Bourbon Chicken.  This is my  meal of choice when my kids make me go to the mall with them.  Have I mentioned my aversion to the mall?  I mean, I am just appalled that to go to a movie nowadays, you have to park 1000 miles away in a parking lot of a million cars, and then walk through the mall, past all that temptation,  just to get to a movie!  What’s up with that?

Dangerous things happen in the mall…like expensive things.

Anyway, when presented with a food court at the mall, I typically order Bourbon Chicken.

And I love it.

Here is my experiment with making it at home.  It’s pretty close, I must say….

Take 1/2 cup of soy sauce.  Dump it into a small saucepan.  I always use the Light Soy Sauce.  If I don’t, my fingers swell up like sausages.

Add 1/2 cup of brown sugar to this and 3 chopped cloves of garlic.  Also grate up 1 tablespoon of ginger and toss it in as well.  You could use powdered if you want, it’ll work, but dry spices are more powerful so use maybe 2 teaspoons.

Chop up one-half cup of shallots.

If you don’t have shallots, just use onions.  I found these at my local Asian market dirt cheap this week!  Usually, I have to buy them 2 or 3 at a time in a little mesh bag for an unreasonable amount of money at my grocery store.

Enter the Bourbon.

I sauntered, and by sauntered, I mean I looked both ways while slinking deeply into my seat for anyone I knew around, into my local liquor store.  I mean, I thought about taping a sign onto the back of my car saying “I’m buying hard liquor for cooking, I swear it!”  I squeakily asked for a small bottle of bourbon.  Seeing as we aren’t big drinkers, when the man handed me this little bottle of Jim Beam Whiskey, I blankly looked at him and said, “isn’t this whiskey?” and he politely explained to me that they are basically one and the same.

Silly me.   **Mental note to self….bourbon =whiskey.

Anyway, dump in 1/2 cup of bourbon into your saucepan mix.

If you don’t drink, don’t worry! The alcohol cooks right out of it and you won’t be in danger.  You just need it for the correct flavor – Bourbon Chicken.

Get it?

Also stir in 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and  1 tablespoon of vinegar.  I used rice wine vinegar.  (sorry, no picture!).

Mix this all up in the saucepan, cooking over medium heat – just enough to allow the sugar to dissolve.

While that’s heating up, cut up 7or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I get a huge pack at Sams) into bite-size pieces. You can use chicken breasts if you don’t like dark meat, but the real stuff is dark at the mall!  Toss it into a 9 x 13 pan.

By now the sugar in your sauce should be dissolved and your sauce should be nice and warm.  Pour it right over all your chicken and mix it up with a large spoon so all your chicken is coated.

Cover it with tin foil or plastic wrap and put it in your refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the yummy marinade to do its work.

Remove your pan and open it up.

Bake uncovered for one hour at 350º.

While it’s baking, make yourself some lovely jasmine rice.

It’s the only way to go baby.

Remove your chicken from the oven after an hour.

Spoon some jasmine rice onto a plate.

Spoon some Bourbon Chicken over top.

And enjoy some good ol’ Bourbon Chicken…like at the mall.

Without the expensive price tags driving you crazy.


2.0 from 3 reviews
Bourbon Chicken..Yes, Like at the Mall
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 6
  • ½ c. soy sauce
  • ½ c. brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 T. freshly grated ginger
  • ½ c. chopped shallot or onion
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small cubes
  • ½ c. Bourbon Whiskey
  • 1 T. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 t. red chili flakes
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, onion,bourbon, vinegar, and chili flakes; stir jjust until sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Pour over chicken in a 9 x 13 baking dish and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Bake in a preheated 350°F. oven for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes with pan juices..
  5. Serve immediately with pan juices over cooked rice.


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