Bourbon Chicken

Billed as Cajun-Chinese fusion, we found this recipe to fit more with Chinese than the American south.  But, tasty either way.

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 large scallions
  1. Make the sauce. Prepare the following, adding them all to a medium bowl: Mince 3 garlic cloves. Peel and mince a 2-inch piece of ginger until you have 1 tablespoon. Add 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  2. Coat the chicken in cornstarch. Cut 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts into 1-inch chunks, discarding any large pieces of fat, and place in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and toss until evenly coated.

  3. Brown the chicken. Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil and the chicken and spread into an even layer. (It’s ok if some of the chicken is not touching the bottom of the pan.) Let cook undisturbed until golden-brown and seared on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes.

  4. Simmer in the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sauce mixture. Stir to thoroughly coat the chicken and let simmer until reduced by half, 6 to 9 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl, and thinly slice 2 large scallions.

  5. Simmer and thicken the sauce. Add the cornstarch mixture to the pan and stir until fully dissolved and combined. Continue cooking, stirring often, until the sauce thickens, is glossy, and coats the chicken, 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Garnish and serve over rice. Serve the chicken over rice if desired and garnish with the sliced scallions.

 

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