Dr. Pepper Bourbon Chicken

Dr. Pepper Bourbon Chicken and Rice

Bourbon chicken is one of my favorite choices when I go out for Chinese food.  After some at-home cooking successes with General Tso's Chicken and Crock Pot Teriyaki Chicken, I was feeling up for a new challenge.  I checked out several bourbon chicken recipes but most choices called for bourbon or apple juice, both of which I am currently out of.  I tracked down a version that had orange juice instead here, and upon checking out the comments noticed that one person pointed out their version turned out good with diet soda instead of the juice.  Since I had some Dr. Pepper on hand, I decided to go for something new.

I started out by thawing out 3 chicken breasts and cutting them into small, bite-size pieces.

Chicken sliced into small pieces

Then I mixed the cornstarch and salt together in a small bowl and started tossing the chicken in it.

Cornstarch and salt

I placed the coated chicken pieces on a plate.  I ended up needing to make more of the corn starch and salt mixture because I ran out after about a third of the pieces were coated.

Cornstarch coated chicken pieces

Then I heated up the oil in a large skillet and put the garlic in, then added the chicken.

Cooking the chicken in the skillet
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After a few minutes, the chicken started to brown.  I likely should have added fewer chicken pieces at a time in hindsight, but the pieces turned out well.  The garlic got too burnt, so next time I'll add that in just before starting the sauce.

Cooking the chicken

After the chicken was browned, I removed the pieces from the skillet and added the sauce ingredients.

The Dr. Pepper sauce

Once the brown sugar was dissolved into the sauce, I returned the chicken pieces to the skillet.

Tossing the chicken in the sauce

I let the chicken and sauce simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes and the sauce was much thicker and smelled delicious.

The finished Dr. Pepper Bourbon Chicken

I served the finished chicken with some chicken flavored rice.

Bourbon Chicken and Rice

The chicken was a tad spicy thanks to the red pepper but also very sweet!  I'm glad I went with a flavored rice because the sauce would have been a bit too thick to pour over white rice.  I didn't specifically detect the Dr. Pepper flavor, but the sweetness of the sauce was just fantastic.  Next time I'll have to add some honey to see how that affects the flavor, and I'll have try the apple juice version, too.  This recipe will definitely be making more appearances in my house!

Dr. Pepper Bourbon Chicken Recipe


1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1/3 cup Dr. Pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ketchup


Cut chicken into small pieces. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch and salt. Toss chicken pieces in cornstarch mixture until lightly coated. Heat canola oil in a skillet. Add garlic and stir. Add chicken chunks and cook until chicken browns. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel. In the same skillet, stir in the Dr. Pepper, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, ginger, red pepper, and ketchup and bring to a boil. Add brown sugar and stir until dissolved. Add chicken back in and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken is cooked throughout and sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).

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