Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe (2024)

We live about 30 minutes from an outlet mall, so we go there more often than we should. Becca absolutely loves the bourbon chicken at the Chinese restaurant in the food court, and I have made special trips to the mall just to get the chicken!

Most of the recipes out there are either attempts to copy the New Orleans original (this is really nothing like that) or some sort of barbecue type sauce.

After much tinkering, trial and error I finally came up with a recipe that is nearly identical (close enough) to what is served at our food court. We love it, I hope you do too.

If your house is like ours, there are probably some General Tso’s fans sitting next to the Bourbon Chicken fans. You can find my General Tso’s copycat recipe here. You might also want to try some of my delicious and easy homemade egg rolls.

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The full recipe card is at the bottom of this post, but I’ll walk you through the process with pictures. If you just want the recipe, scroll down.

  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces, and remove any excess fat or skin.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ginger, pepper, soy sauce, whisky (or apple juice), water, garlic, vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan or skillet heat the oil on medium high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until the juices have cooked off and the chicken starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir the chicken every 1-2 minutes so it doesn’t burn and browns evenly.
  1. Add the bourbon mixture and stir well. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Don’t rush this as you want the alcohol to cook off from the whiskey.
  2. Add in the cornstarch/water liquid and stir briskly. The sauce will thicken quickly. (If the sauce doesn’t thicken up for you disolve another Tbsp of cornstarch in 2 Tbsp of water and stir that in)
  3. Serve over rice.

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Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe

Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe (1)

Category: Main Dish, Entree

Cuisine: American Chinese

A copycat recipe for the bourbon chicken served at many food court Chinese restaurants. This may not be authentic Chinese food, but it is delicious.

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 LB chicken thighs, skinless.
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I used 4 turns on the pepper mill)
  • 1/3 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Bourbon (or whatever brown whiskey you have sitting around. Dark rum would probably work too). If you don’t keep alcohol in your house you can substitute apple juice or cranberry juice. If you use juice, use a little less brown sugar. It really is delicious with just apple juice and no Bourbon.
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (white wine vinegar or plain white vinegar would do if you don’t have rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp cold water
  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces, and remove any excess fat or skin.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ginger, pepper, soy sauce, whisky, water, garlic, vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan or skillet heat the oil on medium high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until the juices have cooked off and the chicken starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir the chicken every 1-2 minutes so it doesn’t burn and browns evenly.
  5. Add the bourbon mixture and stir well. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Don’t rush this as you want the alcohol to cook off from the whiskey.
  6. Add in the cornstarch liquid and stir briskly. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  7. Serve over rice.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use whiskey in this recipe simply substitute apple juice. The taste is nearly identical. You may use chicken breast in place of chicken thighs, but the food court in my area definitely uses thighs.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Yield: 8 bowls

Serving Size:1 bowl

Calories per serving:573.07 kcal

Fat per serving:36.4 g

Saturated fat per serving:10.16 g

Carbs per serving:15.28 g

Protein per serving:43.73 g

Fiber per serving:0.17 g

Sugar per serving:13.4 g

Sodium per serving:749.43 mg

Trans fat per serving:0.22 g

Cholesterol per serving:172.5 mg

Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe (3)

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https://oldguykitchen.com/2019/01/16/food-court-bourbon-chicken-copycat-recipe/

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Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is bourbon chicken sauce made of? ›

The sauce is a combination of garlic, ginger, chicken stock, bourbon, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Three tablespoons of apple cider vinegar also goes in for added extra tang. At first It will look like A LOT of sauce, but it cooks down and reduces nicely.

What to substitute for bourbon in bourbon chicken? ›

For zero-proof bourbon chicken that'll have even the most diehard fans fooled, skip the bourbon and simply add an extra ¼ cup of chicken stock or apple juice (which might have been included in your pan sauce recipe anyway).

What is the difference between teriyaki chicken and bourbon chicken? ›

But, at the end of the day, they are distinctly different. Bourbon chicken is an umami bomb that features sweet, nutty, toasty, and spiced notes. Teriyaki chicken, on the other hand, leans into sweet, tangy, and salty flavors.

Does the alcohol cook out of bourbon chicken? ›

If you don't grimace at the thought of sipping the booze, then the dish will turn out tasty. After all, nearly all of the alcohol will cook-off, and there are plenty of other aromatics in the mix.

