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Get ready to knock your taste buds out of the park with my Bang Bang Chicken! Think tender chunks of chicken enveloped in a divine, smooth batter then coated in a crunchy Panko crust, fried to golden perfection and finally smothered in a creamy, sweet and spicy sauce that will leave you begging for seconds.
The Best Bang Bang Chicken Recipe
Listen, if you’re head over heels for my Bang Bang Shrimp, let me introduce you to its soulmate—Bang Bang Chicken! This isn’t your ordinary chicken dish; this is chicken that’s been treated right. We’re talking about tender bites of chicken marinated in a sublime, velvety batter that’s spiced just right. Then, as if it couldn’t get better, we roll it in crunchy Panko breadcrumbs and fry it up until it’s golden and glorious.
Allergic to shrimp? No problemo! This chicken is your gateway to the “Bang Bang” experience. Just when you think you’ve reached peak deliciousness, hold on, because here comes that signature sauce. Creamy, tangy, with a hint of sweetness and a dash of spice—it’s the stuff of dreams. Trust me, you’ll be licking the spoon, the plate, and possibly even the pan.
Why You’ll Love This Bang Bang Chicken
- Flavor Explosion: Between the savory, lightly spiced batter, the crunch of Panko, and that unforgettable creamy sauce, this dish hits all the right notes. It’s a symphony of flavors and textures that turn a simple chicken dish into an extraordinary experience.
- Versatile & Allergy-Friendly: Love the bang bang concept but can’t do seafood? This chicken version is your go-to. It’s perfect for those who are allergic to shrimp but still crave that signature “Bang Bang” kick. Plus, you can serve it as an appetizer, in a wrap, or over rice—the possibilities are endless.
- Easy to Make: Don’t let the layers of flavor fool you; this recipe is incredibly straightforward. With common pantry ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, even a cooking novice can master this dish.
- Mayonnaise: The creamy base of our bang bang sauce. Use Greek yogurt for a lighter option.
- Sweet Chili Sauce: Adds the sweet to the spicy. Trust me, you want this.
- Hot Sauce: For the ‘bang’ in bang bang! Adjust to your liking.
- Honey: Gives the sauce that sticky-sweet contrast. Maple syrup works if you’re in a pinch.
- Salt & Pepper: To fine-tune the sauce to your taste.
- Chicken Breasts: The protein star of the show. Chicken thighs can also be used for a juicier result.
- All-Purpose Flour & Cornstarch: Makes the batter smooth and helps it adhere. Gluten-free flour can be used for a gluten-free version.
- Garlic Powder: Adds savory depth to the batter. Garlic salt can be used but adjust salt accordingly.
- Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky flavor. Regular paprika or cayenne pepper can be used for different flavor profiles.
- Salt & Pepper: For seasoning the batter. Adjust to taste.
- Hot Sauce: For heat in the batter. Use any of your favorite hot sauces.
- Large Egg & Buttermilk: These wet ingredients bind the dry mix for a consistent batter. A milk and vinegar mix can substitute for buttermilk.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Gives the chicken its crispy texture. Regular breadcrumbs can be used but won’t be as crispy.
- Oil: For frying. Canola, vegetable, or peanut oil work well for high-heat frying.
Hey, you won’t believe how simple this Bang Bang Chicken is to whip up! You’re gonna love every bite, trust me.
First off, let’s get that heavenly sauce out of the way. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pop it in the fridge.
Now, grab a medium bowl and throw in your flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix ’em up and then add the hot sauce, egg, and buttermilk. Give it a good whisk until it’s all smooth and friendly-like. Take those chicken pieces and dunk them into your batter. Make sure each piece is well-coated; you want all that goodness clinging on.
In another bowl, you’re gonna need some Panko breadcrumbs. These bad boys are what give your chicken that unreal crunch.
Get your skillet hot and ready with about a half-inch of oil. You’ll want it medium-high heat for that perfect golden finish. Coat each chicken piece in Panko and then gently lay them in the hot oil. Fry ’em up for about 3 minutes on each side or until they’re cooked through. Don’t crowd the skillet, okay?
