Fry

how to cook fried chicken with buttermilk | Family Cuisine

Fried chicken is a popular dish that can be made at home, in a restaurant, or bought from the store. Here's how to make it at home:

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How to cook fried chicken with buttermilk

Homemade Popcorn Chicken couldn’t be easier to make! The key is marinating in buttermilk for that crispy, flaky finish. But warning, these are incredibly moreish!!

Ever wish you could get KFC style popcorn chicken in the comfort of your own home? Yeah, me too. It’s literally my guiltiest pleasure in life and I’m assuming that because you’ve made it here, it could well be yours too. So, here’s the plan. I show you how to make popcorn chicken in the the most mind-blowingly delicious way and we can fall into a food coma and regret not going to the gym together. Sound good? Okay cool. Let’s go…

Reading: how to cook fried chicken with buttermilk

Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken

The best popcorn chicken has to be crispy on the outside and soft and juicy in the centre. No brainer right? We’ll get onto the batter in a second but firstly, the absolute key to tender fried chicken is buttermilk. And not just buttermilk, but marinating in buttermilk.

Why marinate popcorn chicken?

By marinating in buttermilk you tenderize the chicken. Once you’ve marinated the chicken in buttermilk it becomes nice and soft, and when you then coat it in the batter it becomes flaky. The flakier the popcorn chicken, the crisper it is. Win win!

How long to marinate popcorn chicken?

If I know I’m making a batch of popcorn chicken I’ll marinate it overnight. Absolute minimum should be an hour. But because the chunks are quite small you want them to flake, not turn to mush. So just to be on the safe side I tend not to marinate for longer than 12ish hours (it’s not going to hurt if it’s longer, but you’ll see what I mean texture-wise).

Do I have to marinate the popcorn chicken in buttermilk?

Short answer – no. But I do HIGHLY recommend it. But you do have to at least coat it to allow the flour the stick.

What can I substitute buttermilk for?

If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can either make it will milk and some form of acidity (lemon juice, white wine vinegar etc), or you can milk unsweetend yogurt with milk. More on that in the recipe card!

How to make Popcorn Chicken

Alrighty, nice tender chicken breast at the ready, let’s talk crispy batter. Alongside a simple spice mix and a cup of flour, you’ll want to add a secret ingredient:

Baking Powder

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I always add a tsp of baking powder in with my fried chicken just to give it that extra crisp. The baking powder reacts with the oil and produces tiny air bubbles, which results in a light and airy batter. Make sure you’re not using baking soda or bi-carb soda!

Few at a time!

Although tedious, I highly recommend recommend dredging the chicken pieces one by one. You really want to coat the chicken as well as you can to create those nice flaky pieces. These parts of what make the chicken extra crispy. Although tempting, do not mix large amounts of the chicken in with the flour. It will make the batter of pasty. No more than 3-4 at a time.

Deep Fried Popcorn Chicken

When it comes to frying the chicken, there’s two things worth keeping in mind:

  1. Oil Temp – Important to make sure your oil is at the right temp before adding the chicken. Too high and the outside will cook before the inside has, too low and the batter will become soggy and break off the chicken. You’re looking for the oil to be around 356F/180C. I recommend using a kitchen thermometer!
  2. Batches – You want to fry the chicken in batches to not only ensure they don’t stick together, but also to ensure the oil temp doesn’t drop too much!

How long to fry popcorn chicken?

It’s dependent on the size of your chicken, but you’re looking for anywhere between 3-5mins. Won’t take long, and the pieces do continue cooking once removed from the oil.

6 step by step photos showing how to make popcorn chicken

Spicy popcorn chicken

Even if you don’t like spice, keep the cayenne pepper in, just reduce the quantity. Cayenne pepper, alongside the smoked paprika, not only injects some gorgeous colour into those popcorn chicken pieces, but it also adds heaps of flavour.

Can you bake popcorn chicken?

You can, and I’ve tried it, but in all honesty it’s just not as crispy and moist in the centre. However if you are watching the calories and wanting to cook in the oven, then I suggest using a flour/egg/breadcrumb combo to try and get the maximum crispiness. Dredge in flour, then egg and finish in breadcrumbs. Similar to how I make my Oven Baked Crispy Chicken Tenders!

What to serve with popcorn chicken?

You could make it a meal and serve with fries, wedges or even cheesy ranch potatoes. Popcorn chicken also goes great with a dip! Here’s some of my faves:

  • BBQ Mayo (or BBQ Sauce)
  • Garlic and Herb Dip
  • Sweet Chilli Mayo
  • Sour Cream and Chives
  • All Dips!

Read more: how to make red curry stir fry | Family Cuisine

Popcorn Chicken in metal tub wrapped in tartan cloth with BBQ sauce in the background

Just look at the golden crispy goodness!

*wipes drool from face*

The smell, the colour, the TASTE! I should have really eaten before typing this post because i’m now craving a bucket of popcorn chicken all over again.

For another KFC inspired recipe check out my Crispy Chicken Burgers!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties too:

Deep Fried Finger Food Recipes

  • Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders
  • Buttermilk Fried Chicken
  • Chicken Fried Potatoes
  • Deep Fried Breaded Mushrooms
  • Deep Fried Cheese Balls

And there we have it folks! Super easy and insanely delicious homemade popcorn chicken! KFC, you’re sacked! Just kidding please take me back.. Let’s tuck into the full recipe shall we?!

hand dipping 1 piece of popcorn chicken into small pot of bbq sauce

How To Make Popcorn Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)

If you plan on making this Popcorn Chicken Recipe be sure to Pin it for later! Already made it? Let me know how you got on in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!

Read more: Easy Fried Mullets recipe | Family Cuisine

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