Take a shot with Bourbon

What do you call someone who takes a week’s vacation, travels across the country to the Napa Valley in California, goes from winery to winery tasting wine after wine? A connoisseur.

What do you call someone who takes a week’s vacation, travels across the country to the hills of Kentucky, goes from distillery to distillery tasting bourbon after bourbon? An alcoholic.

Bourbon is one of the true American spirits. We cannot claim wine or beer, scotch or vodka, tequila or rum. So why is it not at the forefront of our drinking and cooking experience? While I cannot answer that (I rarely drink it myself), I have sought out recipes to cook with it. This could be due to the fact that I had purchased a bottle for a guest several years ago and it was still occupying space on my liquor shelf. I ran across a recipe for bourbon chicken (a staple at Chinese restaurants in shopping malls) and thought it may be a good way to use some of my stock.

WRONG! Can you believe the bourbon chicken recipe did not call for any bourbon?? Not a drop. What a crime. I added a splash (or two) on my own.

With it, I figured a nice selection of vegetables would be a tasty side.

I served the chicken on a bed of white rice for those eating the carbs. I would say this dish was great. I will be making it again soon.

Very few ingredients.

The inspiration for the dish.

Cut up the chicken and fry it up in some oil.

Add the other ingredients to form the sauce and cook for a while longer.

Bourbon chicken

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | Servings: 4 | Difficulty: easy


  • 2 lbs boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 1⁄3; cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water (or 1/4 cup if adding bourbon)
  • 1⁄3; cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of BOURBON


1. Heat oil in a large skillet.

2. Add chicken pieces and cook until lightly browned.

3. Remove chicken.

4. Add remaining ingredients (here I added 1/4 cup of bourbon and reduced the water I added to 1/4 cup).  Heat over medium until well mixed and dissolved.

5. Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.

6. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

7. Serve over hot rice and ENJOY.

Nutritional Info:

Calories 521.4 Calories from Fat 220 Total Fat 24.4 g Saturated Fat 6.5 g Cholesterol 145.2 mg Sodium 1573.0 mg Total Carbohydrate 23.4 g Dietary Fiber 0.3 g Sugars 21.4 g Protein 50.0 g

Source: http://www.food.com/recipe/bourbon-chicken-45809

I rarely make mixed vegetables unless in a stir fry, so this was a nice variation.

Slicing the butter thin will help it melt faster.

Browned Butter Vegetables with Almonds

Prep Time: 15 Min | Cook Time: 15 Min | Servings: 6 servings | Difficulty: easy


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower


Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Season with garlic salt and garlic pepper. Mix in almonds and cook until golden brown. Stir in wine, onion, red bell pepper, broccoli and cauliflower. Cook 5 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Nutritional Info:

Amount Per Serving Calories: 185 | Total Fat: 16.6g | Cholesterol: 41mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database

Source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Browned-Butter-Vegetables-with-Almonds/Detail.aspx?ms=1&prop25=75436686&prop26=DailyDish&prop27=2012-01-18&prop28=RecipeOption&prop29=FullRecipe&me=1

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Alcohol, Chicken, Chinese, Fried, kosher, Main Dish, Recipes, Vegetable

Author:The Ranting Chef

Check out the best recipes at rantingchef.com

46 Comments on “Take a shot with Bourbon”

  1. March 21, 2012 at 11:11 am #



  2. March 21, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    My boys have been singing a folk song that contains the lyrics “Old Dan Tucker.” I didn’t know what it was until seeing your post! We will have to make this recipe and tell them about it! Can you use chicken parts with bones instead of boneless?


    • March 21, 2012 at 11:42 am #

      If you did, your cooking time would need to increase as the meat close to the bone won’t cook as quick until the bone gets equally hot. I think you could debone or use boneless thighs or other parts well.


  3. March 21, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Nice Post! I am definitely a bourbon man! We live in Jackson Wyoming and bourbon is part of our every day lives (with moderation of coarse). My son is a chef and he uses bourbon all the time in his cooking. I will share this with him and we will make this for dinner this next week – looks delicious! Thanks for the post…


  4. March 21, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Pray tell, how did it get the recipe Bourbon Chicken ?


  5. March 21, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    I like how you use everyday ingredients (and a lot of butter). My kids would like that chicken, kinda a spicy sweet and sour thing going on. Although since we are trying to cut calories here and there (I know you can’t tell that from my blog), I’d probably steam the veggies. 🙂


  6. March 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    This is my all-time favorite Chinese dish! I judge a restaurant solely on the quality of their Bourbon Chicken. Thanks for the recipe.


  7. March 21, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Mmmm bourbon. What a great reminder to add it to my cooking..


  8. March 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    You can not go wrong with this. I am going to add this to my menu.


  9. March 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

    Looks tasty! The apple juice will add too much sugar for my tastes though. Is it essential or is there a replacement for it, or can I just skip it all together?


    • March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      Sure. If I were skipping the juice to make it not as sweet, I’d up the cider vinegar a little, maybe put in a little lemon juice and the rest water.


