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Firecracker Chicken

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This copycat Americanized Chinese takeout staple is insanely delicious, full of flavor, and will taste like you just picked it up from Panda Express.
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Our firecracker chicken recipe makes the best Chinese spicy chicken. This copycat recipe is so good, it will taste like you just picked it up from Panda Express. Serve it over a bed of rice to make the meal complete and you’ve got an easy, mouthwatering, and delicious dinner option.

Be sure to check out our other easy to make chicken recipes. Our Crockpot Orange Chicken, Paprika Chicken and Bourbon Chicken are full of flavor! Firecracker chicken goes great over any kind of rice. Instant Pot Brown Rice is super simple to make and makes for a great rice option.

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WHAT IS FIRECRACKER CHICKEN?

Firecracker chicken is an Americanized Chinese takeout staple. It is insanely delicious and full of flavor. To start, the chicken is lightly fried on the stovetop. Then, it is baked with a tangy, sweet and spicy sauce.

The sauce is usually made with a mix of buffalo sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. The sauce is baked down into a glaze consistency and then coated over the cooked chicken. It gives you sticky, crispy chicken, with the perfect sweet and spicy sauce. It’s perfect served over rice.

FIRECRACKER CHICKEN INGREDIENTS

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You’ll need…

Chicken Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder

Sauce Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup buffalo sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Garnish:

  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • Sesame seeds

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

Red pepper flakes: This recipe is very spicy/hot. I suggest tasting the sauce before adding the optional red pepper flakes. Adding these in totally depends on your spice tolerance!

Sesame oil: You can usually find sesame oil in two places in the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with the Asian foods as well. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods. For some reason they charge twice as much for the sesame oils that are located in the baking aisle.

HOW TO MAKE THIS FIRECRACKER CHICKEN RECIPE

Chicken

STEP ONE: In a small bowl, add eggs and beat together with a whisk.

STEP TWO: In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder. Whisk together to combine.

STEP THREE: Take each piece of chicken and dip it in egg mixture, then dip in flour mixture to coat all sides of the chicken pieces. Set coated chicken on a plate until ready to put in the skillet.

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STEP FOUR: In a large skillet, over medium heat, add sesame oil. Once oil is hot and simmering, add coated chicken to the skillet, one piece at a time.

STEP FIVE: Once all chicken is added to the skillet and has browned on the bottom, individually turn each piece of chicken over and allow it to cook and brown on the other side. Once chicken is done cooking and browned on both sides, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

A bunch of different types of food, with Chicken and Firecracker

sauce

STEP ONE: While the chicken is cooking, add buffalo sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan. Whisk together to combine. Turn heat to medium and allow sauce to boil 2-3 minutes, whisking often.

STEP TWO: In a separate small bowl, add the cornstarch and water. Mix together until no lumps remain. Pour into boiling sauce mixture and whisk together. Continue to boil 1-2 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken as it sits.

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STEP THREE: Place the browned chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to gently toss and coat all chicken in sauce.

STEP FOUR: Serve immediately over rice and garnish with green onions.

A bunch of different types of food on a plate

STORAGE

In the fridge: Leftover firecracker chicken can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will stay good this way for 3 to 5 days.

In the freezer: Firecracker chicken also makes for a great freezer meal. You can make a double batch, or throw the leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, move the chicken to the fridge to allow it to thaw.

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Firecracker chicken has the perfect spicy, sticky sauce over top of crispy chicken. When served over a big bed of rice, you have a delicious homemade Chinese meal. No need to order takeout, you can quickly make this easy dish, right from the comfort of your home!

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A plate is filled with food

Firecracker Chicken

5 from 1 vote
This copycat Americanized Chinese takeout staple is insanely delicious, full of flavor, and will taste like you just picked it up from Panda Express.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 5 hours 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

Garnish

  • 4 green onions chopped
  • sesame seeds

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, add eggs and beat together with a whisk
  • In a medium bowl add flour, salt, ground white pepper, onion powder, cumin, and chili powder.Whisk together to combine
  • Take each piece of chicken and dip it in egg mixture, then dip in flour mixture to coat all sides of the chicken pieces. Set coated chicken on a plate until ready to put in the skillet
  • In a large skillet over medium heat add sesame oil. Once oil is hot and shimmering, add coated chicken to the skillet, one piece at a time
  • Once all chicken is added to the skillet and has browned on the bottom, individually turn each piece of chicken over and allow it to cook and brown on the other side. Once chicken is done cooking and browned on both sides remove to a paper towel lined plate

Sauce

  • While the chicken is cooking add buffalo sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan. Whisk together to combine. Turn heat to medium and allow sauce to boil2-3 minutes, whisking often
  • In a separate small bowl add the cornstarch and water. Mix together until no lumps remain. Pour into boiling sauce mixture and whisk together. Continue to boil 1-2 additional minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to thicken as it sits
  • Place the browned chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour sauce over the top. Use tongs or a large spoon to gently toss and coat all chicken in sauce
  • Serve immediately over rice and garnish with green onions

Notes

  1. This recipe is very “spicy / hot”. I suggest tasting the sauce before adding the optional red pepper flakes.
  2. You can find sesame oil in two places at the grocery store. It can be found in the baking aisle in the oil section. You can also find it with the Asian foods as well. It is usually cheaper if you pick the oil that is in with the Asian foods. For some reason they charge twice as much for the sesame oils that are in the baking aisle.

Nutrition

Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 956mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 413IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 3mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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