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Close-up, overhead view of a bowl of Bourbon chicken on a bed of white rice.

Bourbon Chicken

An at-home version of that irresistable takeout dish that combines tender chicken thighs and a sweet & salty sauce.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Asian
Keyword copycat recipe, takeout fakeout
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 419kcal


  • Medium bowl
  • 2 whisks
  • Large skillet
  • Small bowl


For the Bourbon Chicken Sauce

  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • ½ teaspoon dried ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • packed cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar, or Brown Swerve
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon optional
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • cup soy sauce

For the Bourbon Chicken

  • 1-2 tablespoons avocado oil or other neutral oil (canola, peanut, etc.)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces

For the Cornstarch Slurry

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water


  • In medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients until fully combined. Set aside.
    Overhead view of a white mixing bowl with bourbon chicken sauce on a wooden table.
  • In large skillet, add avocado oil and warm over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add chicken thigh pieces to skillet and cook until lightly browned, approximately 2 minutes or so.
    Chopped chicken thigh pieces in large skillet with neutral oil.
  • Pour sauce mixture into skillet and gently stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes.
    Overhead view of a large skillet with chicken thigh pieces in bourbon sauce on a wooden table.
  • While chicken and sauce simmer, mix together cornstarch slurry in small bowl until fully combined.
  • After chicken and sauce have simmered 10 minutes, pour cornstarch slurry into skillet and stir gently to incorporate. Simmer 5 more minutes or until sauce has thickened. Divide chicken and sauce evenly between serving bowls and serve hot warm hot rice or cauliflower rice.


  • Make it Keto: Use Brown Swerve instead of brown sugar and serve with cauliflower rice. Make sure your apple juice doesn't have any added sugar or sugar substitutes, or skip it completely. Use a keto-friendly ketchup.
  • Make it Paleo: Skip the bourbon, use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce, and serve with cauliflower rice. Make sure your apple juice doesn't have any added sugar or sugar substitutes, or skip it completely. Use a paleo-friendly ketchup.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 46g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 215mg | Sodium: 1364mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg | Net Carbs: 25g