14This bourbon chicken is the perfect food court copycat! It’s a healthy take on the classic that’s paleo, AIP, and gluten-free.

A bowl with bourbon chicken served with broccolini and rice noodles.

What is bourbon chicken?

I’ll also associate bourbon chicken with mall food courts! I remember walking by employees giving out samples on toothpicks, and it was always so yummy!

Bourbon chicken actually originates in New Orleans, Bourbon Street to be specific, and can often be found in Asian and Cajun restaurants, and of course food courts as well. It’s traditionally made with cornstarch, ketchup, soy sauce, and sugar. This version is made with paleo, whole30, AIP, and gluten-free ingredients to make a healthier alternative!

The Ingredients for Bourbon Chicken Bowls

  • Chicken Breast. I have not tried this with chicken thigh, but it should work!
  • Salt, Pepper, and Avocado Oil. 
  • Coconut Aminos. Coconut aminos is a soy sauce alternative and be found online or in health stores.
  • Apple Juice. Apple juice or pineapple juice is often used as a sweetener in bourbon chicken. Be sure to use something without added sugar!
  • Garlic. 
  • Coconut Sugar. For a hint of sweetness!
  • Arrowroot Starch. 
  • Green Onion. For topping.

All the ingredients for bourbon chicken set out before cooking.

 How to Make Homemade Bourbon Chicken Bowls

  • Step One. Prep the sauce.
  • Step Two. Cook the chicken.
  • Step Three. Add the sauce and allow to simmer.
  • Step Four. Enjoy over rice or cauliflower rice!Step by step photos of making bourbon chicken.


Wait, so there’s no bourbon in bourbon chicken?

No, there doesn’t have to be! Yes, there can be and things like alcoholic beverages do add a lot of richness to recipes, but I certainly did not use it and didn’t miss it!

What can you serve this bourbon chicken with?

This bourbon chicken tastes great with Asian inspired side dishes such as…

A bowl of bourbon chicken served with broccolini and rice noodles with chopsticks taking a bite.


You’ll also love…

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Bourbon Chicken

  • Author: Michelle
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x


This bourbon chicken is the perfect food court copycat! It’s a healthy take on the classic that’s paleo, AIP, and gluten-free.



For the sauce 

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 tbsp apple juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch

For the chicken

  • 1 lb chicken breast (or thigh), cubed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp avocado oil
  • Green onion


  1. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Using a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken and evenly space. Allow to cook for 3 minutes or until the edges begin to turn white. Use tongs to turn each piece of chicken and cook for another 3 minutes. Toss again to cook on all sides. The chicken should be crisp and cooked through to 165 F.
  3. Add the sauce and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove any burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until thick. Toss to coat the chicken.
  4. Serve the chicken over rice or cauliflower rice and top with green onion to serve.


All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Main dishes
  • Method: Stove top


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 206
  • Fat: 6.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 15g
  • Fiber: .1g
  • Protein: 20.5

Keywords: Bourbon chicken

Recipe by Michelle, Unbound Wellness. Photos by Modern Food Stories.

This post first appeared on Unbound Wellness in 2020 and was updated in 2024.