Popcorn Chicken Recipe, beautifully golden-brown and so crispy on the outside, but juicy on the inside, these fried chicken bites can rival the famous KFC popcorn chicken. Quick and easy to make, coated in nicely seasoned tempura batter and crushed cornflakes, my homemade popcorn chicken will be a big hit with kids and grown-ups alike.
If you missed fast-food during these crazy times when life turned upside down, I'll show you how to make your own, more delicious and way better fast-food favourite chicken recipe: popcorn chicken. The name might sound weird, but it's just crispy chicken bites coated in cornflakes for a crunchy touch.
My shock was not that the popcorn chicken turned out so yummy, but that my little girls demolished them. They are not quite the fussiest kids, and since we've been home they started eating even better than before, but seeing them wolf down bite after bite was quite funny.
That always tells me the food I make is delicious; well, with a few exceptions, when I think my food is so good, yet them refuse to even look at it. You can't always please kids, can you? But it's definitely such an achievement when you do.
These popcorn chicken balls might not be that healthy, since it's deep fried, but at least it's 100% chicken, and there are not dodgy ingredients at all. Plus, the oil has only been used for this chicken, and nothing else. So yeah, better than take-away!
- chicken breasts - minced/ground
- plain flour
- baking powder
- garlic granules
- salt & ground black pepper
- oil - to deep fry
Step-by-step photos and instructions
- season the minced chicken with salt and pepper, and shape into balls
- coated them with plain flour, and shake off any excess flour
- dip them into tempura batter (mixture of flour, water, salt, pepper, paprika and garlic granules), and coat them well
- coat with crushed cornflakes
- deep fry until golden-brown and the chicken is cooked through
This might not be an authentic recipe, but it's as close as it can get. The chicken, instead of being cut into chunks, it's minced, then shaped into meatballs. It would work perfectly fine if you used chicken pieces instead of mince, and you can follow exactly the same steps, it's up to you.
If you don't have minced/ground chicken, cut up the chicken breasts into chunks, then blitz them into a blender, you will get the same texture as in the minced chicken. Blenders are such a great invention!
I coated the chicken into a fabulous tempura batter, but you can coat them in egg or buttermilk too, but I think the tempura works wonders here. If you don't have cornflakes, you can use crushed witabix, or any other crispy, unsweetened cereal.
Can I bake the popcorn chicken?
I don't usually go for deep-frying, so that's a pretty rare event for me, instead I tend to use my oven more often than a bakery. I think it is such a waste of oil, first of all, since I wouldn't reuse that oil, not to mention that the nutritional value goes right out of window.
But, to recreate a fast-food favourite, I had to compromise and deep fry the chicken pieces. Not bad, I would say, you get amazing taste and perfect crunch. But, if you go for baking, you can get (almost) the same fantastic results. I baked my chicken nuggets and they were delish.
For this recipe, follow the exact steps, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit), spray them with plenty of cooking oil spray, and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown. You might have to turn them around half the way through to ensure even baking.
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Popcorn Chicken Recipe
- 2 chicken breasts, minced/ground
- 1 cup plain flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 cups cornflakes
- 4 cups oil to deep fry
- To make the tempura batter, mix half a cup of flour with water,baking powder, paprika, garlic granules, half a teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of ground pepper.
- Mix well to get a smooth thin paste, if needed, pas it through a sieve to break down any lumps formed. Add a bit more water if too thick.
- Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper, and shape into balls.
- Add the other half a cup of flour to a bowl, coat the chicken balls with flour, shaking off any excess.
- Next, dip the balls into the tempura better, and coat well.
- The final step is to coat the balls with crushed cornflakes (add the cornflakes to a blender and blitz to get rough pieces, or add to a bag and crush with a rolling pin).
- Heat up the oil in deep pan over a medium high heat, and fry the chicken balls until golden brown.
- Remove from the pan, and arrange on a plate lined with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.