Easy Baked Firecracker chicken. Juicy chicken with the perfect homemade sweet and spicy firecracker chicken sauce. Skip the take out and make this better than Take-out Baked Firecracker Chicken! Firecracker chicken is a simple Chinese takeout staple and making it at home takes less time than ordering out and having it delivered. Plus this baked version of firecracker chicken breasts is much healthier too.
Baked Firecracker Chicken
I am always looking to turn my favorite Chinese take out dishes into a healthier version that I can make at home. This baked firecracker chicken recipe is super easy to make and my whole family loves it. When I am in the mood for Chinese take out food I can easily make these firecracker chicken, some rice and a veggie and have a restaurant-style dish at home that is full of flavor and super simple to make.
Normally when you get firecracker chicken it is coated in heavy breading and it is fried. I try to keep things healthy as much as possible and so I made this a healthy firecracker chicken and bake the chicken with the sweet and spicy firecracker sauce on top of it. This healthier version of firecracker chicken skips the breading but keeps all of the best flavors you love from the take out version.
Done in under 30 minutes, while making a homemade Firecracker sauce, this sweet and spicy Asian chicken is the perfect dinner to make for a busy weeknight dinner.
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What Is Firecracker Chicken?
Firecracker chicken is a juicy easy baked chicken recipe that has juicy chicken and a sweet and spicy sauce. This homemade version tastes better and is healthier than your traditional takeout Firecracker chicken. If you like Chinese takeout firecracker chicken then you are going to love this healthy homemade version.
Is Firecracker chicken spicy?
Firecracker chicken does have a kick to it, you will get the kick from the buffalo sauce and the red pepper flakes. If you want to cut down on the spice then omit the red pepper flakes.
What is in firecracker sauce?
The sauce is easy to make with only a handful of ingredients including hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes.
How do you make Firecracker sauce?
Making the sauce is really simple, In a medium sauce pan combine the hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Than reduce it to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool.
Tips for Making Firecracker Chicken
Change up the spice. I am a wimp for heat when you compare me to my husband, so I make the sauce to my taste buds. You can always amp up the heat in the sauce to meat the level of heat you like with more or less red pepper.
Use a different sauce. You can change out the franks red hot sauce for your favorite brand of hot sauce but I feel franks helps to give the Baked Firecracker Chicken its flavor the best.
Slice the thick chicken breasts into thin pieces before cooking. This will make sure the chicken is juicy and cooks without over cooking or under cooking.
Rest before serving. After removing the chicken from the oven allow it to rest for about 5 minutes before cutting into it and serving. Allowing it to rest allows for the juices to settle and keeps the chicken juicy.
Can I use thighs or drumsticks?
You can use chicken thighs and drumsticks when you are making firecracker chicken, but I much prefer using chicken breasts. You can also use chicken tenders to make this firecracker chicken, but know they will cook faster then the chicken breast.
How Long to Cook chicken breasts?
Baked at 400°F for 17 minutes is all the baking time needed. When you are starting the chicken you will pan sear the chicken before putting it in the oven. The chicken breast is completely cooked when the chicken is opaque and the internal temperature is at 165°F. You can check the temperature using a meat thermometer.
How to tell when Firecracker chicken is cooked all the way
The most important thing to remember when cooking chicken breasts in the oven is that you do not want to overcook them. If you overcook chicken breasts then you end up with dry chicken. No one wants that!
The easiest way to make sure you have juicy baked chicken is to check it with a meat thermometer. You want to cook the chicken breasts until they reach 165 degrees in the thickest part of the chicken breast.
What to Serve with Firecracker Chicken
There are lots of easy side dishes that go with baked chicken recipes. We like to make this firecracker chicken and serve it over top of white rice, Garlic rice, or fried rice.
If you are wanting to keep things healthier, serve this easy baked firecracker chicken recipe with a side of roasted broccoli, green beans, or Roasted Cauliflower, PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Asian Cucumber Salad or some fried cauliflower rice.
How to Serve Firecracker chicken
You can serve Firecracker chicken with the chicken as the main dish and then the sides of your choosing or you can make Firecracker Chicken bowls as my kids call them.
In a bowl add some white rice, saute some bell peppers, carrots, and onions with some olive oil and then cut the chicken into pieces once it is done baking and mix with the cooked veggies. Put the chicken and veggies mixture over a bed of rice and then add more of the Firecracker sauce ontop.
Storing Firecracker Chicken Leftovers
Store the Firecracker chicken leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you want to make this in advance and meal prep, use a meal prep container and put the chicken in the main part of the container and then rice and veggies on the side.
Can I freeze Cooked Firecracker chicken?
If you want to make meal planning easier then you can bake the chicken and then allow it to cool and place in an airtight container or a zipclose freezer bag and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the firecracker sauce to pour over it when you are serving it.
When you want to serve it remove it from the freezer the night before and allow it to thaw, then reheat in the microwave.
Baked Firecracker Chicken Ingredients
- boneless skinless chicken breast
- Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or your favorite buffalo sauce. You can use homemade buffalo sauce if you want to.
- Dark brown sugar. I prefer to use dark brown sugar as it has more molasses but you can use light brown sugar if that is what you have on hand.
- Apple cider vinegar
- garlic powder
- red pepper flakes. Use less or more depending on how much of a kick you want it to have.
- olive oil
- black pepper
How To Make Baked Firecracker Chicken
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
In a medium sauce pan combine the hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat.
Then reduce it to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool.
Slice your chicken breast in half so you are left with six thin chicken breast. Place your oil in a saute pan and heat it up over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper then place it into the pan. Cook for two minutes on each side just to sear the outside.
Place your chicken on your sheet pan and bake it for 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pour two tablespoons of sauce onto each breast. You will be saving the rest of the sauce for later. Place the chicken back into the oven for 12 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees.
Serve your chicken with the additional sauce that you made earlier.
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Baked Firecracker Chicken
- 1/2 cup Franks Red Hot Sauce
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 chicken breast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
- In a medium sauce pan combine the hot sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Than reduce it to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and let it cool.
- Slice your chicken breast in half so you are left with six thin chicken breast. Place your oil in a saute pan and heat it up over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper than place it into the pan. Cook for two minutes on each side just to sear the outside.
- Place your chicken on your sheet pan and bake it for 5 minutes. Remove them from the oven and pour two tablespoons of sauce onto each breast. You will be saving the rest of the sauce for later. Place the chicken back into the oven for 12 minutes or until it reaches 160 degrees.
- Serve your chicken with the remainder of the sauce.
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