mixed with a sweet umami sauce. Typically served with fried rice and veggies but goes well with noodles or any other plain carb.

If I am being honest, I have never really been a fan of takeout food. The flavors always seemed too unnatural and my parents would also rarely let me get any as a kid. It was only within the last 5 years, I discovered the bourbon chicken at bourbon street grill. It was the combination of char on the chicken along with the sweet sauce that really made me love this. Since then, bourbon chicken is the only takeout I get.

Important ingredients for bourbon chicken

Chicken thighs

Boneless skinless chicken thighs are the way to go for this recipe. Chicken breasts will surely dry up especially since I like to simmer the cut chicken in the sauce afterwards. When preparing my chicken, I trim off excess fat to make it slightly healthier.

Hoisin sauce

Hoisin sauce is an an absolute must for the marinade and I would not recommend skipping it or finding substitute. It is a thick paste-like consistency and is more on the sweet side in terms of flavor.

I haven’t been able to find any good substitutes for this ingredients but if I had to, I would use teriyaki sauce. This is the brand I use:

Hoisin sauce

Bourbon for bourbon chicken?

As the name of the dish implies, I added bourbon in my bourbon chicken. If you do not want to add any alcohol in the dish, it is perfectly fine to leave it out. However, there is really no alcohol taste since it all gets cooked out when you simmer afterwards.

Chinese five spice powder

Chinese five spice is a very popular ingredient used in Chinese cooking. It consists of 5 aromatics which are typically cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, and pepper. This spice is very strong so a little pinch goes a long way.

Bourbon Chicken

Bourbon chicken is my all time favorite takeout item and it is super easy to make at home.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinate Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, fast food


  • 6 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 handful broccoli (optional)


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • tbsp mirin
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 shots bourbon
  • ½ tsp Chinese five spice


  • Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
    ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 1½ tbsp mirin, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 shots bourbon, ½ tsp Chinese five spice
  • Mix marinade with chicken and let it rest for at least 30 minutes and up to a day. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
    6 boneless chicken thighs
  • Blanche broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute and set aside.
    1 handful broccoli
  • Heat up a pan over med-high heat with 1 tbsp of oil.
  • Cook chicken 3 minutes on each side and remove. Save remaining marinade from the bag for later.
  • Cut chicken into bite side pieces then add back into the pan along with the remaining marinade.
  • Bring it up to a boil and add broccoli to cook another 1-2 minutes or until you're ready to serve.
  • Top with green onions and sesame seeds.
Keyword bourbon, bourbon chicken, chicken, takeout

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  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe for lunch today without the Bourbon, and it was Delicious, so rich in taste!! Planning on making it again! I usually don’t like this dish very much at restaurants, but this recipe made me like it!! Nothing better than homemade. Thank You!

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