Food Court Bourbon Chicken

On the menu tonight – Food Court Bourbon Chicken!

This is one of my guilty pleasures. I can’t tell you how many times I have ordered this from the food court in the building I used to work. Funny thing is, as much as I loved it, I never made it – until now. It has been too long since I have had this delicious Americanized Chinese food.

The thing I remember most about getting it at the food court is the person serving it always has that little scoop – it’s always the same type scoop no matter where I have been. When you order it, they move the bourbon chicken around in the pan a few times like they are trying to get you the biggest scoop they can. You’re thinking “Oh yeah! Load me up!” BUT, when it’s time to put it in the styrofoam container that darn scoop is mostly full if you’re lucky! They start putting a few pieces of the chicken on the rice and now you’re thinking “What happened to those heaping scoops I saw you moving around???!!!…” LOL I digress, good times.

It didn’t take long to find recipes on Pinterest for copy cat versions, so full disclosure when I say I did not craft this recipe. The final product was pretty good, definitely better than some food court chicken that I have had, but I’m going to work on this one. It tasted like something was missing.

When I make it next time, I will season the chicken first. Another change I will make is to marinade the chicken as well for at least an hour. If you have a version of bourbon chicken, I would like to hear how you make your version.

Food Court Bourbon Chicken

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Food Court Bourbon Chicken


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black powder
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, dissolved in 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup rice



Prepare the rice per package instructions and set aside


Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch


In a bowl, combine the ginger, pepper, soy sauce, bourbon, water, garlic, vinegar, and brown sugar, then set aside


In a large sauce pan, pre-heat over medium high heat


Add the chicken and cook until the chicken starts to brown - about 8 minutes. Do it batches if needed, don't crowd the pan


Add the bourbon mixture and stir well


Bring it to a boil and then lower the temperature to medium and then simmer, uncovered, about 15 minutes.


Allow time for the alcohol to cook off


Add the cornstarch slurry and stir. The sauce will quickly start to thicken


Serve over rice


As mentioned above, I recommend seasoning the chicken first with salt and pepper first. I would also recommend marinading the chicken in the liquid mixture for at least an hour. Next time, I think I will add about a 1/2 tsp of sesame oil.

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