Bourbon Chicken


Here’s a recipe for a delicious low salt meal of chicken cooked in an ooey-gooey bourbon sauce. But to be honest, this low sodium bourbon chicken doesn’t taste anything like your local Chinese take-out. It tastes better!

You might be thinking, this doesn’t look like the bourbon chicken you are familiar with and you would be right. This low sodium bourbon chicken is lighter in color than typical Chinese takeout because it lacks the salty soy sauce that creates the traditional darker hue of bourbon chicken. In this low sodium recipe, we omit the soy sauce (and make a few other adjustments) to reduce sodium while still delivering that flavorful sweet, and sticky sauce.

The most important thing to remember: USE A GOOD BOURBON. Don’t go cheap and buy some poor-tasting bourbon just because you are cooking with it. Yes, the alcohol will burn off but the flavor of the bourbon remains. Use top-shelf bourbon and you’ll have top-shelf chicken. Use bourbon that tastes like rubbing alcohol and your chicken will taste exactly like that.

Low Sodium Bourbon Chicken

Low Sodium Bourbon Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

A delicious low sodium meal of chicken cooked in an ooey-gooey bourbon sauce. This low salt bourbon chicken is delicious and will be a staple in your dinner rotation.


  • 1 pound of chicken breast or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of bourbon
  • 1 cup of no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch


  1. Mix the chicken stock, bourbon, sugar, and spices in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Cut the chicken into pieces and then toss in cornstarch so that the pieces are coated. (You’ll want your chicken pieces to be pretty uniform in size so that cooking time is the same. If you have huge chunks with little pieces, the little ones will dry out while they wait for the larger ones to cook)
  3. Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add chicken in batches until crispy then set aside on a plate. This should take about 3 minutes per side. Do not move the chicken around, let it get nice and crispy.
  4. Add garlic and some additional olive oil to the same pan you used to cook the chicken and fry for a about minute until fragrant. Remember to constantly move your garlic! Nobody likes burnt garlic.
  5. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan.
  6. Add the chicken and simmer until the sauce has thickened and reduced by about half, remember to stir the chicken occasionally to fully coat it with your bourbon sauce.


  • Serve over a bed of jasmine rice. Do not use rice that can be cooked in a microwavable bag because it will have sodium. Normally rice contains no sodium, so let’s not add any.
  • Chicken - you can use either chicken breasts or chicken thighs, just make sure they are skinless and boneless. Remember to check the nutrition label because not all chicken is the same. Some companies add saltwater to plump up their chicken. You’ll want to avoid that.
  • If you prefer you can use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger as it will just give a stronger flavor.
  • This recipe is easily doubled to feed a larger crowd.

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Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 4 ounces of chicken Amount Per Serving Calories 436Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 139mgSodium 164mgCarbohydrates 21gFiber 1gSugar 15gProtein 44g

Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. Nutritional content may vary due to several factors such as how much of an ingredient is used vs. how much will actually be eaten, brand differences, and more. To ensure the most accurate nutritional information, the reader should make calculations based on the ingredients actually used, using their own preferred method, or consulting with a licensed nutritional expert. This Website is not intended as a source of nutritional or food safety advice, and its readers assume full responsibility for any decisions made regarding their own health and safety. Nutritional information calculated by Nutritionix

Did you make this low sodium recipe?

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  1. Where are the nutrition facts for this recipe?

    1. Hello Rita. Thanks for pointing that out! Somehow, I had forgotten to add nutritional data to this recipe. I have now added the label so you can see the nutritional values. I appreciate you taking the time to write a note.

  2. Could your recipe for Bourbon chicken be made with brown sugar Swerve and in the crock pot instead of frying the chicken?

    1. Hi Dawn,
      If brown sugar Swerve is your thing, then go for it! It measures as a 1:1 ratio from regular brown sugar. As for the crockpot, I’m less sure about that but I don’t see a reason why it wouldn’t work. This recipe doesn’t “fry” the chicken in a deep-fry manner. It browns the chicken in a pan with a bit of oil to prevent the chicken from searing to the bottom of the pan. I mention this because if you go for the crockpot method, you’ll want to leave out the 2 tablespoons of oil as it would not be needed in the crockpot. I would also suggest not cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces because they could end up dried out. Put in uncut chicken breasts, thighs, or tenderloins. Give it a try because you could wind up with a delicious shredded bourbon chicken! Let me know how it turns out.

  3. This recipe has been a really special recipe for me. Those who haven’t tried the recipe should try it now.

    1. That’s very nice of you to say Leila. Thanks for taking the time to post a message!

  4. Made this tonight and I am thrilled! I’ll have to be careful that this doesn’t kick my sweet tooth into overdrive, but I loved it! Thanks!

    1. Hi Kat,
      I’m glad you enjoyed it! It is one of my favorites. You can always reduce the amount of sugar in hopes of keeping that sweet tooth in check. 🙂

  5. LoSo Mike,
    Thanks for offering this delectable recipe. While food prepping for ready meals to eat during the busy week, I doubled your recipe but made a couple of tweaks to suit my taste. I don’t want to consume a lot of sugar in my diet so I just used half. Since the brown sugar was going to sweeten the sauce, I used the dried crushed red pepper flakes to have a nice balance between sweet and spicy.

    It’s tastes like a Thai/Bourbon fusion made in heaven!

    God bless to you and yours!

    1. Hi Terry,
      Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I’m so glad you not only enjoyed the recipe but took time to make it your own! “Thai/Bourbon fusion made in heaven” is the perfect description. By the way, I do the exact same thing you did and use this recipe for make ahead meals.

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