Baked Firecracker Chicken
This is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner! My recipe for firecracker chicken is easy to make and tastes salty, sweet, and spicy! Serve it over a bed of rice and with lots of firecracker sauce!
?? Firecracker Sauce! ??
You guys! More firecracker sauce! I am completely and utterly obsessed with this dinner recipe. Not just because it’s quick and easy to make. Or because it satisfies the ‘comfort food’ monster that lives inside of me (well it does that too). Or because it’s delicious. It’s because it’s a PARTY for my mouth.
Because i’m ladling my third spoon of firecracker sauce onto my bowl of steaming rice when it hits me, ‘I’m in deep with this one’.
Baked firecracker chicken FTW. After all of the love you guys showed this recipe, I wanted to create something that was a little more weeknight friendly. Sure, those meatballs are great and taste wonderful over a bed of rice or with veggies on the side but sometimes I just wanna get this dinner on the table pronto and into my belly. And for those times baked firecracker chicken filets are probably more up our alley because there’s no meatball making required. It’s as simple as seasoning, searing, and baking.
Low maintenance recipes are kind of my thing right now. Mostly because i’m trying to finally get in there and organize our place. When we first moved back in November the goal was to get things into the right rooms and I figured i’d get around to organizing sooner rather than later. Which didn’t really exactly happen that way. Because what I didn’t expect is the total dilemma and brain freezes that come with buying furniture. I mean, talk about commitment issues. Because if I buy the rug now (which is gorgeous AND on sale), will it match with the console table that I haven’t even thought about? Will the rug get dirty too quickly? Real life truth. Will it give the room the ‘feel’ I’m going for? Hellllllllllllloooooooo! Anyone else out there? ?????? Am I the only one that gets decor anxiety? ????
I’ve got an incomplete living room, semi complete dining room, and a bathroom I haven’t even started on yet. ? In the meantime, I plan on comforting myself with a big bowl of chicken over rice drizzled in firecracker sauce.
The trifecta of hot sauce, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar is what gives the firecracker sauce the zing it’s known for. Also familiar to us, minced garlic, salt, and some red pepper flakes for heat. It’s a quick and easy sauce.
All we’re doing in tossing it in a saucepan and letting it simmer for a good 12-15 minutes. I sometimes make the sauce the night before (in which case, I only simmer for 8-10 minutes) so it has a chance of thickening a little more as it cools.
The best part? You don’t have to marinade the chicken at all. It’s just 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs) with a little salt and pepper and a quick sear on the skillet for just 1-2 minutes per side. The firecracker sauce serves two purposes. First, we’re going to brush the chicken breasts with the sauce before it bakes in the oven. And second, we’re drizzling it on the chicken when it comes out of the oven and onto heaping bowls of white rice or, if you cool the sauce, it can even be used as dressing. It’s a cross between French and Italian dressing, I think, with a spicy kick to it!
Quick, semi-healthy, easy dinners. Firecracker chicken is the best!
- ½ cup hot sauce (I used Franks Original Hot Sauce)
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼-½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil
- FIRECRACKER SAUCE: In a saucepan, combine the hot sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes over medium-high heat. Allow to come to a boil, reduce the heat so it simmers. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes (if you plan on making this sauce ahead of time) or for 12-15 minutes if you're serving immediately. Remove from heat and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools so don't worry if it looks thin.
- CHICKEN: Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, set aside. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken breasts and allow to cook for just 1-2 minute per side. We're just searing the very outside of the chicken, so don't worry about it cooking all the way through. Place the chicken breast on the prepared baking sheet and bake the chicken for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, baste each chicken breast with 1-2 tablespoons of firecracker sauce. You will have additional sauce leftover to serve with the chicken. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue to bake for another 11-15 minutes or until the chicken feels firm to the touch, is cooked through, or registers 165ºF on a thermometer. Serve the firecracker chicken with leftover sauce and steamed rice.
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*Please note: the nutritional facts calculated are an estimate based on the ingredients i’ve used. If you’d like a more accurate count, please calculate them using the ingredients/brands you’ve used to prepare the recipe. The nutritional facts provided is for 1/4th of the recipe and assumes you use an additional 3 tablespoons of sauce for serving.