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+ servings

Popcorn Chicken

This Popcorn Chicken is crispy, crunchy, and full of tender bite-sized pieces of chicken. Coated in a flavorful breading and fried until golden-brown, this chicken is a crowd favorite.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken thigh, crispy, fried
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 505kcal
Author: Jennifer Debth
Scale

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 1 cup fat free buttermilk
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce omit if you don’t like spice
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cubed into 1/2 - 1 inch chunks

Batter

  • 2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper omit if you don’t like spice
  • 1 tablespoon dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved marinade from above

Other

Instructions

Marinade

  • In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, pickle juice, hot sauce, salt, dry ranch mix, and taco seasoning.
  • Stir in chicken thighs, cover with saran wrap, and marinate in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
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Batter

  • Combine flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne, dry ranch mix, and taco seasoning in a bowl.
  • Remove 1 1/2 cups of this flour mixture and place onto a large plate (this is our dry mixture).
  • Add 1 1/2 cups reserved marinade to the remaining flour mixture and whisk until smooth (this is our batter).

  • Drain and discard the remaining marinade from the chicken.
  • Take one piece of chicken and fully coat it with dry mixture. Shake off any excess.

  • Place it into the wet batter and fully coat, allowing excess to drip off.

  • Coat the chicken in the dry mixture one more time, shaking off any excess, then place onto a clean work surface.
  • Repeat with remaining cubed chicken.
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Frying

  • Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a large stockpot or deep-fryer.*

  • Working in batches, fry chicken in the hot oil until golden, crispy, and no longer pink in the centers, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Transfer to the clean wire rack.
  • Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Serve with fry sauce, honey mustard, bbq sauce, ketchup, ranch, or your favorite dipping sauce.
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Video

Notes

*I shoot for 360/370, because as soon as the chicken hits the oil, the temperature will drop slightly, but you don’t want it too high or the outside will brown too much and the chicken won’t cook through.
Nutrition information does not include the oil for frying.

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 505kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 4669mg | Potassium: 355mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 4mg