Firecracker Chicken

We have designated Wednesday nights at our house to be Chinese nights.  All because of this life changing sweet and sour chicken.  We LOVE chinese food at our house and there is no need to get take out when you can make it at home!   This is definitely as close at it gets and some even voted that it was better.   This recipe is similar to the sweet and sour chicken but has a little added kick.  Not too much kick because I am a wuss with things that are too spicy.  So don’t worry, it isn’t going to set your house on fire and you don’t have to be 18 to handle it, but you are going to absolutely love it!


Oh my goodness.  Just looking at this chicken makes me want to go make a batch.  Like right now.  It is phenomenal!   The differences between this recipe and the sweet and sour is that it did have a little spice to it.  But that was ok because it made it different and amazing.  The sauce was a little thicker and it just glazed the chicken perfectly.


4.8 from 37 reviews
Firecracker Chicken
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Amazing restaurant quality chicken that has just the right amount of sweet and the right amount of spice!
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • Sauce:
  • ⅓ cup buffalo sauce (if you like more heat use hot sauce, like Frank's brand)
  • 1¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  2. In separate bowls, place cornstarch and slightly beaten eggs. Dip chicken into cornstarch then coat in egg mixture. I have also found that you can put the cornstarch in a gallon sized bag and shake the chicken to coat.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken until browned. Place the chicken in a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  4. In a medium sized mixing bowl, buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, water, salt and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken and bake for 1 hour.
  5. I stirred the chicken every 15 minutes so that it coated them in the sauce.
Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen


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  1. Jaci J says

    I’m guessing the brown sugar is mixed into the sauce recipe? Because I really don’t like fried food, I was thinking of pan searing the chicken without the coating and then just adding a little cornstarch to the sauce to thicken while the oven.. Gonna try this soon!

    • Alyssa says

      Yes sorry I will fix that. And it will totally work without frying it. You just won’t get the same kind of breading from a restaurant. I am also going to test this one out in the slow cooker. :)

  2. james says

    Hi.. I came across your delicious looking recipe, and I thought about making it for tonights dinner, but I’m missing one ingredient which is the canola oil.. would I be able to substitute for vegetable oil and still make it work….

    • Alyssa says

      Thanks for catching that! I will fix that. You add all of the sauce ingredients together including the brown sugar and pour over the chicken. :)

    • Alyssa says

      Yes they are pretty interchangeable. You might get a little different consistency but it should be great! Let me know how it turns out! :)

      • Linh says

        I ended up using brown sugar actually! I only used a cup though. The sauce was very tasty and the boyfriend gobbled it all up! I served it with roasted garlic broccoli and white rice. I look forward to using more of your recipes!

  3. Judi says

    Wow that looks delicious! I will definitely be trying it this week! But I wanna ask you is the buffalo sauce too hot or spicy? My tongue can only handle mild. :s thanks so much for the post!

    • Alyssa says

      You will love it! I am a wuss when it comes to spicy. Buffalo is a milder sauce so you should be fine! And don’t add the red pepper flakes. :)

    • Alyssa says

      Yes. It is cooking it at a low temp to allow the sauce to thicken up. The chicken stays tender and is so amazing!

    • Alyssa says

      Yes. It is baking on a low heat but the sauce thickens up and the chicken still stays tender. It is amazing.

  4. Tara H says

    I just wanted to let you know that I made this for supper tonight. It was fabulous!! I cook for my husband, our five boys, and my in laws, and we all loved it! I love when I find something that all my boys like!

  5. Judy says

    Ok. Questions. Where I live I cannot get a lot of the ingredients. What exactly is corn flour? I can get babies corn flour or thick yellow stuff and what can I use instead of buffalo sauce?

  6. Judy says

    I have to asm questions. Half of the ingredients I cannot get where I live
    When you day corn flour what do you mean and what can I use instead of buffalossauce?

  7. says

    Tried this tonight and loved it! Couldn’t find buffalo sauce here in the UK so I used something I found called Firecracker sauce instead. Super hot but delicious! Thanks : )

  8. Tonya says

    Looks yummy! I was looking for something different to do with boneless chicken breast that I have in the freezer ….. found it! ….. will do this weekend. THANKS! ;o)

  9. cathyd says

    When I started this tonight I thought man this is taking way too long, it better be good (haha). And oh my god it is so good! I used four chicken breasts and it took me a lot more than 2 eggs for the dip and I had to replenish my flour several times (I ran out of corn starch) but its seriously worth it. Delicious!

    • Alyssa says

      Haha I know I think that everytime I make it! And then I feel covered in egg and cornstarch. But yes it is totally worth it all!!! Glad you liked it! xo

    • Kaitlin says

      You replaced cornstarch with flour? I was wondering if that would work because i really want to make this tonight !

