a basket filled with fried food next to chicken popcorn.
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Popcorn Chicken: The Bite-Size Delight Everyone Loves

Who could resist the crunch of perfectly golden, well-seasoned chicken pieces fried? Popcorn chicken, a kid’s favorite, is a delightful dish that can easily become the top choice among your household’s meat options. Whether hosting a casual get-together or prepping for a quiet night, this popcorn chicken recipe will surely please.

a close up of a plate of chicken popcorn.
a series of photos showing different stages of making chicken popcorn.

The Origins and Popularity of Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken, the much-loved snack we see worldwide, was first introduced by the American fast-food giant Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in the 1990s. The small, bite-sized pieces of chicken, which resembled popcorn, became a massive hit for their convenience, taste, and novelty, especially among children.

Over the years, this American invention has gone global. Its basic concept was embraced by various food establishments worldwide, leading to a myriad of regional adaptations. From fast-food chains to home kitchens, the versatility of popcorn chicken has contributed to its enduring popularity across different cultures and cuisines.

a series of photos showing how to make chicken popcorn.

The Basics of Popcorn Chicken

Let’s start with understanding what popcorn chicken is. It’s essentially bite-sized pieces of chicken breast coated in a delicious layer of flour and deep-fried until a crispy, golden crust forms. This beloved dish brings together the best of poultry and the joy of a fried delicacy. Sounds mouthwatering.

a series of photos showing how to make chicken popcorn.

Tips for Perfect Popcorn Chicken

  • Chop the chicken into uniform sizes for even cooking.
  • Monitor the oil temperature closely while frying to avoid burning the chicken.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least one hour for optimal flavor.
  • For a healthier version, you can bake or air fry the chicken.

Watch My YouTube Video on Chicken Popcorn

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A Sweet Spin on Popcorn Recipes

If my popcorn chicken recipe left you craving more delicious popcorn variations, you’re in luck! I’ve whipped up a sweet version that’s sure to satisfy – “Caramel Bread Popcorn.” It’s not your usual popcorn; we’re taking plain old bread and turning it into something extraordinary.

Just imagine pieces of bread, toasted until crispy, then generously coated in a sweet, sticky caramel sauce. It’s a dessert that’s as fun to make as it is to eat! This caramel bread popcorn is perfect for a cozy movie night or when you’re simply craving something sweet.

two small cups of dip and french fries on a cutting board.

Popcorn chicken is more than just a nostalgic childhood favorite. With its crispy, juicy, and flavorful profile, it is a dish that pleases all ages. Now that you’ve got this easy recipe, it’s time to make this delightful dish at home!

SEE THE FULL RECIPE BELOW!

Popcorn Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Course: Snacks, SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

25

minutes
Calories per Serving

350

kcal
Total time

35

minutes

Experience the joy of making your popcorn chicken at home with this simple, flavor-packed recipe. Perfectly crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, it’s sure to become a family favorite.

Cook Mode

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Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • 650 grams 650 grams Chicken Breast Fillet (cut into bite-sizeΒ )

  • Marinade
  • 1 1/2 tsp 9 g Himalayan Pink Salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp 6.6 g Ground Mixed Peppercorn

  • 1 cup 236.59 ml Buttermilk (*substitute for buttermilk: 1 cup Whole Milk + 1 – 2 tbsp Distilled White Vinegar, rest for 5 – 10 minutes)

  • Breading
  • 2 cups 250 g All-Purpose Flour

  • 1 tsp 6 g Himalayan Pink Salt

  • 1 tsp 4.4 g Ground Mixed Peppercorn

  • 2 tsp 9.86 g Spanish Paprika

  • 3 tsp 5.4 g Red Pepper Powder

  • 1 tsp 3.1 g Garlic Powder

  • 1 tsp 1 g Dried Oregano

  • 1 tsp 1 g Dried Thyme

  • 1/2 tsp 2.3 g Baking Powder

Directions

  • Marinating the Chicken: In a large bowl, combine chicken pieces, Himalayan Pink Salt, Ground Mixed Peppercorn, and buttermilk. Stir well, ensuring that every piece is coated evenly with the marinade. Cover the bowl and allow it to rest for at least 1 hour.
  • Preparation for Frying: Heat oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to around 375Β°F (190Β°C). Ensure you have enough oil to submerge the chicken pieces fully.
  • Preparation of Breading: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the breading. Combine all-purpose flour, Himalayan Pink Salt, Ground Mixed Peppercorn, Spanish Paprika, Red Pepper Powder, Garlic Powder, Dried Oregano, Dried Thyme, and Baking Powder in a separate bowl.
  • Coating the Chicken: Roll each chicken piece in the prepared breading until it’s fully covered after the marination time.
  • Frying the Chicken: Carefully place the coated chicken pieces into the hot oil. Fry them in batches if necessary. Cook each batch for around 4-5 minutes or until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Draining Excess Oil: Once fried, use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken pieces from the oil. Drain the fried chicken on a paper towel to remove any excess fat.
  • Serving: Serve your delicious popcorn chicken hot with your preferred dipping sauces like barbecue, honey mustard, and ranch. Enjoy!

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Can I Use Instead Of Buttermilk?

    If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute it with a mixture of whole milk and distilled white vinegar. Rest this mixture for 5 – 10 minutes before using.

  • What Can I Pair With Popcorn Chicken?

    Popcorn chicken pairs well with side dishes like fries, salads, and rice.

  • Can I Use Other Parts Of The Chicken?

    While chicken breast is commonly used for popcorn chicken, you can also use other boneless parts like thighs or tenders.

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