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!

Firecracker chicken on a white place with white rice.

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.

Firecracker chicken on white rice on a white plate.

I have created a video for you with Ashlee Marie of the cooking process! You can skip to the Firecracker sauce at 4:27 or straight to the baked chicken technique at 6:52!”


Firecracker Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 6 Servings

Amazing restaurant quality chicken that has just the right amount of sweet and the right amount of spice!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Asian American
Keyword asian chicken, chicken recipes, firecraker chicken


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 4 chicken breasts boneless skinless
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 2 large eggs beaten


  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce if you like more heat use hot sauce, like Frank's brand
  • 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 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.
Nutrition Facts
Firecracker Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 531 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Cholesterol 151mg50%
Sodium 815mg34%
Potassium 639mg18%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 149IU3%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 54mg5%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. 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! 🙂

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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?

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

  7. 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..

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Hi..

    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…..?

  11. 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..

  12. 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?

  13. 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!! 🙂

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

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

  21. 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!

  22. 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!

  23. 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?

  24. 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 🙁

  25. 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???

  26. 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. 🙂

  27. 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!

    1. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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!

  30. 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.

  31. 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! =)

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

  34. 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.

  35. 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!

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