Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken

  1. 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  2. 1 cup buttermilk
  3. 1 teaspoon hot sauce (optional)
  4. 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 teaspoon paprika
  8. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  9. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  11. Vegetable oil for frying

Marinate Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken pieces, buttermilk, and hot sauce (if using).
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.

Prepare Coating:

  1. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper (if using).

Coat Chicken:

  1. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, allowing any excess to drip off.
  2. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, pressing to adhere. Place the coated chicken pieces on a plate.

Heat Oil:

  1. In a large, deep skillet or pot, heat about 2 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F (175°C).

Fry Chicken:

  1. Fry the chicken in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  2. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through, turning occasionally.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.


  1. Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauces, such as ranch, honey mustard, or BBQ sauce.


  1. For extra crispy chicken, double-dip by dipping the flour-coated chicken back into the buttermilk mixture and then coating with flour again before frying.
  2. Ensure the oil temperature is maintained at 350°F for the best results. If the oil is too hot, the chicken will brown too quickly and may not cook through; if too cool, the chicken will absorb more oil and become greasy.


  • Preheat the Air Fryer:
    • Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
  • Cook the Chicken:
    • Lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or brush with a little oil to prevent sticking.
    • Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. You might need to cook in batches to avoid overcrowding.
    • Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray or brush with oil.
    • Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature should reach 165°F (75°C).
  • Serve:
    • Remove the chicken from the air fryer and let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.


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