This easy and delicious sticky Chinese Bourbon Chicken recipe combines tender pieces of chicken and sweet mango bathed in a sweet-savory sauce. It's an unforgettable dish the whole family will love.
If you’ve ever walked through mall food courts and the irresistible aroma of Bourbon chicken lured you in, you're in luck. You can make a much tastier version at home with just a few simple ingredients.
This mouthwatering recipe is made with tender chicken coated with a caramelized glaze bursting with the rich flavors of bourbon, soy sauce, and brown sugar. The best part? It comes together right on your stovetop in just 15 minutes.
I love to serve it over a bed of fluffy white rice so it can soak up all that delicious sauce.
Table of Contents
Why We Love This Easy Bourbon Chicken Recipe
- This is a really easy recipe that only takes minutes to prepare, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
- Homemade Bourbon chicken is so much better than the version you get from a Chinese restaurant.
- You can easily customize this recipe by adjusting the flavors in the sauce or including additional veggies.
Chicken breasts - We used skinless, boneless breast chunks seasoned with a little sea salt and black pepper. It's dredged in cornstarch to give it that golden brown crust.
Mango chunks - Fresh or frozen mango chunks give the dish an added pop of sweetness.
Sticky-sweet sauce - Brown sugar and bourbon are the key ingredients. To add a savory balance to the sweetness, we add soy sauce and fresh ginger. You can use regular or low-sodium soy sauce.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and instructions to make this flavorful chicken dish.
Variations and Substitutions
- For the chicken, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs or legs if you prefer dark meat.
- You can tailor the sauce ingredients by adding minced garlic, or for a kick of heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes. For more Asian flavor, add a little hoisin sauce.
- If you don't want to use bourbon, you can use apple juice or orange juice instead. It won't have the exact same flavor profile, but it will still be delicious.
- Consider optional garnishes like thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.
How to Make Sticky Bourbon Chicken
Step 1. Cut the boneless chicken breasts into ¼-inch chunks and season with salt, pepper, and cornstarch.
Step 2. Heat a large skillet with oil on medium-high heat.
Step 3. Stir-fry the chicken pieces in a single layer for 3–4 minutes.
Step 4. Add mango chunks. Cook for 1 minute.
Step 5. In a small bowl, add cornstarch and pour soy sauce slowly on it while whisking.
Step 6. Add the brown sugar and bourbon. Whisk it until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over the chicken and stir.
Step 7. Simmer over medium heat until thickened and forms a sticky sauce. This will take less than a minute.
Step 8. Remove, garnish, and serve over a serving of fluffy rice. Enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or let cool and freeze for up to one month. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
People often assume the name gives a nod to Bourbon Street in New Orleans. But it mainly gets its name because the sauce contains Bourbon whisky.
The alcohol cooks out of the bourbon as it simmers, but it leaves a nice earthy, toasty, and spiced flavor.
Top Tips for the Best Bourbon Chicken
- The chicken pieces cook quickly, so make sure they are all cut into even chunks. This will help them cook evenly in the same amount of time.
- Before you start cooking, make sure all your ingredients are chopped, measured, and ready to go. This ensures cooking goes quickly and smoothly.
- If the Bourbon chicken sauce seems a little too thick, you can thin it out with a little chicken stock or a little water. Just keep in mind that you want it to be thick so it will coat the chicken.
More Asian Chicken Recipes
Easy and Delicious Sticky Chinese Bourbon Chicken Recipe
To prepare the chicken
- 1 ½ lb chicken breast skinless, boneless (649 g)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup mango chunks 5.8 oz | 174 g
To prepare the Bourbon sauce
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup soy sauce 2.02 fluid oz | 60 ml
- ¼ cup bourbon 2.02 fluid oz | 60 ml
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Cut chicken in ¼ inch chunks and season with salt, pepper and cornstarch.
- Heat a nonstick skillet with oil on medium high heat.
- Stir fry chicken for 3-4 minutes then add mango chunks. Cook for 1 minute.
- In a small bowl, add cornstarch and pour soy sauce slowly on it while whisking.
- Add bourbon and brown sugar. Whisk until sugar dissolves. Pour on the chicken and stir.
- Turn heat to medium and allow to simmer until thickened. It will take less than a minute.
- Remove, garnish and serve with rice.