Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken – Skinnytaste

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This easy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken recipe is kid friendly, lighter, and healthier than your typical fast food version!

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn chicken is a fun and tasty way to get your protein fix (30 grams per serving!). Originally developed in Taiwan in the 1970s and then introduced in the US at Kentucky Fried Chicken in the 1990s, popcorn chicken is small bites of crispy chicken that can be eaten like popcorn. It’s traditionally fried and delicious, but obviously not the healthiest option on the menu. Making this from scratch is easy and another healthy way to enjoy air fryer chicken breast. More of my favorite air fryer recipes are these Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets, Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins, and Air Fryer Chicken Sandwiches.

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

Healthy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken

I loved the idea of ​​making popcorn chicken healthier with a lot less oil in the fryer. After trying several batches, I found that the breading would not brown in the short time it took to cook the chicken (five minutes), so I had to get creative.

The solution: Toast the panko crumbs in a little oil before breading the chicken. It adds about five minutes to your prep time, but eliminates the often messy task of spraying oil on each piece before air frying. The result is juicy little bites of crispy, guilt-free chicken.

What is popcorn chicken made of?

You will need to set up a dredge station with the popcorn chicken ingredients:

  • Flour: Put the all-purpose flour and salt in a large plate.
  • Egg: Beat an egg with a teaspoon of water in a bowl.
  • Seasoned panko: Toast panko in olive oil, then toss with garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, cayenne (if using), and black pepper on a large plate.
  • Chicken: Cut one pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts into small, dice-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.

How long do you put popcorn chicken in the air fryer?

Since popcorn chicken is so small, it cooks up quickly.

  1. Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
  2. Spray the basket with olive oil and place about 30 pieces in the basket, leaving space between each one.
  3. Cook chicken for five minutes, shaking basket halfway through.

How to freeze popcorn chicken

This popcorn chicken is easy to freeze and perfect for taking out when you need a quick snack, appetizer, or lunch.

  1. Let the chicken cool completely after it’s cooked, and then flash freeze it on a baking sheet.
  2. Once frozen, transfer the chicken to a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months.

chicken popcorn

Air Fryer Chicken Bites

Your comments are helpful! If you have tried this popcorn chicken recipe or any other recipe on Skinnytaste, don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts, variations, and comments. And if you took a photo of what you cooked, share it with me on Instagram so I can share it in my stories.

More Fried Chicken Recipes You’ll Love:

Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken


283 limes
30 Protein
twenty-one carbohydrates
8 fats

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Time to cook: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

This easy Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken recipe is kid friendly, lighter, and healthier than your typical fast food version!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ Bowl panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound no spikes, skinless chicken breasts
  • two tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 big egg
  • two teaspoons garlic powder
  • two teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne pepper, optional
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil spray
  • Add oil to a medium skillet over medium low heat. Add the panko and ½ teaspoon of salt.

  • Toast the panko for about 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 30 seconds for even browning. Transfer the crumbs to a plate.

  • Cut the chicken into ¾-inch cubes (about the size of a small dice), season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then set up your dredge station. You should have about 60 cubes.

To set up the dredge station:

  • Place the flour and ¼ teaspoon of salt in a large plate.

  • Place the egg in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of water and beat until smooth.

  • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and cayenne pepper (if using) and black pepper, to taste, to the toasted panko and place the plate on the other side of the egg container.

  • Working with about 15 pieces at a time, dredge in flour, lightly coating all sides.

  • Then egg, allowing the excess to drip off (I like to use tongs and wipe the excess off the side of the bowl). Next, add the pieces to the panko mixture and coat all sides evenly, pressing down on the crumbs to ensure they adhere evenly. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

  • Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees F. Spray basket with olive oil.

  • Add about 30 pieces to the air fryer basket, making sure to leave space between each piece for crispness. Spray top with oil.

  • Cook for 5 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time. Serve immediately.

Service: fifteen pieces, Calories: 283kcal, carbohydrates: twenty-onegram, Protein: 30gram, Fat: 8gram, Saturated fat: 1.5gram, Cholesterol: 129milligrams, Sodium: 385milligrams, Fiber: 1.5gram, Sugar: twogram

Keywords: Air Fryer Chicken, Air Fryer Chicken Breast, Popcorn Chicken, Popcorn Chicken

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