  10. March 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

    That’s hilarious! I bet it used to have bourbon in it and someone took it out and it never found it’s way back. Search for “bourbon banana bread” that’s one way to get rid of a little. Also, my friend Suzie posted her recipe for Bourbon BBQ Sauce recently (she sent me some and it’s really good!): http://twodogsinthekitchen.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/whiskey-bourbon-bbq-sauce/


  11. March 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    This sounds delicious! I enjoy bourbon…though I don’t drink it very often. I would love to see it make more appearances in food.

    Which is why I took the liberty of adapting a pecan pie receipe to include some Jim Beam Black. I’d love to share it with you if you’d like….


  12. March 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

    Try throwing that bourbon in a bag with some salmon, brown sugar and seasoning. It is awesome! Loved looking at your blog.


  13. March 21, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

    I’m a Kentucky girl … driving to the Bourbon Trail to drink bourbon all day does not make you an alcoholic—It makes you an honorary Kentuckian! Hope you enjoyed it!


  14. Alli
    March 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

    I love cooking with alcohol because I means I get to sample while I’m cooking 😉


  15. March 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm #

    haha what a deceptive recipe name! I like that you added your own flare 🙂


  16. March 21, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Love that you include even nutritional facts! Thanx for dropping by my blog yesterday!


  17. March 21, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Another way to “get rid of” the bourbon is adding some to Pecan Pie with Chocolate Chips….that’s a sweet way to drink (I mean eat!) your dessert.

    Thanks for stopping in to visit our blog!



  18. March 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    “What do you call someone who takes a week’s vacation, travels across the country to the hills of Kentucky, goes from distillery to distillery tasting bourbon after bourbon?” Me! My husband and I did that trip last fall and it was amazing. I am now a huge bourbon fan. For my last bday, I made a Chocolate Bourbon Cake:-) Want to return next Sept for the Bourbon Fest. Thanks for the shout-out to bourbon and for what looks to be a great recipe. Weird that you had to add the bourbon to Bourbon Chicken. ??


  19. March 21, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    Chicken recipe looks great! Except I don’t have any bourbon and we wouldn’t drink it if I bought a bottle. I have light rum, vodka, vermouth or white wine. Any idea what would be a good substitute? Or should I buy a small bottle of bourbon?



    • March 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

      While chicken works well with vermouth or wine and you can make some sauces with vodka and glazes with rum, the flavor would be very different. I would not substitute any of those for bourbon in this recipe.


  20. March 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Wow, never thought of using Bourbon for every day cooking. I only use it once a year for my Thanksgiving meal. Reading your blog I wondered why? I use wine and other spirits all the time. Thanks for the reminder!


  21. March 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm #

    Love the intro to this post. I’m not a bourbon drinker, but it’s definitely got some nuance and interest. More than people give it credit for. My husband would probably love to be labeled a connoisseur for his bourbon appreciation.


    • March 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm #

      (Oh, and there are two ways I do love bourbon: in hot tea with lemon and honey, and in the filling of a peach, pear, or apple pie.)


  22. jenkakio
    March 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    Yummy! This looks awesome. About a year ago, I went to Kentucky and I picked up some Kentucky Trail bourbon (something that we don’t have in Hawai’i). I wanted to cook with it and I think this is the perfect recipe for it. Thanks for sharing. I’ll let you know how it goes!


  23. Missus Tribble
    March 22, 2012 at 12:41 am #

    Thanks so much for liking my sweet chilli courgette recipe! Thanks to your clicking the “like” button I’ve just found another wonderful cooking blog to follow 🙂


  24. March 22, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    I’m loving your site and the recipes! Really nice and helpful. 😀


  25. March 22, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    Dang this looks amazing! Do you think it would taste better with rice or noodles?


    • March 22, 2012 at 6:45 am #

      I think either would work. I use rice as it tends to soak up the rich sauce.


  26. March 22, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Love this blog. One of the things I love most about cooking is that it gives you a chance to share your heart with someone and take care of them. The only complaint I have about this blog is that it makes me hungy 🙂


  27. March 22, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Baseball and food, two of my favorites! I am bookmarking your blog! Thanks for stopping by my baseball blog! I am currently in NH working here is week but when I get back to Cali, I will buy some bourbon and try this. Thanks!


  28. March 22, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    oh mmmmmmm! I can almost smell it… I’ll be back! 🙂


  29. March 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    That bottle’s been on your shelf that long because it’s not Makers Mark 🙂


  30. magefesausa
    March 23, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    This recipe must have strong flavor! I like that!


  31. March 24, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    Browned Butter Vegetables with Almonds looks SO GOOD!! i love alllll kinds of veggies and that could easily be my fave!


  32. March 27, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    adding Bourbon to chicken… great idea!


  33. April 2, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    Oh man, this looks and sounds delicious. It’s tough reading this blog while I’m stuck at sea. About four out of six of my food options each meal are deep fried.


  34. April 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    Howdie there, I just felt the urge to state how cool I find this blog!


  35. April 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi Pat thanks for checking out my Easter Ham. In checking out your blog I found your recipe for bourbon chicken. We love bourbon chicken w’re going to try it Thanks again. Get back to later



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