I know I’ve been on a Mardi Gras recipe rampage this past week here on the site, but I have just one more to share with you guys. And this one is wonderful any time of year! I remember getting Bourbon Chicken in the mall food court in Annapolis when I was growing up – at a place called The Big Easy. Even though my teenage heart was prone to Sbarro, I couldn’t resist the tender chicken in the rich sauce over a bed of rice once I’d tried it. They liked to suck you in with samples as you walked by!
I got to thinking about those days a few weeks ago, and tried my hand at making it at home. I’ve tried to make it once or twice before, but the recipes I’d used always fell short. Mainly due to the fact that none of them contained bourbon, I’d imagine. Now, from what I understand – the dish is named after the street in New Orleans…not the liquor. But, knowing those crazy Cajuns – why wouldn’t they use bourbon given the chance?
So I threw some of that in the sauce, changed a few of the ingredient ratios to get it where I wanted it – and I’m happy to report that this recipe is a winner! I only had chicken breasts, but am really looking forward to trying it with thighs next time – because they really are more tender and juicy. But, it was still great with the boobs. We all enjoyed it, and have already had a request or two since I made it a few weeks ago. So it will definitely be on the menu again soon! If you’re looking for something relatively quick and easy to make tomorrow night to celebrate Mardi Gras and New Orleans – add this to the menu!
2 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger (ground or fresh)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup bourbon
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken pieces and cook until nicely browned. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining ingredients to skillet, and whisk to combine. Return chicken to pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Sauce should have reduced somewhat and be thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over white or brown rice.
Source: adapted from Food.com