This Firecracker Chicken is perfectly crispy with a sweet and spicy sauce that has a bit of kick to it! The firecracker sauce is made with buffalo sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and soy sauce. It loaded with flavor and comes together in under 30 minutes!
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The BEST Firecracker Chicken
If you haven’t made firecracker sauce yet you are missing out! It is perfectly sweet, tangy with a good punch of heat. It has a deep umami flavor thanks to the soy sauce and a nice spice due to the chilis in the buffalo sauce. You only need a couple of ingredients to make the sauce and it’s packed with flavor!
I first made this firecracker sauce and put it on salmon. I feel in love with it and served it again over meatballs. Now I decided to make it with chicken thighs! That’s the beauty of this sauce it goes with pretty much anything and everything!
While you sauté the chicken pieces, you can quickly whip up the sauce. Then, place this chicken on a bed of rice and veggies for a healthy and super easy meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes!
For the Chicken Marinade:
- Chicken Thighs: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs work best. You can cut them up into bite sized pieces before cooking. You can use chicken breast as well, but the flavor will be slightly different and you will want to be sure not to overcook the pieces of chicken!
- Cornstarch: A bit of cornstarch helps to coat the chicken and make it nice and crispy when sautéed!
- Soy Sauce: I used low sodium soy sauce to help control the saltiness. This mixed with the cornstarch creates a quick marinade for the chicken. It’s a process called “velveting the chicken” and results in super tender chicken!
- Pepper: For a little kick and flavor! I always add it into my chicken stir fry’s!
For the Firecracker Sauce:
- Oil: Use a neutral oil like avocado, peanut or vegetable oil.
- Garlic: 3 whole garlic cloves add a punch of garlic flavor to the sauce. If you don’t have fresh garlic you can use granulated instead.
- Buffalo Sauce: You can use your favorite, cayenne based buffalo sauce. We usually use Franks hot sauce.
- Light Brown Sugar: Balances the spiciness and adds a bit of caramelized flavor.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: Is the acid that is needed to balance the salt of the soy sauce and the spice of the buffalo sauce.
- Soy Sauce: I used low sodium soy sauce here as well. You can also use coconut aminos!
How to Make Firecracker Chicken
My easy firecracker chicken recipe can be made in just a few simple steps! Here’s how to make it:
- Marinate the Chicken: Add the chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce and pepper to a medium bowl. Toss to coat the chicken and set aside.
- Prep the Sauce: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine buffalo sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside.
- Sauté the Chicken: Heat oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot and almost smoking, add in the chicken. I did mine in two batches to not over crown the pan. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with any remaining chicken.
- Mix Sauce & Chicken: Add garlic to the skillet (there should be some oil leftover but if not, add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan). Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes. Then, add the sauce and chicken back to the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
- Serve: Serve immediately over rice or noddles to soak up all of the delicious sauce and enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Get the pan nice and hot before cooking the chicken! The secret to crispy chicken on the outside and tender chicken on the inside is getting the pan nice and hot before putting the chicken in the pan and being careful not to over crowd the pan! The easiest way to do this is to cook the chicken into two batches.
- Store any leftover firecracker chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave until heated through.
- Serve this chicken over fried rice or noodles, or even zucchini noodles for a super easy meal!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is firecracker chicken spicy?
Firecracker chicken is slightly spicy, due to the buffalo sauce that is added. If you are sensitive to spice, I would add half of the amount of buffalo sauce and taste the sauce before adding any more. The sauce tastes a lot spicier before cooking too so keep that in mind. After the sauce simmers and coats the chicken it’s not as spicy!
More Chicken Recipes to Try
- Baked Firecracker Chicken
- Easy Chicken Teriyaki
- Chicken Shawarma
- Asian Chicken Bites
- Sweet & Sour Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Add chicken, cornstarch, soy sauce and pepper to a medium bowl. Toss to coat the chicken and set aside.
- While the chicken is marinating prepare the sauce.In a small bowl combine buffalo sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Once the oil is hot and almost smoking add in chicken (I did two batches to not over crowd the pan) Saute for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from the pan onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batch of chicken.
- Add garlic to the skillet (there should still be some oil leftover if not add about a tablespoon to the skillet)Saute garlic for 1-2 minutes then add in the sauce and chicken back to the pan.Simmer for 2 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
- Serve immediately with either rice or noodles to soak up all the delicious sauce and enjoy!