  10. says

    Made this recently. It was amazing! My only regret is that I didn’t make more of it. I did double the liquid ingredients since we like extra sauce. This dish is a 10! Add more crushed red pepper if you like it hot. Thanks for sharing!!!!!!

  11. says

    Made this recently. It was wonderful , we like extra sauce so I doubled the liquid ingredients. My only regret is that I didn’t make more. A definite keeper. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Jamie says

    Can;t wait to make and try this! Since there are so many buffalo sauces on the market, which brand do you use for this recipe? Thanks.

  13. Julija Graham says

    I’ve never commented on a website before, but. I have to tell you, everything I’m seeing looks incredible. I’m making the firecracker chicken tonight. I’m totally pumped! Thank you! I’ve already bookmarked this site! I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

    • Julija Graham says

      This is a new favourite. Outstanding on all fronts, especially the texture. This is the second food my husband and I have delegated “only once a month” food, because otherwise I’d be making it every second day. Thank you so much!

  14. Cindy says

    Made this for dinner tonight with fried rice and homemade yum yum sauce. DELICIOUS! My husband said we need to add it to our rotation! Thank you

  15. Rebecca says

    Made this recipe last night and I LOVE IT! I live alone though so I have a ton of leftovers! I had it over rice last night then today I made it into a wrap! So good! I think next time I will use Frank’s Hot Sauce because I like it super spicy!

  16. Jim Clark says

    Wouldn’t bite sized chicken that”s already been browned in oil end up way overcooked after an hour in the oven?

    • Alyssa says

      No because it is at a low temperature and cooking in sauce. It does not overcook it. It makes it very tender and delicious. :)

      • Yvonne says

        I was worried about this too. I made this last night and followed the directions exactly, I actually cut my chicken into good sized pieces and the flavor was AMAZING, the chicken, however, was so dry it was hard to enjoy it at all. =(

  17. Sarah says

    This is in the oven now — pretty excited as I have never tried making Chinese food before. Seemed a little messy coating it in the cornstarch and then dipping in the egg, but I was amazed how it looked after cooking on the stove! Cant wait to see how it turns out and if my “other half” will eat it!

  18. Jen says

    This was so good! I cooked it a little too long, but it was still delish! I love Chinese food, but I’m always skeptical about what’s truly in it, so I am happy having this recipe now. My hubby loves hot foods, so the little kick that the pepper flakes give was right up his alley.
    The cornstarch in the baggie was a great idea too.

  19. wajan says

    Hi i am in Australia and we dont have buffalo sauce. what could i use instead because i am dying to try this.

  20. Becky says

    This looks great and I have all the ingredients! I was wondering how many it serves? I’m doing weight watchers and was going to put it in to see how many points it would be. Thanks!

  21. Kat says

    I made this last night with two changes. I used pork because it was what I had. I also used sriracha. I am glad I tasted it before I added the crushed red pepper. I like spicy and chinese take out is never spicy enough for me even when I order it extra hot, but this was just spicy enough without it. I also 1./8th an onion and tossed in in the bag with the leftover cornstarch then tossed it in the extra egg and fried it lightly. I added it to the pork before I poured on the sause.

    Can I say OMG. I am never ordering Chinese take out again. It tastes so much better. I know exactly what is in it and at a 1/4 of the price. And it really was easy and quick to put together.

    You will make a lot less mess and use less cornstarch if you use a gallon size zippy and S and P you meat then add enough cornstarch to coat it well.

    I cannot believe how much the cornstarch and egg make a coating that stands up to the sause and baking. A flour batter would have fallen off or gotten mushy. This little trick I will have to lend to other recipes. I can wait to make this again with a little preplanning and adding some broccoli florets!

    Thank you so much for this recipe Alyssa. I know I will use it often!!

  22. Britni says

    This was delicious! We will definitely make this again! I will try to find something to substitute some of the sugar in the receipe before next time but it was AMAZING! I have already told a few friends about the site! Thank you!

  23. Amy says

    This looks delish! I am just about to put it in the oven. I used a gluten free flour instead of cornstarch and just seared the chicken in the pan, so hopefully it turns out! Thanks! :)

  24. alicia says

    Looking forward to making the firecracker chicken.
    What is buffalo sauce and could you please recommend some mild brands?
    Thank you so much!

  25. alicia says

    I am looking forward to making the firecracker chicken.
    What is Buffalo sauce and could you please recommend some mild and medium brands?
    Thank you!

  26. Elizabeth says

    I have this cooking as I write, and it smells yummy!! Only thing I wish the recipe gave serving size and carb info, I have a diabetic kiddo and need to know carb counts for her insulin! So all nutrition info for recipes would be VERY helpful. Thanks!

