Firecracker chicken definitely lives up to the name. The sauce that coats the chicken is spicy, saucy, a little sweet, and really delicious.
The recipe is done in about thirty minutes, which also happens to be the same amount of time taken for a side of roasted broccoli. A complete meal in a half hour. Win!
It also happens to be really easy. While I don’t mind a bit more complicated meal on weekends or nights I have extra time, something easy is mandatory on work nights. Pan fry chicken, stir together with a few sauce ingredients and combine the two. Quick and easy.
Chicken Breast: Either chicken breast or chicken thigh works well.
Salt & Pepper: Give the chicken a little flavor on its own before being coated with sauce.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is the magic of this recipe. It provides a light coating on the chicken and also helps the sauce thicken a bit. It is also used in baked orange chicken, another favorite.
Egg: Combines with the cornstarch for the coating on the chicken.
Canola Oil: My favorite neutral oil for stir-fry recipes.
Butter: Adds a bit of richness to the sauce and is also used to sauté the garlic.
Garlic: Add a great bite of flavor and aroma to the sauce.
Sriracha: The fire behind the firecracker chicken. Sriracha is always in our refrigerator, I use it in so many recipes. If you like spicy food and have never tried sriracha, do yourself a favor and buy a bottle.
Rice Vinegar: Tangy and authentic flavor.
Brown Sugar: Adds a little sweetness to contrast the tangy, spicy flavors.
Hoisin Sauce: Salty, sweet, tangy, and absolutely wonderful. I use hoisin sauce in many of my sauces.
Ginger: Fresh ginger adds great brightness to the sauce. I have fresh ginger in the freezer at all times. The ginger stays fresh and is very easy to grate when frozen.
Chicken Stock: Loosens up the sauce ingredients and makes it, well, saucy!
Green Onions: Slices thin and scattered over the top, unless, of course, you forget. See photo. 😉
Sesame Seeds: Adds a little crunch and a lovely color contrast when sprinkled over the finished dish.
Start with the chicken. You will first coat the chicken with cornstarch. Next, the chicken is dipped in egg to create the coating. It’s a messy process, but the end results are definitely worth it!
Place the coated chicken in a hot skillet with the oil. Allow the chicken to brown and develop a nice crust.
Whisk up the sauce while the chicken is cooking. I like a small skillet to make the sauce, but a saucepan also works. Melt the butter, give the garlic a quick sauté for a minute, then add the sauce.
Once the sauce is simmering and the chicken is done, add the sauce to the skillet with the chicken. Stir to coat the chicken with the sauce.
Slice some green onions, if you remember, and aren’t out of them like me. 🙂
Serve immediately over rice with a simple vegetable such as broccoli on the side.
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped into bite-sized pieces
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 2 Tbsp sriracha
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp ginger minced or grated
- 3 Tbsp chicken stock
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds for serving
- Place the chicken in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the cornstarch and toss well to coat.
- Beat an egg in a small bowl
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Dip each piece of chicken into the egg and then add to the skillet.
- Cook the chicken, turning a few times, until each piece is evenly golden brown and fully cooked, 7 to 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Melt the butter in a small skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the sriracha, rice vinegar, brown sugar, Hoisin sauce, ginger, and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously, and cook for 1 minute; remove from the heat.
- When the chicken is done, add the sauce to the pan and toss well to combine. Allow to simmer for a few minutes until the sauce is bubbling and coating the chicken.
- Garnish with the sesame seeds and green onions. Serve over rice.