Bourbon Honey Chicken

Bourbon Honey Chicken

Food court food, but WAY better. And ready faster than it takes to drive to the mall.

Bourbon Honey Chicken… sticky, succulent bites of chicken swimming in a dark, sweet & savoury sauce spiked with bourbon. It’s incredibly easy to make and if there’s anything better than juicy chicken in an insanely yummy sauce poured over mountains of fluffy, hot rice I’d like to know what it is. Go ahead and tell me. I’ll wait.

Bourbon Chicken in Skillet

my foodie Chatter

This might be a little surprising for a “foodie” to say, but I love a good mall food court meal. I’m almost as happy with mall food as I am with high-end restaurant food and the only reason I say almost is because restaurants have wine. And martinis. When the malls catch on to this idea I may never go to a proper restaurant again.

We’ve all had mall bourbon chicken and if you haven’t I insist you head to a mall for dinner tonight and try it. Or, save your gas and try this recipe. You will not be disappointed.

Chicken in Bourbon Marinade

Bourbon Honey Chicken, how to make it…

I’m about to tell you that you need to marinate this chicken for a minimum of 30 minutes. Then I’m going to confess that there have been many times when I chose to forego that time recommendation due to my serious lack of patience and went straight from saucing to cooking. So, while marinating is obviously better, I can assure you that this chicken is still darn good if you suffer from impatience as much as I do and cook it immediately.

Once you have made the sauce by whisking together the bourbon, soy sauce, water, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and cornstarch, you’ll add in the chicken thigh pieces and give it all a good mix. Marinate (or not) and then…

You’ll heat some oil in a large, heavy skillet (I use a 12″ cast iron skillet), and when it’s good and hot you’ll remove the chicken from the marinade and spread it in a single layer in the hot skillet. Now, resist all urges to touch it for a good 3-5 minutes. You want the underside of the chicken to get nice and caramelized. Once you’ve achieved that you’ll give it a turn. Now let the other side brown the same way.

Next, pour in all the remaining sauce and let it simmer away for a few minutes until it gets nice and thick. That’s it. Serve piled on top of hot, fluffy white rice and sprinkle with lots of sliced green onion.

Bourbon Honey Chicken

Bourbon Honey Chicken Recipe ingredients, tips, substitutions:

Chicken Thighs – boneless, skinless chicken thighs are best for this recipe because they are much more forgiving and don’t dry out. You can use chicken breasts if you prefer.

Honey – I use regular runny honey and I add in some dark brown sugar too because I love the added flavour it gives.

Bourbon – any bourbon works and if you want to omit the booze you can use use a little broth in its place. People often assume all alcohol evaporates during cooking, but truth is that it doesn’t. Read this.

Cooking – a large, heavy skillet is the best choice for cooking this chicken. You want enough surface area to spread the chicken out in an even layer so the extra liquid can cook off enough to properly caramelize the chicken pieces. I like a 12″ cast iron skillet like the one you can find in my favourites list here.

Bourbon Honey Chicken

interested in more super yummy chicken recipes to try? I’ve got you.

Bourbon Honey Chicken on Rice with Green Onion
Bourbon Honey Chicken

Bourbon Honey Chicken

Sticky, succulent bites of chicken swimming in a dark, sweet, savoury sauce spiked with bourbon. Topped with fresh green and served on fluffy white rice to soak up the delicious sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Sliced green onion for serving


  • In a large bowl combine the bourbon, soy sauce, water, honey, brown sugar, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and cornstarch. Whisk well.
  • Add the chicken, mix well, refrigerate and let marinate for 30 minutes to several hours.
  • Heal the oil in a large heavy skillet (I use a 12” cast iron), and when hot, remove the chicken from the sauce and add it to the skillet in a single layer.
  • Let it cook, undisturbed for 3-4 minutes until the bottom browns and caramelizes, then flip the chicken. Let it cook and caramelize on the other side.
  • Pour in the remaining sauce and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes until it thickens.
  • Serve with rice and garnish with green onion.
Keyword Bourbon Honey Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Let me know what you think below and if you like this Bourbon Honey Chicken Recipe I know you’ll also love my Dragon Chicken Recipe. It’s so good!


  1. I don’t have rice vinegar. Do you think it would be good without it?

    • It’s nice to have the little bit of acid to offset the sweet. You can sub in another kind of vinegar or even lemon or lime juice. Maybe just use slightly less because I find rice vinegar to be more mild than others. Hope that helps!

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