  27. Kaitlin says

    This looks so delicious and i wanna make tonight but i have no cornstarch. Could i use flour instead?? What would be good?

  28. says

    I must not be doing it right somehow, my chicken was coated but after 1 hour there was no gooey type sauce, all soaked into the chicken, I like a little runny/thick sauce as well on the chicken, do you double the sauce receipe?

  29. Amy Grosulak says

    I don’t have apple vinegar but instead have white distilled vinegar or rice vinegar. Can I substitute one of those instead?

  30. soraya says

    Trying this right now at 12 am hope it comes out ok..however I’m feeling a little doubtful I have never cooked Chinese food..

  31. Springwater Hill says

    Literally the BEST recipe, ever.
    I made your Baked Honey Sesame Chicken yesterday, better than restaurant food…..way way better.
    I really love the cornstarch/egg frying part of the recipe. SO much better than flour/egg frying.
    THANK YOU! Best recipe I’ve come across on Pinterest.

  32. Anita says

    This Firecracker chicken was excellent. My picky family all loved it. I did cut the sugar to 1 cup of brown sugar and heated it up with extra pepper flakes (we like hot!) – – it was just great. Thank you so much.

  33. Omaa says


    This looks great. My family and I are new to the US so the food is very different. . So ,please, forgive me if I ask seemingly stupid questions.

    I noticed in the ingredients that you listed ” Sauce” and “Hot Sauce” as two separate ingredients.. What is sauce and what are popular brands that I can use to bake the chicken…..?

  34. paula says

    I just made this tongiht and It was so good and so easy and it has a sweet but bold taste. love it . Made it with the fried rice recipe on this website… yummy.. would recommend.. Tastes like real take out from a top notch restaurant. Thanks for posting..

  35. Sam says

    This looks absolutely DELICIOUS!!! Would it make a difference if I don’t bake it and just tossed the sauce in the wok with the chicken?

  36. Amna says

    Tried two days ago – turned out great – husband finished it all. Only used 1 cup of brown sugar and thought it was just a little too sweet. Added 1/4 tsp of garlic powder as well to the sauce. Husband requested it again tonight – increased the hot sauce a little bit and used 2/3 cup of brown sugar with 1 tsp of honey. Great recipe – certainly a keeper!! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

  37. Rosann says

    Thanks for the flavorful firecracker chicken, my husband can’t do to much spice so I added 1/4 cup of ketchup which toned down the spice to the perfect amount.. Perfect for Chinese New Years tonight!

  38. Leah says

    JUST AMAZING! Very easy to make and was extremely delicious. I substituted dark brown sugar and white vinegar instead of light brown sugar and AC vinegar. I also fried the chicken bits in the deep fryer to save time. My mom complemented me on my food (something she NEVER does,) and my toddler sister who doesn’t like things too spicy..or edible for that matter, begged for more. Can’t wait to make this again!

  39. Danica says

    Found this on Pinterest and made it tonight. Delicious!! I also love your sweet and sour chicken but this was a nice change with a little kick!

  40. Kevin says

    Can this be altered to make just a single chicken breast for us single people who live alone? It seems like there wouldn’t be much sauce at all if i just split everything into thirds.

  41. Jesse says

    This is as good or better than the picture! Loved it!! Made it last night for my GF and I, WAY better than any restaurant. For my own taste I will make it with more spice next time. I like things with more “Kick”. Excellent flavor but really not much heat. I will definately make this again!!!
    Thank you for the recipe.

  42. Tricia says

    This is the best recipe I have tried on Pinterest. The whole family loved it. We will be making this often! Thanks for the recipe!

  43. Elizabeth says

    I made this for dinner last night. It was amazing! Way better than any restaurant. Thanks for another great recipe. Love your blog!

  44. Sandy says

    I made the sesame chicken but didn’t have enough honey so I made up the difference with honey mustard. The dish was spectacular!!!! I’m passing the recipe around my office!

  45. Melody says

    I was feeling the need for Chinese tonight but didn’t want to go out. I just happened to have everything for this and your fried rice, so decided to try it. Wow! Reminds me of General Tso’s chicken but with a tiny bit of a kick. So easy to make and better than anything I’ve had in a restaurant. Thank you for sharing!

  46. Matthew Arteaga says

    I’m making this tonight was wondering why you would dip the chicken in the cornstarch first then egg and not the other way around egg fist then cornstarch?

  47. lina says

    Made it recently and have to say the taste was wonderfully authentic and really enjoyed it.

    Just a question though is there any way to do this without frying the chicken? I’m trying to eat healthy and I don’t like it when the oil spits when I fry it :(

  48. Cindy s says

    I am confused. . . Nothing new there. . LOL. . . Wouldn’t it make more sense to dip the chicken in the egg mixture. . Followed by the cornstarch???? If you do the cornstarch 1st and then dip in egg won’t you lose some of the cornstarch???

