Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe

We live about 30 minutes from an outlet mall, so we go there more often than we should. Becca absolutely loves the bourbon chicken at the Chinese restaurant in the food court, and I have made special trips to the mall just to get the chicken!

Most of the recipes out there are either attempts to copy the New Orleans original (this is really nothing like that) or some sort of barbecue type sauce.

After much tinkering, trial and error I finally came up with a recipe that is nearly identical (close enough) to what is served at our food court. We love it, I hope you do too.

If your house is like ours, there are probably some General Tso’s fans sitting next to the Bourbon Chicken fans. You can find my General Tso’s copycat recipe here. You might also want to try some of my delicious and easy homemade egg rolls.

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The full recipe card is at the bottom of this post, but I’ll walk you through the process with pictures. If you just want the recipe, scroll down.

  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces, and remove any excess fat or skin.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ginger, pepper, soy sauce, whisky (or apple juice), water, garlic, vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan or skillet heat the oil on medium high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until the juices have cooked off and the chicken starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir the chicken every 1-2 minutes so it doesn’t burn and browns evenly.
  1. Add the bourbon mixture and stir well. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Don’t rush this as you want the alcohol to cook off from the whiskey.
  2. Add in the cornstarch/water liquid and stir briskly. The sauce will thicken quickly. (If the sauce doesn’t thicken up for you disolve another Tbsp of cornstarch in 2 Tbsp of water and stir that in)
  3. Serve over rice.

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Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe

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Category: Main Dish, Entree
Cuisine: American Chinese

A copycat recipe for the bourbon chicken served at many food court Chinese restaurants. This may not be authentic Chinese food, but it is delicious.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 LB chicken thighs, skinless.
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (I used 4 turns on the pepper mill)
  • 1/3 Cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Bourbon (or whatever brown whiskey you have sitting around. Dark rum would probably work too). If you don’t keep alcohol in your house you can substitute apple juice or cranberry juice. If you use juice, use a little less brown sugar. It really is delicious with just apple juice and no Bourbon.
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar (white wine vinegar or plain white vinegar would do if you don’t have rice vinegar)
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp cold water

  1. Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces, and remove any excess fat or skin.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ginger, pepper, soy sauce, whisky, water, garlic, vinegar and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a large saute pan or skillet heat the oil on medium high heat.
  4. Add the chicken and cook until the juices have cooked off and the chicken starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Stir the chicken every 1-2 minutes so it doesn’t burn and browns evenly.
  5. Add the bourbon mixture and stir well. Allow the liquid to come to a boil and then turn the heat down to medium. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Don’t rush this as you want the alcohol to cook off from the whiskey.
  6. Add in the cornstarch liquid and stir briskly. The sauce will thicken quickly.
  7. Serve over rice.

If you don’t have or don’t want to use whiskey in this recipe simply substitute apple juice. The taste is nearly identical. You may use chicken breast in place of chicken thighs, but the food court in my area definitely uses thighs.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Yield: 8 bowls
Serving Size:1 bowl
Calories per serving:573.07 kcal
Fat per serving:36.4 g
Saturated fat per serving:10.16 g
Carbs per serving:15.28 g
Protein per serving:43.73 g
Fiber per serving:0.17 g
Sugar per serving:13.4 g
Sodium per serving:749.43 mg
Trans fat per serving:0.22 g
Cholesterol per serving:172.5 mg
Nutrition label for Food Court Bourbon Chicken Copycat Recipe
https://oldguykitchen.com/2019/01/16/food-court-bourbon-chicken-copycat-recipe/