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Bourbon Chicken: A Mall Food Court Favorite Made Easy at Home

Craving that irresistibly sweet and savory bourbon chicken from the mall food court? You're not alone. This dish, with its rich, glossy sauce and tender chicken, is a favorite for many.

Luckily, you don't need to leave the comfort of your home to enjoy it. Here's how you can recreate this beloved dish in your own kitchen, complete with tips and tricks to make the process even easier.


- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces

- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed

- 1 garlic clove, minced

- 1/4 cup onion, chopped

- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional for heat)

- 1/3 cup soy sauce

- 1/4 cup bourbon

- 1/2 cup water

- 1/2 cup brown sugar

- 1 tablespoon ketchup

- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

- 1 tablespoon cornstarch

- 2 tablespoons water


1. Prepare Vegetables and Chicken: Begin by chopping your onions, green peppers, and red peppers into bite-sized pieces. Cut the chicken thighs similarly to ensure everything cooks evenly.

2. Cook Chicken: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces in batches to avoid crowding, browning them well on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

3. Sauté Vegetables: In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed. Introduce the chopped onions, green peppers, and red peppers. Sauté until they are slightly softened but still crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the vegetables and set them aside with the chicken.

4. Create the Sauce: Add the minced garlic to the skillet and sauté for about 30 seconds. Stir in the ground ginger, crushed red pepper (if using), soy sauce, bourbon, water, brown sugar, ketchup, and apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.

5. Combine and Simmer: Return the chicken and the sautéed vegetables to the skillet, mixing well to coat with the sauce. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken slightly.

6. Thicken the Sauce: If a thicker sauce is desired, mix cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water to create a slurry. Stir this into the skillet, cooking for a few more minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

7. Serve and Enjoy: Serve this colorful bourbon chicken over a bed of rice or alongside your favorite side dishes for a fulfilling meal.

Tips for Success:

Prep Ahead: Cut all your vegetables and chicken in advance to make the cooking process smoother and faster.

Adjust to Taste: Feel free to adjust the amount of vegetables to your liking. Adding more can enhance the dish's nutritional value and visual appeal.

Marinating Option: For deeper flavor, consider marinating the chicken with a portion of the sauce ingredients before cooking.

Non-Stick Pan: Use a large non-stick pan or skillet to prevent sticking and ensure easy stirring and cleanup.

Adding onions, green peppers, and red peppers to bourbon chicken not only enhances its taste but also its nutritional value, making it a more balanced dish.

Enjoy the sweet and savory flavors of the mall classic with a homemade, healthy twist!


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