Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken emulates the bourbon chicken that appears frequently in shopping malls. It is a wonderfully easy-to-make-chicken dish. Best of all you can make Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken with chicken breasts, thighs, or legs.
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Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken
Does your mall have a Cajun Cafe? Or maybe you’ve passed another Asian food-court restaurant that makes bourbon chicken. One taste and you know you want more. Well, now you can make this scrumptious dish right at home.
Favorite Mall Chicken Recipe
I love making takeout recipes at home. I’m like a sleuth, comparing them and trying to make sure they are as close as possible.
So when I ate at Cajun Cafe, I knew I had to figure out how to make their bourbon chicken. It seemed simple enough. And I’m happy to say that it really is pretty easy!
Here’s what you’ll need for making Cajun bourbon chicken:
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Bourbon Sauce which is also the marinade
What is the bourbon sauce made of?
The bourbon sauce is salty and sweet. It’s made of a combination of these ingredients:
- Soy Sauce
- Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Ground Ginger
- Minced Onion
- Bourbon Whiskey
- White Wine
The recipe only uses a few tablespoons of white wine, so if you don’t have any you can skip it. But I think it adds just the right amount of sweetness to the bourbon.
Can you use whiskey instead of bourbon?
For this recipe, I used Jim Beam bourbon. It’s so smooth and cooks the best with my chicken. If you have ever wondered what the difference is between whiskey and bourbon, Jim Beam wrote a thorough guide.
In fact, bourbon is a type of whiskey. Just like there are types of chocolate (dark chocolate, milk chocolate) there are types of whiskey, and bourbon whiskey is one of those.
These are the different types of whiskey, and you can use any of them in this recipe.
- Irish whiskey
- Rye Whiskey
- Bourbon Whiskey
- Scotch Whiskey
Chicken breast or thighs – which is best?
Honestly, either one works just as well as the other one. When you are chopping up the chicken, remove any fatty or tendon pieces. Those are difficult to chew. Otherwise, boneless chicken thighs work just as well as chicken breasts in this recipe.
How to Make Bourbon Chicken
There are two basic steps to this bourbon chicken recipe – the marinade and the baking. That’s it. Marinate the chicken for at least a few hours in the bourbon sauce. Then, bake it.
Here are the steps:
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and pour the mixture over chicken pieces in a large bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, stirring often.
- Bake chicken at 350°F for one hour in a single layer, basting every 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven.
- Scrape the pan juices with all the brown bits into a large skillet.
- Heat and add white wine.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by thoroughly mixing water and cornstarch together.
- Pour the slurry into the skillet with the pan juices. Stir and simmer until the sauce thickens.
- Stir and add chicken. Cook for 1 minute and serve over white rice or cauliflower rice.
- Garnish with green onions if desired.
Can you make bourbon chicken in a slow cooker?
I made my bourbon chicken in the oven. But you can just as easily make this in a crockpot too. If you are going to make it a slow cooker or Crock Pot, you can skip the marinating step.
Just pour the diced chicken and the bourbon sauce into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-6 hours.
Be careful not to overcook the chicken or it will just fall apart (unless you like it like that).
Can you use another type of meat?
Yes, this sauce tastes just as amazing on any type of meat. Try one of these ideas to substitute the chicken.
- Pork chops – chop up the pork chops and marinate them in the sauce just like you did for the chicken.
- Pork Loin – marinate the pork loin and either bake it or cook it in the slow cooker. Then you can either shred it or slice it and serve it over rice.
- Steak – Chop up sirloin steak into bite-sized pieces and marinate them and bake them, just like the chicken.
- Vegetarian – You can press tofu and soak the tofu in the sauce. Then fry them in it.
How to Store, Freeze, and Reheat
Storing: Allow the bourbon chicken to cool to room temperature. Transfer the leftovers to airtight containers and place the containers in the refrigerator. It will last up to 4 days.
Freezing: All the bourbon chicken to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a freezer-safe container and label it with the current date. It will last up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Reheating: Reheat bourbon chicken on the stovetop in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F for food safety.
Popular Chinese Recipes
Cajun Cafe is one of my favorite Chinese restaurants. Here are some more Chinese recipes I’ve perfected that you should try!
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Chinese Spare Ribs
- Chinese Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Cream Cheese Rangoons
- Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Mongolian Beef
- Hunan Style Chicken
- Panda Express Chow Mein
- Panda Express Firecracker Shrimp
- Chinese Sugar Donuts
Favorite Chicken Recipes
Cajun Cafe Bourbon Chicken
- 1 pound Chicken leg or thigh meat cut in bite size chunks
- 4 ounces Soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Powdered ginger
- 2 tablespoons Dried minced onion
- 1/2 cup Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
- 2 tablespoons White wine
- 2 tablespoons Water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Cornstarch
- Mix all the marinade ingredients and pour over chicken pieces in a bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate (stirring often) for several hours (best overnight).
- Bake chicken at 350 degrees for one hour in a single layer, basting every 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken. Scrape pan juices with all the brown bits into a frying pan.
- Heat, and add 2 tablespoons white wine.
- Make a cornstarch slurry by combining water and corn starch together. Mix this well. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the skillet with the pan juices. Stir until the sauce thickens.
- Stir and add chicken. Cook for 1 minute and serve.