The experts at your local appliance service know summer days can leave you hot and hungry, with little energy for dinner prep. But, instead of calling for takeout, what if you could make a quick meal in under an hour that’s full of exciting flavors? Homemade Firecracker Chicken provides all the sweet spiciness of this Chinese takeout staple with little time and effort. Learn how to make Jeanette’s Firecracker Chicken recipe to bring some snap and sparkle to any summer night.

Summer Supper Solutions:
Jeanette’s Firecracker Chicken Recipe

After a long, hot day, no one wants to stand over a hot stove laboring over a complicated dinner. Jeanette’s Firecracker Chicken recipe uses basic ingredients, creating a sweet and spicy dish that satisfies a takeout craving with a healthier, homemade alternative. But, before we detail how to make this simple and satisfying dish, here’s some background on Firecracker Chicken origin.

Firecracker Chicken Origin

What is Firecracker Chicken? While you likely won’t find it in China, this sweet and spicy chicken dish has its origins in traditional stir fry. This Chinese cooking technique uses ingredients that are sliced or chopped into small or thin pieces. They’re then fried quickly over high heat in a small amount of oil. Chinese immigrants brought this style of cooking to America in the late 1800’s, along with the heat of various spices.

Over time, a variety of Chinese stir fry recipes evolved into Americanized versions that became synonymous with the cuisine. Our Firecracker Chicken recipe is based on an American Chinese food staple, combining heat and sweet to burst with contrasting flavors.

What Goes With Firecracker Chicken?

In keeping with its Asian-inspired roots, Firecracker chicken breast is usually paired with rice or Asian noodles. However, a variety of other side dishes can make this a light, low-carb meal or satisfying summer dinner in no time.

These side dishes pair perfectly with our Firecracker Chicken recipe:

  • Shredded Napa cabbage or coleslaw: This cool and refreshing salad eliminates carbs while providing a satisfying crunch.
  • Kale salad: Kale offers a nutrient-rich alternative to cabbage, while serving it as a salad keeps the meal simple and light.
  • Mashed potatoes or potato salad: These heartier sides complement the sweet spiciness of the chicken with a creamy texture or flavor.
  • Fried rice: Instead of plain white or brown rice, fried rice offers additional flavors and textures while highlighting the rich chicken.

firecracker chicken origin

Image Courtesy of Earthbound Farm

Jeanette’s Firecracker Chicken Recipe

With crispy chicken that’s tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce, Jeanette’s Firecracker Chicken recipe pleases any palate. Coating the chicken in cornstarch and egg prior to frying gives it a crisp bite. Meanwhile, finishing the dish in the oven reduces the sauce to enhance moistness and flavor.

Prep Time: 10 minutes  |  Cook Time: 50 minutes  |  Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • ⅓ cup buffalo hot sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350℉ and coat a 9×13 inch pan with cooking spray. 

Place the chicken pieces on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the chicken and toss to coat before dipping each piece in the beaten egg. Heat the oil over high heat in a large pan. Cook the chicken pieces for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place the chicken in the 9×13 inch pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buffalo hot sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 35 minutes, stirring halfway through to coat the chicken with the sauce. Serve over rice or noodles and sprinkle with green onions.

Need more easy summer dinner recipes? Jeanette’s Wild Rice Salad With Cranberries and Nuts or Berry Orange Spinach Salad make for light and refreshing meals on a hot evening. They also leave plenty of room to enjoy her Strawberry Cheesecake Cookie Cups for dessert!