Tender chicken thighs are glazed in a sweet sauce of apple juice, brown sugar, garlic, ketchup, soy sauce and vinegar. This is a favorite, quick weeknight dinner served over rice with a steamed vegetable like broccoli. It is always a crowd pleaser and it's ready in just 30 minutes!
This popular dish, found in mall food courts, is a Chinese-American fusion dish that actually originated in Louisiana.
It's similar to teriyaki chicken but the sauce is sweeter, thick and tangy!
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This mall-style bourboun chicken is known for it's thick, sweet and sticky sauce. The sauce contains highly acidic ingredients — vinegar and tomato. This produces a sour flavor that's balanced out by brown sugar and apple juice, creating that sweet and sour flavor profile that's so enjoyable!
This recipe is easy to whip up using very common ingredients. So, you'll save a trip to the mall and some cash too by making this dish at home!
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
You'll need a short list of easy-to-find ingredients to make this mall-style bourbon chicken recipe at home.
Here's everything you'll need:
- Chicken thighs. Boneless, skinless and you'll want to slice them into uniform, bite-sized pieces so that they cook evenly. Chicken thighs are moist moist and flavorful but are also more fatty so you can use chicken breast if you prefer.
- Apple juice. Just your standard apple juice.
- Brown sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
- Onion and garlic powder. This acts as a rub to season the chicken.
- Apple cider vinegar. I like to choose one that has the mother. The flavor is nice and you get those pro-biotic benefits. However, any kind will do.
- Garlic. Fresh, paste or minced to add to your sauce.
- Soy sauce. I prefer low-sodium soy sauce but you can use whichever you prefer.
- Ketchup. Just regular ketchup is all you need. Choose your favorite brand
- Scallions (green onions) and sesame seeds for garnish.
- White or yellow rice and steamed broccoli for serving. Precook the rice according to package instructions and I like to use the broccoli that steams in a bag or you can easily use a steaming insert and stem fresh broccoli on the stovetop.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
Here's a look at the steps for making the chicken and sauce. Pair this chicken with cooked rice and broccoli for a complete meal.
- Pat dry, season and cook chicken.
- Add sauce ingredients, stir and simmer.
- Garnish then serve over rice.
That's it! Super easy. So yummy!
★ Tips & FAQs ★
Does bourbon chicken contain actual bourbon?
Contrary to what many might think, this chicken dish does not contain bourbon.
This dish is said to be named after the street where this recipe originated — Bourbon Street.
Some recipes do call for bourbon whiskey but we are using apple juice and apple cider vinegar as a substitute, which may sounds a little lame, but trust me the flavor is excellent!
Can I add bourbon to this recipe?
If you want to use bourbon use ½ cup of bourbon and ½ cup apple juice.
Add some heat.
To add a little spice, try add Sriracha sauce or red pepper chili flakes to taste.
Is Mall Food Court Bourbon Chicken suitable for meal prep?
Absolutely! It reheats well, making it a great option for meal prep. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat when ready to eat.
Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Use an airtight container.
Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
To reheat, reheat using the microwave until warmed through. Stir as needed.
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- 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
For the Sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup apple juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 3 teaspoon garlic paste
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 2 cups cooked white or yellow rice
- 2 cups steamed broccoli florets
- Pat chicken pieces dry and season generously with salt, onion powder, and garlic powder by rubbing on all sides.
- Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium high heat, add chicken pieces.
- Cook chicken, stirring to evenly cook all sides, until done. About 3-5 minutes.
- Add apple juice, brown sugar, garlic paste vinegar, garlic, soy sauce and ketchup. Stir to combine. Cook over medium high heat until sauce thickens and coats the chicken.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
- Serve over cooked rice with broccoli.