Bourbon Chicken

I love a good, quick skillet meal with a homemade sauce! While it’s not quite as easy as pouring a bottle of store bought sauce over cooked chicken, it’s really not too much more work, and when I know that the quality of ingredients is so much better and the flavor is better as well, it’s worth the extra step. I also find that while there are not a lot of steps that can be done ahead, even getting little pieces done earlier in the day makes dinner time run more smoothly. I usually mix up the sauce ahead and set it in the fridge. I also usually chop up our broccoli or other vegetable. These are small steps, but they save my sanity come dinner time!

This meal is requested regularly by my son and has become a family favorite for all! I think one of the biggest secrets to this recipe is dusting the chicken in cornstarch first. It seems to seal in the moisture and you get tender, flavorful chicken every time. I have since used this method for several other skillet chicken recipes that I make as well and it’s delicious every time! Definitely add this to your weeknight meal rotation; you won’t be disappointed!

Bourbon Chicken

Course Main Course



  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 T. peanut oil (or canola oil or olive oil)
  • cornstarch for dusting


  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 t. fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 T. ketchup
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 t. corn starch


  • On a large cutting board, toss the chicken in corn starch until lightly coated.
  • Whisk all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil and add chicken. Brown on all sides until golden. It doesn't have to be cooked all the way through at this stage.
  • Pour sauce over the chicken and simmer 8-10 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened and chicken is cooked through.
  • Serve over hot white rice. (I use this simple basmati rice recipe)


What to serve with it:  We like this with a simple steamed vegetable on the side since the chicken has so much flavor and the sauce coats the rice nicely as well.  
Helping Hands: When my kids are looking for something to do they often help me mix up the sauce ahead of time.  They love measuring and adding ingredients and they also love whisking.  While it’s a small task, it’s nice when I can get it done ahead of time and it gives the kids some investment in the meal, which often makes them more likely to eat it when it’s new.  Now they love it and request it regularly!
Make Ahead Options:  Since this is a skillet meal I usually make it right around dinner time.  However, I usually try to mix up the sauce ahead of time since it’s the most time consuming part of the recipe that requires the most ingredients. Then all of that can get put away and cleaned up and I just set the sauce in the fridge until I’m ready to cook. If I have time I also usually chop up our broccoli (or other vegetable) so that is ready to go.  While they are little steps, I find they make a huge difference for my sanity come dinner time.
Recipe Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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