A healthy version of so popular Chinese takeout dish – Bourbon Chicken. It is a hybrid of Chinese and Southern US cuisines and is named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans. As the name suggests, the original recipe contains bourbon whiskey, but chances are you are like me and don’t have it in your bar. I could easily make Red Wine Chicken though.:)
I found this recipe on Food.com and with some adjustments created a light version of juicy, sweet, spicy and salty Bourbon Chicken. To thicken the sauce, I used chia seeds and the result was great! I was thinking next time try not to use any thickener at all and let the sauce simmer down. So, if you don’t have chia seeds, that’s fine.
Cornstarch…after much deliberation and research, I came to a conclusion you could use cornstarch to thicken the sauce. It won’t kill you but FYI cornstarch is derived from GMO corn by a heavy duty processing. Maybe buy organic cornstarch or an arrowroot powder. I’m quite happy using whole wheat flour and now chia seeds as sauce thickeners in my kitchen. For a few months, I kept thinking if chia would absorb liquid in a sauce and finally my dream came true. Yes, I know, I have weird dreams – chia thickening a Chinese sauce.
I used Trader Joe’s organic ketchup and reduced sodium soy sauce. I browned the chicken in coconut oil spray to save on fat. Feel free to use chicken breast meat instead of thighs. In that case, reduce simmering chicken to 5 minutes to avoid the tough chicken. I like dark meat and occasionally cook with it for a change. But breast meat would work great in this recipe because of the sauce presence.
Also a word on a cooking spray. PAM is canola oil – highly processed GMO plant named after “Canadian oil, low acid”. From now on I use coconut or olive oil spray, which luckily are widely available in all grocery stores these days.
Use what you have on hand. Dry ginger instead of fresh or garlic powder in place of garlic. I didn’t have apple juice, so I diluted a bit of apple sauce with water. Those skills came with Ukrainian heritage.:) Serve warm, on a bed of brown rice or brown rice vermicelli (pictured). Garnish with your favourite toppings – green onions, toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes for more spice kick.
- 1/4 cup apple juice, unsweetened
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp ketchup (organic)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes or to taste
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless & boneless, cut into 1" pieces
- Cooking spray (I use coconut)
- In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except chicken and cooking spray and set aside. In the meanwhile, cut chicken into 1" size pieces.
- Preheat medium skillet (large enough to fit the chicken tight but not too large) on high, spray with cooking spray, add chicken and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally. For about 10 minutes (5 minutes if using chicken breast). Add sauce from step 1, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes (5 minutes if using chicken breast). Serve warm, over bed of brown rice or brown rice vermicelli. Garnish with sesame seeds, green onions and red pepper flakes.
Servings Per Recipe: 6
Amount Per Serving = 3/4 cup:
Total Fat: 6.7 g
Cholesterol: 118.7 mg
Sodium: 498.2 mg
Total Carbs: 6.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 4.1 g
Protein: 29.8 g
WW Points+: 5