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Despite it’s name, firecracker chicken is not hot. It’s name is homage to a British holiday.
Firecracker chicken is one of the easiest and tastiest chicken dinners you ever will eat.
The name is a bit misleading. This chicken will only be as hot as you want it to be.
It gets its curious name from a major British holiday–Bonfire Night. Long story short, there are many fireworks displays, hence the name. Bonfire Night used to be called Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes attempted to burn down the Houses of Parliament. The holiday is in November. That concludes the British history lesson; now onto this scrummy chicken.
High-Quality Paprika A Must
The major flavor of this chicken is the smoked paprika. You definitely don’t want any cheap or dollar store stuff here. There are great varieties available in most grocery stores. This is something I buy online because to me this is the best paprika ever. Chiquilin also offers mild and hot paprika. All are excellent and I’ve used them for years.
The marinade also gets it’s bit of sweetness from maple syrup. Although I’ve never used pancake syrup in this, I suppose it can be substituted for the maple syrup. I prefer the real thing so that’s what I use and besides I live in maple syrup country here in New York so it’s readily available.
This marinade also makes great wings! Don’t hesitate to use it for that. You won’t be disappointed.
Another wonderful feature of this recipe is that the chicken can be frozen in the marinade for future use. It’s really a boon to have this in your freezer so you’ll have a nice tasty dinner.
Here’s another tip–make sure you line that baking sheet for easier cleanup. And…this is easily adaptable to the air fryer. Just reduce the temperature to 400 F/200C and check for doneness at 20 minutes for drumsticks. You will have to keep your eye on it, but it’s worth it.
- 2 lbs chicken parts i.e. 12 drumsticks
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tbs smoked paprika
- 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbs maple syrup
- 6 tbs olive oil
- 2-3 drops Tabssco optional use more for more heat
- Sprinkle the chicken parts with about 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
- Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl. The Tabasco is optional if no heat is wanted, but if you do, use as much as you like.
- Place the chicken parts in a plastic zipper bag and pour in the marinade. Shake the bag to coat all the pieces. Place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate at least 30 minutes but overnight and up to a day is preferred. The chicken can also be frozen in the marinade for future use.
- To cook: Preheat oven to 425F/220C. Place chicken on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment. Pour any leftover marinade over the chicken. Bake for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. For instance, drumsticks take about 30 minutes and thighs take about 40 minutes.