Bang Bang Chicken Recipe – Grilled chicken thighs seasoned with a combination of aromatic spices and brushed with a creamy sweet and spicy bang bang sauce. This recipe comes together with a few minutes of prep time and rivals your favorite Chinese takeout!
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Ok friends, get ready for an explosion of flavor with this grilled chicken recipe. Otherwise known as the BEST bang bang chicken recipe!
I love that it’s a twist on the original, made without breading or the heavy buttermilk coating it’s traditionally made with. Making it at home allows us to have control over how we choose to make bang bang chicken, so next time, skip the takeout!
These saucy grilled chicken thighs are way too easy to make at home! All it takes is a quick dry rub, some marinating time, then off to sizzle on the grill.
The char marks from the grill give it the necessary crispness and the dry rub caramelizes on the outside. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients and then brushed in the most deliciously creamy sweet and spicy bang bang sauce.
The hardest part of the entire recipe is waiting for the chicken to marinate! I promise it’s worth the wait to bite into every piece of tender juicy chicken. Everyone will be wanting more!
What is Bang Bang Chicken?
Bang bang chicken started off as common Chinese street food. Sold by vendors, it was made by using a cleaver to “bang bang” the chicken into small pieces. It was served cold and then drizzled with a tasty mayo sauce with a spicy kick.
Since its creation, it’s been recreated many times over by various Chinese restaurants here in the States and is not usually served cold. The Chinese-inspired dish always remains true to its crispy chicken and sweet and spicy sauce!
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces. You can use chicken breast if you want, but the thighs will give you a bit more flavor and will deliver a juicier bite.
- Seasoning: You’ll need garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder, and garlic salt.
- Olive oil: This is to help the seasoning stick to the meat so the flavors penetrate. It also prevents the skewered chicken from sticking to the grill.
- Sauce: A combination of creamy yum yum sauce and sweet and spicy sweet chili sauce. These two condiments can be found at most grocery stores or local Asian markets.
How to Make Bang Bang Chicken
Step 1: Combine the chicken with olive oil and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Mix together making sure each piece of chicken is properly and evenly coated.
Step 2: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge. Marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours.
Step 3: While you wait, or just before the 2 hours is up, combine the sauces in a small mixing bowl. Mix well and set that aside.
Step 4: Remove the chicken from the fridge and grab your skewers. While the grill is preheating, add the chicken pieces to the skewers one piece at a time.
Step 5: Place skewers over direct heat and cook the chicken until cooked all the way through, rotating as needed.
Step 6: Once the chicken is cooked, brush it with bang bang sauce and transfer it to a platter. Enjoy!
How to Make Bang Bang Sauce
A quick sauce can come together with mayo, honey, and sriracha sauce. However, if you’re only having trouble finding yum yum sauce at the store, you can definitely make your own.
It’s a combination of mayo, ketchup, sugar, paprika, vinegar, and garlic powder. This is what gives the bang bang sauce its creamy, sweet, smoky, tangy flavors, and when combined with the sweet heat of sweet chili sauce, it’s the best!
- I usually use metal skewers when grilling outside so that I can reuse them, but if you do decide to use wooden skewers, make sure to soak them first. About 30 minutes before you grill, set them in water. This will help to prevent burning.
- Since you’re grilling on high heat you want to make sure to rotate the skewers so that the chicken cooks evenly and doesn’t burn one side.
- During the winter months, I make this indoors using a griddle skillet. It works just as well!
- Use a digital thermometer to test when the chicken is done. When it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, it’s safe to eat.
- Make more sauce than you need, you’re going to want to use it on everything!
What to Serve with Bang Bang Chicken
Since this chicken is a bit spicy, it’s always nice to have a cool, refreshing side dish to go along with it.
You can also serve it over rice for a heartier meal or keep the meat on a skewer and serve it as an appetizer with some extra sauce for dipping.
Keep leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The sauce can be kept separate for up to 2 days in the fridge. Trust me, it won’t last long as you’ll be using it on everything!
Bang Bang Chicken Recipe
- Into a large mixing bowl add chicken thighs, garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder, garlic salt, olive oil. Mix well and let marinate for at least 2 hours, best over night.
- While you wait make the sauce. Into a small mixing bowl add yum yum sauce and sweet chili sauce, mix.
- Onto wooden skewer sticks add chicken pieces. Pre heat your grill to high or griddle skillet. Grill until cooked thru.
- Using a brush, brush bang bang sauce over the grilled chicken. Serve with tomato salad. Enjoy!
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