MAKE THE SAUCE:
Add all sauce ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil over HIGH heat, then reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 35 minutes, until sauce has reduced and thickened.
Set aside to cool.
MAKE THE CHICKEN:
Place diced chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme, and cover with buttermilk. Stir chicken to ensure all chicken is coated in the buttermilk.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to several hours.
Add oil to large, heavy bottomed pot. Heat over MED heat, until shimmering and about 350 degrees F. To test if it's ready, add a piece of bread to the hot oil. If it sizzles, it's ready.
To a large resealable plastic bag, add flour, panko, salt and pepper. Seal bag and shake gently side to side to combine breading ingredients. Add in 2-3 Tbsp buttermilk and stir around with a spoon, until breading mixture is clumpy.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken from buttermilk mixture into the plastic bag.
Seal bag and toss to coat chicken in breading mixture.
Add chicken, about 8 pieces at a time, to the hot oil, and fry about 4-5 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Chicken should be golden and crispy.
Transfer chicken to a wire cooling rack set over several paper towels. This allows the chicken to rest but stay nice and crispy while you cook the remaining chicken.
Repeat frying process with remaining chicken.
Add fried chicken to large bowl and toss with bourbon cider sauce.
OPTIONAL: Place glazed chicken on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and broil for 2-3 minutes, until extra sticky.
Serve with sliced green onions and apple slices.
Any extra sauce can be served alongside to drizzle over the chicken.