You can find Bourbon Chicken at you nearest mall food court or asian takeout restaurant. Oddly enough, this dish does not taste like bourbon or have any bourbon in it. The name derives from Bourbon street in New Orleans where this chicken dish was invented.
Bourbon Chicken is similar to teriyaki since it’s sweet, sticky, and salty. There are a several different ingredients like apple juice, vinegar, ketchup that make this taste distinctly different than teriyaki chicken. In my recipe, I will be using a bit of heat to balance out the sweetness, you course you can adjust the heat to your liking.
Why You’ll Love This Bourbon Chicken
Air Fried – If you’ve tried my viral Garlic Parmesan Skewers or my Hot Lemon Pepper Skewers, you know this recipe will take less than 30 minutes.
Extremely Tender – my method for packing on the chicken together on the skewer yields incredibly tender and juicy chicken.
Versatile Cooking Methods – if you don’t have an air fryer, you can grill these skewers or roast them in the oven.
Everyone Adores This – bourbon chicken is sweet, sticky chicken with a kick of heat. There is nothing polarizing about the flavors so kids and adults alike will fall in love with these skewers.
There are a bunch of pantry staples in this food court bourbon chicken recipe which makes the list of ingredients a bit less intimidating. Be sure to read my recipe card for the complete list but I’ll list the key ingredients below:
Chicken tenders – these are significantly more tender than breasts. Thighs can be used instead.
Apple juice, brown sugar – used to add a fruity sweetness to the sauce, making it addictive!
Apple cider vinegar – or rice wine vinegar to add some tang and offset the sweetness
Ketchup – to impart a kick of heat, I’ve used sriracha ketchup in this recipe. You can opt for traditional ketchup if you want to keep this dish mild.
Soy sauce – for the salty element
Fresh garlic and ginger – grated so they easily incorporate into the sauce.
How to Make Bourbon Chicken
You can pull this recipe together in under 30 minutes. It’s the perfect weekday meal. You may want to double the recipe for leftovers – it’ll be THAT good! If you’re using wooden skewers, be sure to get them soaking in water at least 30 minutes before you start dinner.
Step 1: Make the Sauce
In a saucepan over medium low, combine all of the sauce ingredients (except the cornstarch) and bring it to a low boil. Mix a slurry with the cornstarch and water then slowly drizzle it into the sauce as you whisk. Allow the sauce to thicken, then turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Prep Chicken
While the sauce is cooling, cut chicken into 3″ pieces and get them into a zip-top bag or bowl. Add in 1/3 cup of sauce and work it into the chicken, being sure to coat all sides. Separate remaining sauce into the containers, one for basting uncooked chicken and one for basting cooked chicken and for drizzling (to prevent cross-contamination). Thread the chicken onto the skewers, packing them together.
Step 3: Air Fry
Get the skewers, a few at a time, loaded into the air fryer and cook for 12-14 minutes total (or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees) flipping them and basting with sauce every 4 minutes until they are cooked through.
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Looking for More Skewer Recipes?
I hope you enjoy this easy Air Fryer recipe for these better-than-food-court Bourbon Chicken Skewers. Be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback! If you make these or any other recipes, don’t forget to tag me on IG @BadBatchBaking to be featured on my story. Seeing your recreations makes my day!
Food Court Bourbon Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken tenders thighs or breasts work instead
- 1 heaping teaspoon grated garlic clove
- 1 heaping teaspoon grated ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ketchup or Sriracha ketchup go easy on the red pepper flakes if using spicy ketchup
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch make a slurry by diluting in 1-2 teaspoons of water, whisk until smooth
- sesame seeds for topping
- In a saucepan over medium low, combine all of the sauce ingredients (except the cornstarch slurry). Bring it to a low boil.
- Slowly drizzle the cornstarch into the sauce as you whisk. Allow the sauce to thicken, then turn off the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- While the sauce is cooling, cut chicken into 3" pieces and get them into a zip-top bag or bowl.
- Add in 1/3 cup of cooled sauce and work it into the chicken, being sure to coat all sides.
- Separate remaining sauce into the containers, one for basting uncooked chicken and one for basting cooked chicken and for drizzling (to prevent cross-contamination).
- Thread the chicken onto the skewers, packing them together. This recipe should make about 6 large skewers.
- Get the skewers, a few at a time, loaded into the air fryer and cook for 12-15 minutes total (or until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees) flipping them and basting with sauce every 4 minutes until they are cooked through.