American/ Main Dishes

Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn chicken makes for an easy kid-friendly dinner. Bite sized fried chicken pieces, ready for dipping into your favorite dipping sauce! Crispy, bite-size popcorn chicken will be a hit with the whole family!

I was walking through the grocery store last weekend and they had this huge freezer with a special on popcorn chicken. I was a little intrigued. It would be a very quick and easy dinner for during the week. And I almost picked up a bag. The key word there is almost. I ended up deciding against it because I thought, “you know what? I bet I can make that at home really easily.”

And as it turns out, popcorn chicken really is pretty darn easy to make.

Crispy bite-size popcorn chicken will be a hit with the whole family!

When I told Ryan I was making popcorn chicken for dinner. The first thing he said was “what the heck is popcorn chicken?” Really you could call these chicken nuggets too, if you want. It is simply chicken thighs cut into little bite-size pieces, dredged in seasoned flour and fried until golden. I use chicken thighs in this dish because they are pretty inexpensive and I like the flavor more than boneless breasts.

That being said, you could totally use boneless skinless chicken breasts in this recipe too. What ever you use, trust me, they are delicious. Take it from Ryan, who is not huge fan of fried food (gasp!) who said, as he scarfed down about 20 pieces, that they were really good, light and not too heavy like other fried chicken. Give ’em a shot. Let me know what you think.

Crispy bite-size popcorn chicken will be a hit with the whole family!

UPDATE 12/9/2016: When I originally posted this recipe back in 2010, I had not yet been introduced to the wonderful world that is brining chicken. Now, whenever I make chicken, I brine it first. When I read that a popular fast food restaurant brines their chicken in pickle juice, I had to give it a go with this popcorn chicken. Holy moly, guys, it is SO good. And I love that you don’t have to make the brine yourself, which makes this even easier to make.

Crispy bite-size popcorn chicken will be a hit with the whole family!

Popcorn Chicken

Print Recipe
Serves 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons seasoning salt (I like Johnny's)
  • canola oil

Instructions

1

Place the chicken pieces and pickle juice in a resealable plastic bag (or other non-reactive) container and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2

In a bowl beat egg and milk together.

3

In a large plastic bag combine flour, baking power and salt. Dip the chicken pieces in the egg and milk. Then place in the seasoned flour and shake until nicely coated. Let set in the flour for about 10 minutes while you heat the oil.

4

In a large pot heat about 1/2 inch of oil to 350 degrees. Once hot, shake the excess flour off of the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. You may need to do this in batches to avoid crowding the pan.

5

Once chicken is cooked use a slotted spoon to transfer the pieces to a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle with a little more seasoning salt if desired. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

Enjoy!

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  • Yum! I’m glad you made the popcorn chicken instead of purchasing it!

  • I would never have thought of this on my own. I love the idea. I might make it with chicken thighs – I love that part of the bird best of all. And, may I ask, who doesn’t love fried food? Sheesh!

  • Yours look so much better than what you find in the freezer section. Loving this.

  • Doesn’t like fried food?!?! I’m speechless.

    I’ve bookmarked this recipe – it sounds really good, easy, and not a pain to fry. Is it bad that the pain-in-the-rear-end aspect of frying is what prevents me from doing it more often?

  • mike moodlao

    KFC POPCORN SHICKEN IS DA BEST. CHINAMAN SAY SO..

    YOU RECIPE OK. BUT NO THE CORNELS SIGNATURE SPICE. CHINAMAN LIKE SPICE. CHINA LIKE SPICE. I SAY SO..

    WHY YOU WEAR NECKLACE OVER COOKING PROTECTION APRON. IN PHOTO. IT LOOK WEIRD. CHINA MAN SAY SO.

    YOU RECIPES PRETTY GOOD FOR AMERICAN. CHINA MAN SAY SO. I SAY KEEP UP GOOD WOK. I MEAN WORK NOT WOK..

    WHY WHY. THAT MEAN BYE BYE BY CHINA MAN.

  • Zoe

    My husband and I made these together tonight and they are amazing. So much better than anything we could have gotten from a store or fast food. We had to stop ourselves from just eating them at the counter as the next batch cooked. :)

    Thank you for this recipe! Everything I’ve made from your site is delicious.

  • tnx

  • Jon

    what about using thigh meat?

    that should make it more tender right?

  • You’re welcome Zoe! I’m glad you liked it!
    Jon- I think that is a great idea. Let me know if you try it. I’d like to know how it turns out :)

  • I really like the idea of using honey with these. I think I am going to make these on our next chicken night.

  • jasmine

    made these last night, they are phenomenal….just perfect! thanks for the post!

  • I tried these. They were good but turned ourt kinda mushy, what did I do wrong? So good recipe, but bad cook ;)

  • Tiny

    I wasn’t too sure about this recipe initially because there was very little breading and they didn’t look too crispy.. but i figured i’d try them out. They didn’t come out super crispy like normal fried chicken but for some reason IT WORKS. These are soooo good, so simple, and are my new favorite way to fry up chicken.

  • Darzalliela.

    yummy for my big tummy. :)

  • Leah

    Awessssooooooome! Made this recipe last week ! It was polished so fast I don’t even know how much I actually made but I do know it was a lot !!!

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  • Diana

    Very tasty! I added some cayenne pepper to the honey/season salt mix and it added a nice kick. Bee stung popcorn chicken. :) Thank you!

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