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Bourbon Chicken – The Secret Recipe Club

Bourbon Chicken – The Secret Recipe Club


Today’s recipe is brought to you by Angie @  That was my assigned blog this month for The Secret Recipe Club, a fun group I joined 3 months ago that has bloggers from all over the world sharing recipes and comments on a HUGE scale.

Blog assignments are kept secret, so the first thing I do on reveal day is to scroll through the link hop (at the bottom of this post) to find out who got Island Vittles and what they chose to make.  It’s a great way to meet other food bloggers and to try out some new recipes!

When I saw Bourbon Chicken on Angie’s site, I knew that was the recipe for me.  I’d never heard of the dish before, but just the title conjured up images of shiny glazed chicken, slightly sweet and salty with a hint of bourbon flavour.

At least that’s what I thought — then I read the recipe.


As it turns out, there’s no bourbon (or booze of any kind) in Angie’s version.  When I took my research a little further afield on the internet, I was surprised to find that most recipes for Bourbon Chicken are completely void of bourbon.  What do I know?

Slightly puzzled but never dissuaded from including booze in the cooking process, I set about adapting Angie’s recipe to include a little JD — and Coke — ’cause what goes better with bourbon than that?

The first time I made this, I used thighs instead of breasts, Coke instead of apple juice.  Other than adding 1/4 cup JD to the sauce, those were the only changes I made to Angie’s recipe.  Both Howard and I enjoyed it — it was glazed, sweet, salty and delicious — good enough to make again just 3 days later!

The recipe below is the result of a few more personal taste tweaks that I made to the recipe the second time around.  I omitted the ketchup and replaced it with a little Worcestershire Sauce to make up for the loss of umami, substituted OJ for the vinegar and reduced the chili flakes ’cause we thought it was a little too spicy. (Which is unusual around here!)

It won’t win any nutrition awards, but it is darn tasty, and it makes a deliciously quick mid-week meal.  Some stir fried veg would make the perfect side, but if you’re short on time like I was the night of these photos, stir some frozen edamame into your rice during its last 7 minutes of cooking to squeeze at least a little green into your meal.

(click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe)

: Bourbon Chicken

: A quick and delicious dinner perfect for a busy weeknight. Serve over rice with stir-fried vegetables.

  • Boneless & Skinless Chicken Thighs or Breast – 1 lb (450 g)
  • s+p – to taste
  • Bourbon – ¼ Cup (60 ml)
  • Coke – ¼ Cup (60 ml)
  • Soya Sauce – ¼ Cup (60 ml)
  • Brown Sugar – ¼ Cup (60 ml)
  • Orange Juice – 2 Tble (30 ml)
  • Worcestershire Sauce – 1 tsp (5 ml)
  • Garlic, minced – 1 clove
  • Chili Flakes – ½ tsp (3 ml)
  • Vegetable Oil – 2 Tble (30 ml)
  1. Cut up the chicken into small bite-sizes pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Combine the bourbon, coke, soya sauce, sugar, orange juice, Worcestershire Sauce, garlic and chili flakes and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over med-high heat for 2-3 minutes, until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Stir, then cook 2 more minutes, until lightly browned.
  4. Re-stir the sauce, add to the pan and toss well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a quick simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced to a shiny syrup that clings to the chicken, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately over steamed rice.


  • because the chicken boils in the sauce for quite a long time, I prefer thigh meat over breast, which tends to dry out.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: Chinese

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