Satisfy your KFC popcorn chicken cravings sitting at home with these KFC Style Spicy Popcorn Chicken bites that are so close to the real thing and are healthier! Dip these little pieces of glory into Sriracha Mayo Dip and enjoy the loud crunch!
I think I've got you covered as far as irresistible fast food goes with this KFC Style Spicy Popcorn Chicken. So the thing is, I'm not a big KFC fan. Sorry KFC lovers. But their popcorn chicken I'm partial to. I know it's not healthy. And all the calories. After all it's just pieces of fried chicken. But there is something about them being bite sized and coated in a sweet spicy spice rub that I find so irresistible.
This is one of those recipes that I get a little obsessive about. Because I need to get it just right before I share it here with all you discerning food lovers. We have a friendly trust thing going on and it means so much to me that we are food loving BFF's. So this KFC style popcorn chicken was made a total of 6 times before I decided it was good enough to be shared here.
There's nothing truly special about the fried chicken. I did try a few combinations - double soak in buttermilk, flour + buttermilk + panko + buttermilk coating, skipping the flour completely etc. etc. and I think as far as you use some buttermilk and stick to panko breadcrumbs, the crunch will be LOUD and CLEAR.
What's special is that spice rub which took slightly longer to get right. But when it did, I had sticky fingers that I couldn't stop licking.
It's just the right amount of sweet + spicy, tasting very very close to the original KFC popcorn chicken. I'd know, considering I've been a regular consumer. Which is why I'm the happiest person in the world. Because now I'm having healthier popcorn chicken. Yes, I'm calling these things healthier because while they are fried, we'll be using good quality, fresh oil at home. There is no added MSG and these things haven't been frozen and stored for god knows how long! I'm a firm believer that fried food is waaaay healthier if homemade. Do you see how logical my logic is?
Get me a bowl of this popcorn chicken + sriracha mayo dipping sauce + couch and I'm the happiest potato in the world. Try it, and you will be too!
If you are the kinds who loves your food over-the-top spicy, try this schezwan sauce for dipping and you'll achieve fire breathing dragon levels. Learn how to make this simple indo-chinese schezwan sauce which goes really well with chicken lollipops, schezwan rice, noodles and manchurian.
KFC Style Spicy Popcorn Chicken
- 300 grams Chicken Boneless
- Oil for Frying
For the Marinade:
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder or Paprika Powder
- Salt to taste
For the Coating:
- ¾ cup Flour
- ½ cup Buttermilk
- ¾ cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Spice Mix:
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Kashmiri Chilli Powder or Paprika Powder
- ¾ teaspoon Sugar Powdered
- ½ teaspoon Oregano dried
- Cut the boneless chicken into 1 inch bite sized pieces.
- Mix together all the ingredients under marinade and rub all over the chicken. Marinate for at least half an hour.
- Season the flour and panko breadcrumbs for coating with salt and pepper.
- To start making popcorn chicken, arrange an assembly line of sorts. Place flour, buttermilk and breadcrumbs next to each other along with the chicken. Arrange a wire rack to place the chicken once crumb coated.
- Now start by lightly coating the chicken with flour. Dip it in buttermilk next, and then coat with breadcrumbs. Repeat for each piece of chicken, and keep placing them on the wire rack.
- Heat oil for frying and deep fry in batches on medium heat till the chicken is cooked through and lightly brown on the outside.
- In the meanwhile, mix together all the ingredients under spice mix.
- Dust the chicken pieces with the spice mix as soon as they are fried. This helps coat the mixture all over the chicken. I usually sprinkle the spicy mix and toss the chicken in it while it's still hot. Serve hot with some sriracha mayo dipping sauce or schezwan sauce.
- Cutting chicken: Chicken popcorn is usually prepared with small bite sizen pieces of chicken. 1 inch sized chicken cubes are ideal.
- Marinade: marinade for at least 30 minutes. For the best results, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 10 minutes prior to frying.
- Oil temperature: Ensure the oil is at 350F/ 176C for frying the chicken. This temperature is ideal for perfectly cooked crispy chicken.
- Make these in advance: You can also make these ahead by frying them once and storing them for a couple of hours. When ready to serve, heat the oil to about 400F/204C and flash fry the chicken cubes for the second time for just a minute. This will give it a super crispy coating and all have to do is toss it in the seasoning before serving and you'll have hot chicken popcorn ready to go.
Hey Richa I'm going to make this today and just wanted to know whether i compulsorily need the spice mix? Although it will make a big difference wont it?
Richa Gupta says
Hey Saara! Fried chicken tastes good, like nuggets. Personally, though, we prefer it with the spice mix.
So, Saara, how did it turn out?
Does the oregano need to be dried compulsorily?
Richa Gupta says
When making popcorn chicken, dried oregano tastes the best. Cheers, Saara!
I wanna try this out tomorrow but most of the recipes say that you have to keep it in the fridge . Is that optional?
Richa Gupta says
Hey Saara! Keeping it in the fridge helps to tenderise the meat. But you can allow the mixture to rest for about 20 minutes in room temperature so the meat takes on those flavours. Happy cooking!
These are awesome. A huge hit with the family and everyone else I’ve made them for.
Great too for kids to make, get a production line going with the flour, milk and breadcrumbs 🙂
Richa Gupta says
Thanks Mick! Oh yes, kids would find the entire process fun and engaging! Glad you liked our popcorn chicken!
I went into this recipe not really knowing what to expect, but was so happy when it tasted much better than eating kfc! Took a little shortcut by using peri peri masala and a little powdered sugar and it worked like a charm! Thanks for sharing!
Thats perfect! Thanks for leaving a comment! Soooo glad you liked it Sancia
Whole family love it and we didn’t do the salt at the end or dipping sauces. It was smashed as it came out. SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing.
Yay!! So glad you enjoyed this
Colin Olson says
Any suggestions on how to pre-fry and reheat for a party? I want to be able to get these up the day before and just throw them in the oven to reheat right before the party. Any experience doing that?
Hey Colin, I definitely wouldn't recommend making them a day before. There is no way you can save them from becoming soggy!
Wow.... What a great piece of writing and recipe 😃. My mouth was watering wet and I found myself licking my fingers while reading the post. Great...Great...Great....
I noticed that you have not mentioned which flour you have used in this recipe. I would say using corn flour really gives nice crunch.
Thanks for sharing 😋