I never was convinced there was bourbon in bourbon chicken. I set up a lab experiment in my little kitchen, sample box of mall bourbon chicken, and my own ingredients, all ready for a Food Network style Throwdown, (without Bobby Flay). I already had a general plan for what I thought might be in Bourbon Chicken, and then I went to work, chopping, mixing, cooking, tasting, tasting, tasting, and I feel confident I got this done. Side by side taste tests get a thumbs up for my recipe. Note: I used some low calorie ingredients in mine, and if you choose to use full calorie options, be careful not to burn or over sweeten your sauce. You can get ketjap manis in oriental grocery stores. Don't substitute regular soy sauce for it- the flavor and texture is totally different. Or you could try making Ketjap Manis, reduced to the thickness of honey. I think the ketjap manis I used must have given it the reddish color, although I hadn't noticed that using it before. Maybe it was the cherry coke? The color won't really matter so don't worry about it.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
For the sauce
- 1⁄2 cup ketjap manis (Indonesian sweet & thick soy sauce)
- 1⁄2 cup diet cherry coke (optional cherry coke or cherry pepsi)
- 1⁄4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend (optional brown sugar or palm sugar)
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Mix ingredients for sauce in a small bowl.
- Saute chicken in butter in a large skillet, until nicely browned, being careful not to burn the butter.
- Add the sauce and stir, bringing to a boil.
- Reduce heat and cook, stirring, 20-25 minutes or until sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through.