Popcorn Chicken

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Crispy, delicious popcorn chicken is a family favorite!! Not only is it easy to make but it’s a hit with the entire family making dinner a cinch!

If you’re looking for an easy dinner idea – look no further! Popcorn Chicken is an easy recipe that the whole family loves. Serve it with some Crockpot mac and Cheese, pasta salad or even fruit salad for a simple meal!

Popcorn chicken in dish

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

It’s crispy and delicious and a favorite with so many! You’d be surprised just how simple this homemade popcorn chicken is. What’s even better is that it only requires a few ingredients!!

Not only do we like to make this chicken for dinner, but it’s great for salads too. It’s a great addition!

You can also change it up with the kind of breading you use (Panko, different bread crumbs, etc). No matter how you make it, I’m sure you will quickly see just how yummy it is. And if you’re looking for some great dipping sauced, check out these favs:

Dipping Sauces:

Chicken pieces coated in buttermilk and flour

Prepping

Cutting the chicken: The biggest tip I have when cutting bite sized pieces of chicken is to use half frozen breasts and a sharp kitchen knife. The almost frozen chicken cuts beautiful even pieces. 

Marinating: If you have time I suggest marinating the chicken in buttermilk for at least an hour, but not more than 12 hours. The buttermilk marinade helps the chicken to fry up flaky and delicious. 

Add spice: I like to add some kick to my chicken. You can mix any of the following ingredients in with the panko crumbs:

  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Chipotle flakes
  • Red chili flakes

Frying up homemade popcorn chicken

How to Make Popcorn Chicken

This popcorn chicken is beyond simple to make!

OIL. Begin, by add 1-2 inches of vegetable oil to a medium pan and heat on the medium setting.

3 BOWLS. Mix together flour and garlic salt in a small bowl. In another small bowl add buttermilk. In a third small bowl add the panko crumbs. Place the three bowls in a line.

DIP. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour mixture first followed by the buttermilk and lastly the panko crumbs. Dip all the chicken pieces making sure that all sides are coated with each ingredient. NOTE: For a double coating dip the pieces in the buttermilk a second time and again in the panko crumbs. If you’re make a double coating you will need extra milk and panko crumbs.

Place a paper towel on a plate next to the stove near the hot oil.

FRY. Working in batches, place the chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Once the pieces are done use tongs to remove them from the oil and place them on the paper towel lined plate.

Panko alternatives: Instead of using panko crumbs you can use plain or seasoned bread crumbs, crushed corn flakes, or crushed ritz crackers

More Cooking Methods

Oven Baked: To save a little bit of calories you can bake these popcorn chicken in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake for 8-10 minutes flip and bake for another 8-10 minutes. Finish them off under the broiler to help give a bit more crunch. 

Air fryer: Using an air fryer is another great alternative. Set the temperature to 400°F. Spray cooking oil on the air fryer basket. Arrange the popcorn chicken in a single layer without the pieces touching. For a bit more crisp you can slightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Cook the chicken for about 8-10 minutes depending on the size. Flip them at the halfway mark. Cook each batch in the same manner. 

Popcorn chicken recipe in dish

Making Ahead

You can make this popcorn chicken AHEAD OF TIME.

Raw chicken pieces can be coated the day before and kept covered in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them. You can also freeze cooked popcorn chicken for up to 4 months. After the chicken has been cooked allow the pieces to cool and store in an airtight freezer container. Reheat in the oven, 

More kid friendly foods:

Popcorn Chicken Recipe

5 from 8 votes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 238.92 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cubed
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • pepper
  • vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Add 1-2 inches of vegetable oil to a medium pan and heat on the medium setting.

  2. Mix together flour and garlic salt in a small bowl. In another small bowl add buttermilk. In a third small bowl add the panko crumbs. Place the three bowls in a line.

  3. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour mixture first followed by the buttermilk and lastly the panko crumbs. Dip all the chicken pieces making sure that all sides are coated with each ingredient. NOTE: for a double coating dip the pieces in the buttermilk a second time and again in the panko crumbs. If you're make a double coating you will need extra milk and panko crumbs.

  4. Place a paper towel on a plate next to the stove near the hot oil.

  5. Working in batches, place the chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Once the pieces are done use tongs to remove them from the oil and place them on the paper towel lined plate

  6. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Recipe Video

Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative – from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These are perfectly crispy & taste delicious! Popcorn chicken is a favorite at our house & this recipe is so much better than store bought!

  2. 5 stars
    my kids haven’t been this excited for dinner in a long time! These were super easy to make and they loved’em…#winwin