Who can resist perfectly crispy popcorn chicken? Not me! Now couple that with some hot sauce and a phenomenal homemade blue cheese dressing for some buffalo-style popcorn chicken and you’re in heaven!
Crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside, these delicious spicy buffalo popcorn chicken bites are fun to make and fun to eat!
I don’t deep-fry very often, but there are occasions when I make exceptions, like some Chinese dishes like General Tso’s Chicken, Orange Chicken and Sesame Chicken, or Fish and Chips. The good news is that you don’t need a deep fryer to make this popcorn chicken recipe. You just need a frying pan and about an inch of cooking oil and you’re set.
How to Make Perfectly Crispy Popcorn Chicken
The key is getting the oil at the right temperature. If the oil is not hot enough you’ll end up with oil-logged, greasy popcorn chicken. If the oil is too hot you’ll end up with batter that fries too quickly and leaves the chicken undercooked.
The temperature of the oil should be 350 degrees F. Use an instant read thermometer to confirm it’s the right temperature. You’ll end up with perfectly crispy popcorn chicken.
This recipe is for buffalo-style popcorn chicken but you can easily adjust the amount of hot sauce you use according to your heat tolerance. Or you can omit it entirely. Whether you love screamin’ spicy hot popcorn chicken or prefer them nice and mild with that cool and delicious blue cheese dipping sauce, you’re going to love it either way!
How to Make the BEST Blue Cheese Dressing
We’ve got you covered! Try our recipe for homemade Blue Cheese Dressing.
Popcorn Chicken Recipe
Let’s get started!
Add the chicken pieces to a bowl and stir in the hot sauce. Set aside while preparing the batter.
Combine all the batter ingredients in a large mixing bowl, whisking until no lumps remain.
Get your “station” set up. Place the 1/2 cup of flour and cornstarch in a separate bowl and place the chicken pieces and batter next to it. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour/cornstarch mixture, shake off the excess, and dredge completely in the batter.
Use a candy thermometer to make sure the oil is at 365 degrees F and immediately place the battered chicken pieces in the frying pan. The oil needs to be at least 1/2 inch deep for best results.
Fry the chicken for about 2 minutes on each side until a rich golden brown and cooked through. Work in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the frying pan.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken pieces to a paper towel-lined plate. Let the chicken pieces drain on the paper towels for one minute.
Serve immediately with celery sticks and our homemade blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Popcorn Chicken (Buffalo-Style)
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts , cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce , or hot sauce of choice, use more or less depending on heat preference
- 1/2 cup flour mixed with 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 tablespoons Frank's Red Hot Sauce , or hot sauce of choice, **use more or less depending on heat preference
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing (click link for recipe)
- Celery sticks
- Place the chicken pieces and 2 tablespoons hot sauce in a bowl and stir to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
- Place the 1/2 cup flour/cornstarch mixture in a shallow bowl and set aside.
- Combine the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, garlic powder and onion powder in a large mixing bowl and whisk in the buttermilk and water until no lumps remain. Add the 4 tablespoons of hot sauce and the vinegar and stir to combine.
- Pour some oil into a small skillet to at least 1/2 inch depth. Using a candy thermometer, heat the oil to 365ºF.
- Dredge the chicken pieces into the 1/2 cup of flour/cornstarch, shake off the excess, then dip the pieces into the wet batter. Immediately place the chicken pieces carefully into the hot oil and fry on all sides until golden brown and cooked through, about 2 minutes on each side. Work in batches and be careful not to overcrowd the pan. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken pieces to a plate lined with paper towels to drain for 1 minute.
- Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.