Sunday Rewind: Take a shot with Bourbon

As The Rantings of an Amateur Chef has been going since February of 2012, there are quite a few readers that have joined along the way. In an effort to bring back some great recipes that they may have missed, I will dedicate Sundays to re-posting a favorite that is at least two years old. I hope you enjoy! – The Ranting Chef

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.

Bourbon chicken

Photo Mar 12, 6 10 35 PM

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


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


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

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

Author:The Ranting Chef

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3 Comments on “Sunday Rewind: Take a shot with Bourbon”

  1. October 19, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    That’s lovely, thanks for sharing 🙂


  2. November 11, 2014 at 3:29 am #

    Reblogged this on Brownhills Barry's Blog.


  3. December 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    This recipe is awesome! I followed the advice of some of the other reviewers by doubling the sauce, using only a pinch of red pepper flakes, added scallions, coated the chicken in cornstarch and lightly frying it, served over brown rice with steamed broccoli, let the sauce simmer for 35 to 40 mins so it will thicken (no need to add more cornstarch if you let it simmer longer), and used low sodium soy sauce. This recipe turned out great. This is the first time I tried a new recipe and it turned out great the first time around. Definitely a keeper in my house : )


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