  49. says

    Just made this tonight for dinner and it was AMAZING! Chinese/Japanese food just never seems to taste as good when I make it at home, but this is the first time it actually tasted better! The Chicken was perfectly cooked, the glaze was spicy and sweet, and it was really easy!

    Thanks so much for this recipe! Oh, and I made your fried rice with it and it was awesome as well. I’ll be sharing this Firecracker chicken on my blog next month if that’s okay. :)

  50. Lynn says

    Has anyone tried this in the crockpot yet? I think the oven method would be best, but on rushed nights a new alternative in the crockpot would be awesome!

    • Alyssa says

      I have actually tried a similar recipe in the crockpot. The problem was is that because a crockpot keeps the liquid inside, the sauce was more runny and most of the flavors cooked out.

  51. Denise says

    I had this pinned for a while, but finally tried it last night. It was off the hook fantastic – I still can’t believe I made that at home! Huge hit with the family. I can’t wait to try the other recipes! Thank you.

  52. Anastasia says

    I made this for dinner and my husband and I loved it! It had such a good flavor. We’ve added it to our regular menu!

  53. Cindy says

    I have made this and the Honey Sesame many times. Love them both. But I was wondering if anyone has premade this in the morning and refrigerate until dinner and then cook in the oven.

  54. Jason Nguyen says

    Made this today for dinner. Subbed spiracha chili sauce/water for the frank’s hot, and a fresh chili pepper instead of the flakes. Turned out wonderfully. Thank you so much for the recipe! =)

  55. Freya Plower says

    This was absolutely delicious! My 10 year old son said it was the “best thing you have ever made.” He has been asking for it ever since. Thanks so much for a great, easy recipe! We will be having it again and again.

  56. says

    This recipe is super good! I used Franks hot sauce, and subbed the brown sugar for maple syrup, leaving out the water. Paired it with carrots and peas in rice with tamari sauce. Definitely going to make again!

  57. Faith says

    OH MY GOSH! If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you should! It was so freaking good. I can’t wait to eat it again. Even my hubby loves it and you know that is the real test. He wanted to write the recipe down when he smelled the sauce for the chicken. It is sweet with just enough spice from the Franks Original Hot Sauce. Didn’t change anything about this recipe and can’t wait to try all your other Chinese recipes this weekend. The in-laws are wanting to have the honey sesame seed chicken. Thank you soooo much for this recipe, it’s a keeper.

  58. Kerry Page says

    Made this last night for my family. I really had no idea what to expect, having never made anything like this before. It was a HUGE hit and they all absolutely loved it. Doubled the red pepper flakes and added slightly more buffalo sauce and it was very spicy and good!

  59. says

    I made this recipe last night with your veggie fried rice recipe. It was AMAZING! We were craving Chinese take out but we wanted a healthier alternative. This was perfect. It tasted better than take out! I will be coming back to this recipe in the future!

  60. Rachel says

    I’ve made this and the baked honey sesame chicken a couple times. I keep overcooking the chicken to the point that it’s too dry. The glaze is delicious but the texture of the chicken is just too dry. I’ve already attempted to not cook the chicken as long in the pan before baking. I was thinking maybe I’m baking it too long? Any tips?

    • Krispy says

      I make a similar thing in my wok. I cook up the sauce separately in a saucepan on the side, low and slow until it is thickened. Then I fry up the chicken in my wok in batches. Set it drain on a paper towel. When all the chicken is done, I throw it back in the wok, turn the heat up and toss it around in the thickened sauce.

      Another thing I like to do with this chinese style fried chicken pieces is toss it in different sauces. You can do barbq sauce, kicked up with Tabasco and a generous knob of butter. Akin to barbq wings. Or try wing sauce and a knob of butter and you get little hot wing bites.

      If you want this dish to look fancy, sprinkle it with sesame seed and scallion when serving. The green and white look gorgeous next to the bright orange.

  61. angel says

    This looks amazing and I plan on cooking this tonight for my picky family. My question is, after looking at the directions do you really coat it in the cornstarch and then egg? How does that work? Iv never done anything like this before and I’m a little intimidated by that method

  62. Dori says

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was a hit! My husband and I both loved it so thanks for a great recipe!

  63. Springwater Hill says

    I tried this recipe……DELICIOUS!!!! WAY WAY better than what you would get at a restaurant.

  64. Annelise Gallien says

    Made this last night, delicious with a hit of spicy! I used Frank’s Buffalo sauce. Served with rice and roasted brocoli. This is going into my recipe file. Thanks!


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