Once they’re cooked, place them on some paper towels to soak up the extra oil. Then, my friend, it’s sauce time. Drizzle that amazing sauce you made over the chicken and get ready to feast.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I bake the chicken instead of frying it?
Absolutely! To bake, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top. Arrange the coated chicken on the wire rack and bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until they are golden and crispy.
How can I air fry the chicken?
Great question! To air fry, preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C). Place the coated chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway, until the chicken is crispy and cooked through.
Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, you can! Prepare the chicken up to the point of coating them in breadcrumbs and then freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they’re frozen, transfer to a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook, you can fry, bake, or air fry straight from the freezer—just add a couple extra minutes to the cooking time. The sauce can also be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge.
What’s the best substitute for buttermilk?
If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make a quick substitute by mixing 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it sit for 5 minutes before using.
- Double Dipping for Extra Crunch: For an extra-crunchy exterior, consider double-dipping the chicken in the batter and Panko breadcrumbs. This will give you a thicker, more satisfying crunch.
- Heat Control: If you’re frying the chicken, keep an eye on your oil temperature. Too hot and your chicken will brown too quickly without cooking through. Too low and you’ll end up with oily, soggy chicken. Aim to maintain a temperature around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
- Sauce Customization: Feel free to tweak the sauce to your liking. If you like it spicier, add more hot sauce; if you prefer it sweeter, a little extra honey can do the trick.
- Batch Cooking: If you’re making a large batch, keep the cooked pieces in an oven preheated to 200°F (95°C) to keep them warm and crispy while you finish frying the rest.
- Use a Wire Rack: After frying, place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet rather than on paper towels. This allows excess oil to drip off while keeping the chicken crispy from all sides.
If you have any leftovers, just pop them in an airtight container and stash them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Want to make them in advance or extend their shelf life? No worries! You can freeze the fried chicken pieces before adding the sauce. Just lay them out on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then transfer to a zip-top bag and freeze for up to a month. When you’re ready to feast again, reheat them in the oven at 375°F until they’re hot and crispy, then drizzle that luscious sauce over the top.
Discover Other Delicious Chicken Recipes
- Asian Glazed Chicken Fingers
- Coconut Chicken
- Sticky Honey Sriracha Chicken Bites
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Honey Garlic Chicken
- Lemon Herb Chicken And Potatoes Skillet
- 4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless, cut into small)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup buttermilk (use more if batter is too thick)
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil ( for frying)
- To prepare the sauce, mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready for serving.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. To the bowl add the hot sauce, egg, buttermilk and whisk until you have a smooth batter. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl, toss to make sure each piece is coated in the batter and set aside.
- In another bowl add about a cup of Panko breadcrumbs. Coat each piece of chicken with breadcrumbs, add more breadcrumbs as needed.
- Add about ½ inch of oil in a large skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the hot oil and fry on both sides for about 3 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Place on paper napkins to soak up some of the oil. Repeat with all chicken pieces. Do not overcrowd the chicken, only add a few pieces of chicken to the skillet at a time, so the chicken turns out crispy.
- Drizzle chicken with sauce and serve.
- Sauce Variations: Feel free to adjust the spice level of the Bang Bang Sauce by using more or less hot sauce. You can even toss in a bit of garlic powder for an extra kick!
- Chicken Cuts: While this recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, you can also use chicken thighs for a juicier result. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Breadcrumb Alternatives: If you’re out of Panko, regular breadcrumbs or even crushed cornflakes can be used. Just note that the texture will vary slightly.
- Oil Temperature: Ensure the oil is hot enough for frying to get that perfect crispiness. You can test it by dropping a small piece of batter into the oil; if it sizzles immediately, you’re good to go.
- Make-Ahead: You can make the sauce up to 3 days in advance and store it in the fridge. Chicken can be coated and kept in the fridge for up to 4 hours before frying.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
Recipe originally shared October 23, 2012.