Get ready to spice up your dinner routine with these Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Skewers! It's all about air fried chicken thighs flavored with a mix of spices and coated in a creamy, sweet, and spicy homemade Bang Bang sauce. Super easy to make and tastes just like your go-to Chinese takeout!
What is Bang Bang Chicken?
Bang Bang Chicken is a delicious dish made with chicken that's usually cut into small pieces and cooked until it's crispy. It gets its name from the sound of the chicken being chopped or "banged" into those pieces. Then, it's topped with a tasty sauce that's a bit creamy and a bit spicy.
😍 Reasons to Love Bang Bang Chicken Skewers
- Spicy & Sweet: Our homemade Bang Bang sauce adds a delightful balance of spiciness and sweetness to the chicken, making it a flavor explosion in your mouth.
- Quick & Easy: With just a few minutes of prep time, you can have these skewers ready to enjoy. It's a convenient choice for busy days.
- Versatile: These skewers are great for parties, as an appetizer, or even as a main course. They're versatile and always a crowd-pleaser.
✅ You'll Need
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are preferred because they are juicier and more flavorful than chicken breasts. However, you can use chicken breasts if you prefer white meat. Cut them into 1-inch pieces for even cooking.
For the Seasoning:
- Cajun Seasoning: Cajun seasoning adds a nice spicy kick and flavor. You can substitute it with any other poultry seasoning.
- Smoked Paprika: It lends a smoky, earthy flavor. If you don't have it, regular paprika will work as a substitute, but it won't have the smokiness.
- Garlic Powder: Fresh minced garlic can be used as a substitute for garlic powder. Use one clove of minced garlic for each teaspoon of garlic powder.
For the Bang Bang Sauce:
- Mayonnaise: Use full-fat mayonnaise for a creamy texture. You can also use a light or olive oil-based mayonnaise for a lighter option.
- Thai Sweet Chili Sauce: This sauce provides a sweet and mildly spicy flavor. If you can't find it, make your own by combining sweet chili sauce with a pinch of red pepper flakes for heat.
- Sriracha: Adjust the amount of Sriracha to control the spiciness. If you prefer less heat, start with a smaller amount and add more if needed. Other hot sauces will work as well.
- Honey: It adds sweetness to the sauce. You can substitute it with maple syrup or agave nectar if desired.
- Rice Vinegar: Rice vinegar provides a mild acidity. If you don't have it, use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as a substitute.
🔪 How To Make Bang Bang Chicken Skewers
In a large bowl, combine the extra virgin olive oil, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, and black pepper. Whisk them together until well blended.
Add the chicken pieces to the bowl with the spice and oil mixture. Stir and toss the chicken until it's thoroughly coated.
Make the Bang Bang Sauce. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Thai chili sauce, Sriracha (adjust to your preferred level of spiciness), honey, and rice vinegar. Mix these ingredients together until well blended. This will yield approximately 1 ¾ cups of Bang Bang sauce.
Set aside half of the sauce for later use. Take the remaining half of the sauce and add it to the bowl with the chicken. Mix everything thoroughly to ensure the chicken is well coated with the sauce.
Thread 5-6 pieces of the marinated chicken onto each skewer.
Arrange the chicken skewers in a single layer inside your air fryer basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook them in batches.
Set the air fryer temperature to 400°F and cook the skewers for approximately 11-12 minutes. Remember to flip them over halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking. Make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to ensure it's fully cooked.
Carefully transfer the cooked chicken skewers to a serving dish.
Brush the skewers with the remaining sauce you reserved earlier.
Garnish with chopped green onions for added flavor and a pop of color.
Wooden Skewers vs Metal Skewers
If you're using wooden sticks, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them. This keeps them from burning when they cook. For metal sticks, make sure they fit inside your air fryer basket. If you have wooden sticks that are too long, you can break them in half to make them the right size.
Can I Make Bang Bang Chicken Skewers Ahead Of Time?
Yes! You can make it in advance. Once the chicken is on the skewers, you have a couple of options:
- Refrigeration: You can store the assembled chicken skewers in the refrigerator. Just cover them up, and they will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Freezing: If you want to freeze them, tightly wrap the chicken skewers. They can stay in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you're ready to cook them, let the skewers thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
As for the Bang Bang sauce:
- Make it in advance and keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. This makes it easy to have the sauce ready whenever you want to enjoy these delicious skewers.
- Refrigeration: If you have leftovers or want to store them for a short period, place the cooked chicken skewers in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for 2-3 days.
- Freezing: If you want to store them for a longer time, tightly wrap the chicken skewers in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place them in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thawing: When you're ready to enjoy them, if they're frozen, let the skewers thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating or consuming.
To reheat Air Fryer Bang Bang Chicken Skewers, preheat your air fryer to 350°F (175°C). Place the leftover skewers in a single layer in the air fryer basket and heat for 2-3 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they're heated through.
What to Serve with Bang Bang Chicken Kabobs
- Rice: Serve the skewers over Instant Pot Jasmine Rice or Brown Rice for a satisfying meal.
- Noodles: Try them with Chow Mein, rice noodles, or even ramen for an Asian-inspired feast.
- Vegetables: Steamed or stir-fried vegetables like Steamed Broccoli, bell peppers, or snap peas make for a nutritious side.
- Dipping Sauces: Offer extra Bang Bang sauce, soy sauce, or a peanut dipping sauce for added flavor.
- Coleslaw: Creamy coleslaw can balance the heat of the chicken with its cool and crunchy texture.
- Pickled Vegetables: Pickled Garlic, daikon radish, or kimchi can add a tangy and crunchy element.
Yes, you can use boneless skinless chicken breasts if you prefer white meat. Just cut it into 1-inch cubes for skewering.
Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before using them to prevent charring during cooking.
You can reduce the amount of honey or opt for a honey substitute with less sweetness.
Grilling adds a smoky flavor and enhances the taste. Follow the same marinating and assembly steps, then grill them on medium-high heat until the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C) internally, and don't forget to brush on the sauce for that extra flavor.
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