Popcorn chicken is a fast food sensation that consists of bite-sized pieces of breaded, fried chicken. It was developed by KFC and has since spread to other fast food chains.
The name “popcorn chicken” is a pun, but it definitely has a meaning. Its unique, crispy texture evokes the crunchy feel of a chicken wing. You can prepare popcorn chicken in a variety of ways, from air frying to baking.
How to Make Popcorn Chicken
One of the best ways to get a taste of a delicious popcorn chicken is to make it ahead of time. To make popcorn chicken, simply coat chicken breasts with panko and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Once you’re ready to use it, spread chicken on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. This way, you can pop them out of the freezer when you’re ready to serve them. Once frozen, you can keep them in an airtight container for up to two months.
When making popcorn chicken, remember that you should fry the chicken in batches and avoid crowding the pan.
Overcrowding will reduce the temperature of the oil and the popcorn won’t get crisp. Another important step is to marinate the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk and salt before frying it. This will ensure that the chicken stays moist and soft when fried.
If you don’t have cornflakes, you can also use panko crumbs or use other coating.
If you don’t have a deep-fryer, you can also use the oven. You’ll need a wire mesh strainer or a large pot. When cooking the popcorn chicken, you should use a low-temperature oil. The oil should be around 150degC (300degF).
Once the chicken reaches the desired golden color, remove it from the oil and place it on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately, because otherwise, the chicken will lose its crispness.
Another way to cook popcorn chicken is to bake it instead of frying it. Simply spray the pan with oil and coat the chicken with breadcrumbs. Bake it for 12 minutes, flipping it after ten minutes.
The chicken will be slightly less crispy than fried popcorn chicken. This method is a healthy alternative to deep-frying, and may be the best choice if you want to eat healthier popcorn chicken. This method can also work well for vegetarians.
How to Air Fry Popcorn Chicken
How to air fry popcorn chicken is a simple method that yields crispy chicken. First, you need to dredge the chicken in seasoned flour. Then, add a small amount of buttermilk.
Next, place the chicken in the air fryer and cook until golden brown, about 25 minutes. The chicken will come out crispy, tangy, and delicious. You can serve this dish as a snack or as a complete meal.
Place the popcorn chicken in the air fryer. The final cook time will depend on the air fryer. Larger pieces of chicken take longer to heat through. For a perfectly crisp, golden-brown popcorn chicken, cook for at least 10 minutes.
To make leftovers even crispier, turn them over halfway through the cooking process. Once they are ready, serve with your favorite dipping sauce. If you’d like them extra crunchy, cook them for a few more minutes.
After removing the skin, dry the chicken breast thoroughly. Cut each chicken breast into one-inch-thick pieces. Mix the flour and egg together. In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs. Turn the pieces over to coat them evenly.
Lay the chicken pieces in the air fryer basket so that they do not touch each other. If the chicken pieces touch each other, deep-frying them will work just as well. If you have a larger air fryer, it will be best to cook the chicken in batches so that it doesn’t overcook.
Once the popcorn chicken is finished cooking, it should be golden brown and cooked through. You can serve it as a wrap, over mashed potatoes, or over gravy. Air-fried popcorn chicken is a healthy alternative to takeout. Make sure to use a dipping sauce to dip the popcorn chicken in. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Make Spicy Popcorn Chicken
Spicy popcorn chicken is an easy way to spice up your next party! To make this snack, you’ll need a bowl of cornstarch and 113 ml milk. To the milk, you can add Tabasco, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder, and flour. Combine these ingredients in a bowl.
Mix by hand until you get a fine consistency. Dip each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking it off any excess. Place the chicken pieces in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. The chicken will be golden brown when finished!
To make the frying process easier, you can use air frying. You don’t need to use oil to make this dish. Unlike traditional frying, air frying leaves the food extra crispy without adding unwanted calories.
To make this snack even easier, you can mix 1 tablespoon of hot sauce with 3/4 cup of water. Stir the mixture until it is well-blended. Refrigerate the mixture for up to 10 minutes before using it again.
How to Cook Popcorn Chicken in Oven
The key to a delicious, crisp, and juicy popcorn chicken is getting the correct cooking temperature. A temperature of 165 degrees F is the optimal cooking temperature for popcorn chicken, so keep an eye on the oven temperature when using it.
A seasoned popcorn chicken is more flavorful than the bland frozen stuff. Season it to taste with cayenne pepper or freshly cracked black pepper. Sprinkle with baking powder if you like. You can also serve it with a dipping sauce like jalapeno ranch dressing, BBQ sauce, or avocado-ranch.
Aside from being an excellent appetizer, popcorn chicken can also make a great salad topping.
The recipe includes several tips and tricks for making this snack healthier than fried chicken. The key to the crispy Popcorn Chicken is the combination of panko breadcrumbs and cornmeal. While you can use traditional breadcrumbs, they don’t give the same level of crunch. A wire rack will allow hot air to circulate around the chicken, while a foil sheet will serve as a temporary hot tray while the popcorn chicken cooks.
The popcorn chicken should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer to determine when it’s ready. Then, remove it from the oil with a slotted spoon and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil.
Once it’s done, the popcorn chicken can be placed on a wire rack with paper towels underneath. Depending on the size, you can either bake the popcorn chicken in the oven or microwave it. Both methods will yield delicious results.
How to Reheat Popcorn Chicken
You’ve probably wondered how to reheat popcorn chicken, which is super juicy, crunchy, and bursting with flavor! Using a wire rack or a sheet pan will allow hot air to circulate around the chicken.
Alternatively, you can place a piece of foil in the oven while you prepare the chicken. Regardless of how you decide to reheat popcorn chicken, it’s important to use care while handling it.
Before reheating popcorn chicken, bring it to room temperature. If frozen, you can defrost it in the microwave. Make sure to place the chicken on a paper towel-lined plate so that it doesn’t stick to the dish. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until the chicken is fully cooked. When reheating popcorn chicken, don’t forget to shake the dish frequently!
Preparing Popcorn Chicken ahead of time is the easiest way to eat it later. You’ll want to make sure the chicken is well coated and leave it overnight. Then, simply cook the chicken according to the package directions. Once they’ve reached room temperature, you can freeze them for 1-2 hours before serving. This will prevent the chicken from clumping together. When reheating popcorn chicken, make sure to use a microwave-safe container to prevent spills.