These bite sized buttermilk popcorn chicken are super crispy and go amazingly with our sweet creamy honey sesame dip. Perfect for sharing as a snack or appetizer.
I got myself a deep fryer and now I am deep frying everything! I-mean-everything. Friesdonutscheese sticksdeep fried picklessoon to be churros and yes we can't forget the fried popcorn chicken. Probably not a very smart move on my part so close to Christmas time - a time where I tend to over indulge.
I think we had fried popcorn chicken almost every other day for the past 2 weeks in every possible form because I was so bent on making a fantastic fried popcorn chicken that I can call my own.
In the process of all my experimentation, I learned a few lessons myself.
- Lesson 1: Don't set the oil temperature too low because it doesn't cook fast enough and the batter just sucks up all the oil in the process.
Result : Soggy fried chicken. (Imagine biting into a sponge of oil. Yea gross, wouldn't recommend it.)
- Lesson 2: Don't set your oil too hot it cooks the outside too fast.
Result : Cooked on the inside, raw chicken on the inside.
- Lesson 3: Don't over cook the chicken
Result : Dry chicken that would suck the moisture right out of your mouth and hard as rocks.
For this crispy buttermilk popcorn chicken recipe, most of the ingredients are common ingredients that you should be able to find in a local supermarket.
Most crispy chicken recipes call for potato starch, but since this was a hard to find ingredient I opted for potato flour instead. I found this at my local bulk ingredient store but I have seen this at my local grocery store as well.
Potato starch and potato flour are slightly different. Potato starch is a more white colour and a finer texture (like corn starch), potato flour has a slight pale colour to it and is fine as well but not as fine as the starch.
If you can find potato starch, use that instead of potato flour! It will create an even crispier chicken. If you can't find potato starch or potato flour, you can substitute it with corn starch but the results won't be as crispy but that's okay because potato flour is more flavourful.
I prefer to use peanut oil however peanut oil may be hard to find, there are a lot of allergies around it and sometimes it can be quite pricey. An good alternative to peanut oil would be canola oil or vegetable oil.
CREAMY HONEY SESAME DIP
For the detailed instructions on how to make the dip, you can grab the recipe card here: Creamy Honey Sesame Dip.
An alternative dip we like to use as well is our Creamy Coconut Dip
Cut the chicken into uniform sizes so they cook evenly (½ inch to 1 inch), once that is done, it should be marinated in buttermilk brine overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Once the chicken is done marinating, we can now coat the chicken with these steps:
- Remove chicken from the buttermilk
- Lightly coat the chicken in the flour mixture, dust off any excess flour.
Tip #1: When you start your first layer of flour dusting, don't over do it. You only want a light coating to create a 'glue' affect for the rest of the layers. Too much flour on the first layering will produce a thick skin which won't stick to the chicken, so when you take your first bite the whole batter slips right off.
- Lightly coat the chicken in the egg mixture
- Coat the chicken with flour again (Don't worry about perfectly coating it evenly, the messier it is the more texture your chicken will have, the crispier it will be! :))
- Repeat steps 3 and 4, if you want the chicken to have more batter.
We tested this recipe with different amounts of layers of egg and flour to see which one would turn out the crispiest. To be honest, I don't think I could really tell the difference. The only major difference we noticed was that the one that was layered with 3 layers of egg and flour had a thicker batter. I personally preferred the one with the 2 coatings.
FRYING THE POPCORN CHICKEN
When i deep fry chicken, I always want to double fry it. It will give you a crispier chicken, and who doesn't love that?
To start the first fry, always do it at a lower temperature so you don't overcook it before you do the second fry. We adjusted our deep fryer to 320F and fried it for 1 minute.
Tip #2: Don't overcrowd the fryer or pan, if you add too many pieces at once it will drop the temperature of the oil which will make the chicken less crispy.
(If you are doing it in pot, we highly suggest a thermometer since all stoves are set differently)
After 1 minute we pulled it out and let it rest for 1 minute.
For the second fry, we bumped the temperature to 350F, and cooked it for 3-4 minutes.
You're probably thinking I am insane, because we've cooked the chicken for a total of 5 minutes right?
Let me explain! 🙂 Most of the time, we cook chicken longer because they are bigger pieces or that they have a bone in. These pieces are small, and are boneless, so they cook more quickly.
Ta-da! We are done! 🙂 Crispy bite sizes popcorn chicken with a dip! Great snack and party appetizers!
Tip #3: These can be reheated in the oven! So they make great party snacks!
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Crispy Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken with Creamy Honey Sesame Dip
- 6 boneless chicken thighs (or any cut of boneless chicken)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoons salt
- 2 eggs
Creamy Honey Sesame Dip
- Recipe for the dip is here: https://pupswithchopsticks.com/creamy-honey-sesame-dip/
- Cut the chicken up into 1 inch sized chunks and put it in a bowl or ziploc bag with 1 cup of buttermilk, water and salt
- Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, but it's best to leave it overnight.
Mixing the Batter
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and set aside
- In another bowl, combine all the spices, starch and flour together and set aside
Deep Frying (First Fry)
- Set the deep fryer to 320F (160C) (if you are using a high wall pot over the stove, set the heat to medium low)
- One by one, take each chicken piece and lightly coat the flour mix and dust off the excess flour.
- Coat it with the egg mixture
- Coat it again in the flour mixture
- (Optional) Repeat the egg and flour mixture steps a few more times if you want a thicker batter.
- Deep fry the chicken in batches for 1 minute. Careful not to overcrowd the pan which will drop the oil temperature.
- Let the chicken rest on parchment paper or brown paper bags to absorb excess oil
Deep Frying (Second Fry)
- Set the deep fryer to 350F (177C) (if you are using a high wall pot over the stove, set the heat to medium)
- Add the chicken back in and cook it for 3-4 minutes
- Let it cool on newspaper, parchment paper or brown paper bag
- Enjoy! 🙂
*Nutritional information is calculated using online tools and is an estimate*
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