Remember going to the mall back in the 90s to visit such gems as Hot Topic, Claire’s, Sam Goody and Chess King? Surely you needed a break from such high fashion and you’d treat yourself to a nice trip to the mall food court t gossip about the latest eppy of 90210!
Back before food courts went all chic and frou-frou with burgers made of golden grass-fed beef and lavender-infused tarot fries. This is the 90s and Bourbon Chicken is being hawked EVERYWHERE! Literally, every place was offering a free sample of the stuff – I swear even the taco shack tried getting in on it. And can you blame them? This stuff was seriously addicting. Like you’d put your shame game to rest knowing you’d get as many free samples of Bourbon Chicken (from each place that offered it) as possible and – BOOM – free lunch!
Sadly, it’s not common to see such a wonderful free display of this food anymore (go to Costco for that instead). And Bourbon Chicken has taken back seat to unicorn-dusted tofu. But that is changing now. Yup – I’m bringing the 90s back. And you’ll NEVER have to scavenger for another free sample again because you’re easily making this in your Instant Pot in no time at all. In fact, I guarantee it’ll be just as wonderfully sweet & savory as you remember!
So get out the scrunchies, pierce your upper ear cartilage, buy some chokers, a witchy-goth outfit you’ll wear once and break out the Ace of Base – because BOURBON CHICKEN RETURNS!
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Begin with some boneless, skinless chicken thighs (yes, you an use breasts too)…
…and cut into bite-size chunks.
Sprinkle on some seasoned salt…
….and mix together with clean hands.
Go to the Instant Pot and add in some butter…
…and sesame oil. Give the pot some heat.
Once everything heats up and bubbles…
…add in the chicken.
Stir and let cook for a few minutes until it’s pinkish-white in color. (It shouldn’t be fully cooked yet.)
Now, add in the bourbon (because, Bourbon Chicken)…
…and crushed/minced ginger.
Stir and let simmer a moment for some of the alcohol to burn off.
Then, add in some chicken broth…
…apple cider vinegar…
…low-sodium soy sauce…
…and light brown sugar.
Stir until well combined, secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
As the chicken’s cooking, prepare the cornstarch slurry which will thicken the sauce. Combine equal parts cornstarch…
…and mix together…
…until nice and smooth.
When the chicken’s done, it’ll look like this.
Add in some ketchup…
…hoisin sauce (which is like a plum sauce)
…and some honey.
Stir until well combined and give the pot some more heat and allow it to bubble again.
Once it does, stir in the cornstarch slurry…
…and allow it to bubble for another minute while stirring. The sauce will thicken immediately. Turn the heat off.
And look at that. PERFECT Bourbon Chicken!
Place some in a serving bowl…
…stick a toothpick in a piece…
…and get ready to pitch out those free samples!
(Don’t worry, they’ll flock to you)…
…and try and get as many free samples as possible.
I mean, they may even resort to going incognito…
I CAUGHT YOU, YA ‘LIL PIGGY!
(But really, who can blame them? It’s friggin delish!)
Enjoy with an Orange Julius!
Advertising Disclosure: Jeffrey Eisner/Pressure Luck is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com
Pressure Luck exclusively uses Better Than Bouillon/Southeastern Mills for all soup bases and bouillon
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-size pieces, lightly seasoned with a few sprinkles of seasoned salt or salt & pepper
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp of sesame oil
- 1 tbsp of salted butter
- 1 tbsp of crushed or minced garlic
- 1 tbsp of squeeze or minced ginger
- 1/4 cup of bourbon (you can apple juice if you don’t want to use bourbon)
- 1/3 cup of chicken broth
- 2 tbsp of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of ketchup
- 2 tbsp of hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp of honey
- 2 tbsp of a cornstarch slurry (2 tbsp of cornstarch + 2 tbsp of water)
- 1 tsp of Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (optional, for color)
- Add the oil and butter to the pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting and allow it to heat up for a few minutes
- Once the oil’s heated and the butter’s melted, add the seasoned chicken and sauté for 2 minutes until pinkish-white in color (it should NOT be fully cooked in this stage)
- Next, add in the bourbon, garlic and ginger and stir. Allow it to simmer for another minute so some of the alcohol burns off
- Lastly, add in the broth, vinegar, soy sauce and light brown sugar. Stir well, secure the lid, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and cook for 4 minutes at high pressure. Quick release when done
- When the lid comes off, stir in the ketchup, hoisin sauce and honey until well combined
- Finally, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once it begins to bubble, stir in the cornstarch slurry, allow to bubble for 1 minute while stirring and then turn the pot off and the sauce will have thickened up perfectly. Stir in the Gravy Master or Kitchen Bouquet (if using) and then place in a serving bowl (toothpicks optional if giving out as samples).
- Enjoy! Goes GREAT over my Hibachi Fried Rice, Jasmine (White) Rice or Brown Rice!
If you want a thinner sauce, just combine 1 tbsp of cornstarch + 1 tbsp of water to make the slurry.
If you have leftovers and refrigerate, the sauce may become a little gelatinous. That’s normal. It’ll go right back to a gravy-like consistency once re-heated in the microwave or saucepan.