Firecracker Chicken


Ah, finally. The recipe that eluded me for close to a month before I was finally able to make it. To be honest, I was getting kind of embarrassed typing it on the menu each week. I knew I needed to make it on a Sunday because it needed to bake for an hour.

The first Sunday I wasn't feeling well and it ended up being a fend for yourself kind of night. The second Sunday, I had come home with a whole pizza the night before that I didn't really want to throw out. I was tired from making the freezer meals that day and Tom said he was fine with eating pizza. So it got put off again.

Last Sunday, I had one of those days in the kitchen where I almost gave up and decided cooking was too dangerous for the evening.

First, I hate coating chicken in cornstarch. Nine times out of ten the chicken becomes gummy. There is a very particular ratio of cornstarch to chicken that I managed to get correct once, by accident. So I opted to use a flour/cornstarch mixture, which honestly isn't any better. So I had my Ziploc bag of flour/cornstarch coated chicken sitting next to the stove with my pan of hot canola oil. I grabbed some chicken pieces with the tongs and as I was moving my hand the 3 inches from the bag to the pan, I heard something clatter on the floor. It was only when I let go of the tongs that I realized it was the screw, holding the tongs together.

Do you know what happens when there isn't a screw to hold tongs together? They entirely fall apart, splashing into the hot oil which managed to take a flying leap out of the pan and land directly on the area of my arm where the cat had decided to scratch me only minutes before.

I wasn't too badly burned, but it was a painful hindrance all the less. I decided to forge on with the meal though.

Firecracker Chicken
Source: The Recipe Critic, adapted from Mel's Kitchen
Servings: 4
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    • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces 
    • salt and pepper
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1/2 cup flour
    • 1/2 cup cornstarch 
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup hot sauce
    • 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp. water
    • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Add canola oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Lightly beat the eggs in a shallow dish. In a Ziploc bag, combine the flour and cornstarch together.
5. Coat the chicken pieces in the egg, then coat with the flour/cornstarch mixture.
6. Place the chicken in the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes until its browned on all sides then transfer to the prepared baking dish.
7. In a small bowl, combine the hot sauce, brown sugar, water, apple cider vinegar and red pepper flakes. Pour over the chicken and stir to coat all of the pieces.
8. Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 1 hour, tossing the chicken every 15 minutes to coat with sauce.
9. Serve over rice.

Well, at least the chicken was absolutely delicious to make up for the burns on my arms. I really, really enjoyed this dish. It provided just enough heat and spice. If you aren't a fan of spicy, you can easily adjust the amount of hot sauce you use.

I plan on making this again, sans injuries hopefully. 

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