Why is it called bourbon chicken? ›

Why Is It Called Bourbon Chicken? Bourbon chicken is named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans (that's also why the “Bourbon” in Bourbon chicken” is capitalized). As the story goes, the dish was popularized in a Chinese restaurant that was located on Bourbon Street.

What is a substitute for bourbon sauce? ›

The 10 Best Bourbon Substitutes For Cooking
  • Vanilla extract. Aquarius Studio/Shutterstock. ...
  • Rum. Simonkr/Getty Images. ...
  • Brandy or cognac. Tuchkovo/Getty Images. ...
  • Peach nectar and apple cider vinegar. Anna Puzatykh/Shutterstock. ...
  • Dark beer. Gmvozd/Getty Images. ...
  • Scotch. Evgeny Karandaev/Shutterstock. ...
  • Almond extract. ...
  • Rye whiskey.
Oct 22, 2023

What are the 4 ingredients in bourbon? ›

The Recipe - Bourbon is distilled from a fermented mash of grain, yeast and water. The “mash bill” must have a minimum of 51% corn. For most bourbons, the average is about 70%. Other grains such as rye, malted barley, and wheat are considered “flavor” grains.

What are the three main ingredients of bourbon? ›

Bourbon must be produced from a mash of not less than 51% corn, but typically, a bourbon mash contains ~ 70% corn, 15% rye, and 15% malted barley. A rye whiskey mash can contain 51% rye, 39% corn, and 10% malted barley. The Tennessee whiskey can be made from a mash of 80% corn, 10% rye, and 10% malt.

What makes bourbon taste different? ›

The mash bill

Almost all bourbons also have malted barley, which lends a nutty, smoky flavor and provides enzymes that turn starches into sugars later in the production process. Many distillers also use rye and wheat to flavor their bourbons. Rye makes the bourbon spicy, while wheat produces a softer, sweeter flavor.

What is bourbon chicken called at Panda Express? ›

Panda's new Blazing Bourbon Chicken combines Southern American tradition with Taiwanese-style popcorn chicken, all amped up by the inclusion of "Hot Ones" spiciest sauce, Last Dab Apollo.

Does Chinese bourbon chicken have alcohol? ›

While the technique used to prepare the dish is Chinese, bourbon is not an ingredient you'll find in Chinese homes, where two types of alcohol are used. One, used for drinking, is a white distilled liquor, called Baijiu. The other, used for mostly for cooking, is an amber fermented rice wine called, Shao Xing Hua Diao.

Is bourbon chicken from Louisiana? ›

This dish is not a typical or traditional dish of New Orleans, of Creole cuisine, or of Cajun cuisine. This is a dish that appears at shopping mall food courts everywhere in the United States except, significantly, in Louisiana, where they know they'd never be able to pass this off as Cajun food.

Can children eat bourbon chicken? ›

Whisk the ingredients together over low heat. Bring it to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce thickens. The heat will cook off any alcohol content from the bourbon making it safe to eat for children.

What ethnicity is bourbon chicken? ›

Bourbon chicken is a dish named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, and for the bourbon whiskey ingredient. The dish is commonly found at North American restaurants serving Cajun-themed or American Chinese cuisine.

Can kids eat food cooked with bourbon? ›

For children, it is recommended to avoid food items cooked with bourbon due to the alcohol content. Even though the exact amount of alcohol left in the finished dish is hard to measure, it is better to err on the side of caution and choose alternative ingredients or cooking methods that do not involve alcohol [3].

What does bourbon chicken taste like? ›

Back to the task at hand, Bourbon Chicken. This chicken is so deliciously sweet and sticky and has a deep bourbon flavor with hints of the apple juice. It's good.

Does bourbon hot sauce contain alcohol? ›

Product Info. 5 fl oz Bourbon hot sauce. All natural, gluten free ingredients: aged peppers, bourbon. Contains alcohol; not a beverage.

Does bourbon sauce have alcohol? ›

Roughly speaking: Beer cheese sauce, bourbon caramel and other sauces brought to a boil and then removed from the heat typically retain about 85 percent of the alcohol. Diane, cherries jubilee and other recipes that flame the alcohol may still have 75 percent of the alcohol.

Does bourbon sauce contain bourbon? ›

All barbecue cooks have their own "secret sauce," but for the most part, each relies on some sort of sugar, something acidic like vinegar, fat – typically butter – and something else to make it special. This sauce uses molasses, lemon juice, bourbon and Worcestershire sauce as its main flavors.

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