There is one important thing you should know about getting this chicken on the dinner table: You're gonna need to put out plenty of extra napkins. Because as any really good firecracker chicken recipe should be, this one is all about the vibrant, sticky sauce.
It's a weeknight version of the takeout favorite that partners a pack of meaty, wallet-friendly chicken thighs with a bright, glossy sauce that's sweet, tangy, and a little bit spicy.
Firecracker Chicken Thighs: Watch the Video
The Chicken Skillet That's All About the Sauce
While it might be perfectly acceptable to swap skin-on thighs for its skinless, boneless counterparts in many recipes, this is not one of them. The skin plays such a crucial role in making each piece of chicken as saucy as possible. So it's for this reason that I recommend buying a pack of chicken thighs with an ample amount of skin. Carefully inspect your package (or butcher case) for thighs with skin that covers as much of the meat as possible.
After you sear it on the stovetop, the chicken finishes cooking with a coating of sauce in the oven. That blanket of chicken skin acts like a magnet for the sticky sauce so it adheres to the meat rather than instantly sliding off. As the chicken cooks, the flavor from the sauce soaks through the skin and works its way into the meat.
The sauce will bubble and caramelize against the heat of the skillet. It might even look overly thick or like it's maybe even burnt against the pan — it's not. Give the skillet a gentle shake, and the bubbly sauce will loosen so you can spoon it over the meat.