Homemade Popcorn Chicken

When you’re craving popcorn chicken, don’t settle for take-out, instead make your own with this Homemade Popcorn Chicken recipe. This easy-to-make recipe is all you need to make tasty popcorn chicken at home.

A white ramekin filled with homemade popcorn chicken

Why settle for fast food style food when you can easily make your own? And you probably have everything you need to make it in your fridge and pantry. Not to mention that you can make this recipe for a lot less than ordering take-out.

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Ingredients For Homemade Popcorn Chicken

This popcorn chicken is made using a brine first, then a coating. The chicken we use is boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

  • Salt.
  • Pepper.
  • Hot Sauce. (optional)

The Coating:

  • All-purpose flour.
  • Cornstarch.
  • Baking powder.
  • Garlic powder.
  • Onion powder.
  • Paprika.
  • Salt.
  • Pepper.

Vegetable oil is used to fry the chicken.

Do You Need Special Equipment To Make Popcorn Chicken?

There is no special equipment to make this, but there are a few items that are needed.

  • A sharp knife. The chicken breasts have to be cut into small, bite-sized pieces. It is easier to cut with a sharp knife.
  • Heavy-bottomed pot. To keep the temperature of the oil at a consistent temperature we use a cast iron pot.
  • A thermometer. We use a candy/oil thermometer to measure how hot the oil is.
  • Spider strainer. These make it easier to remove the popcorn chicken from the hot oil.

How To Serve Popcorn Chicken

Homemade popcorn chicken is great on its own or with a dip. These are just a few suggestions:

  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Sweet and Sour Sauce
  • Ranch Dip.
  • Buffalo Sauce.

These are also great in a wrap with lettuce, tomato, and mayo for lunch.

Or serve them with a salad, fries, or veggies on the side.

How To Store Leftover Homemade Popcorn Chicken

These are best eaten the day they are made but they can be stored for later use.

If you have leftovers, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. They will last up to 2 days in the fridge.

They can also be frozen, see below for instructions on how to freeze them.

Can Popcorn Chicken Be Made Ahead?

We do make these to use later. When I make them, I tend to make large batches to freeze for another day.

To freeze them, place the popcorn chicken on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Place in the freezer undercovered for 45 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag or air-tight container and store in the freezer for up to three months.

To reheat, we don’t recommend using a microwave. Instead, we reheat these in the oven at 350 or in the air fryer at 400. They should not be thawed first because they become soggy when thawed.

A white ramekin filled with homemade popcorn chicken

Homemade Popcorn Chicken

This easy-to-make recipe is all you need to make tasty popcorn chicken at home.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Appetizer


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5-6 cups vegetable oil for frying


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2-3 dashes of hot sauce


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika


  • In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk and hot sauce.
  • Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to the buttermilk, tossing to coat.
  • Allow chicken to marinate for 30 minutes
  • While chicken is marinading, mix together all the ingredients for the coating in a large bowl.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, scraping it against the side of the bowl to remove some of the marinade.
  • Drop the chicken into the coating and shake to coat. *See notes.
  • Place the oil in a large pot and heat over medium heat to 350℉.
  • Drop 6-8 pieces of chicken in the heated oil. Don't overcrowd the pot.
  • Fry the chicken for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove chicken with a spider strainer and place on a paper towel-lined tray or rack to cool slightly before serving.
  • Repeat until all chicken is cooked.
  • Serve warm with dipping sauces.


To coat the chicken, I like to use a large cookie sheet. I place half the coating on the bottom of the sheet, spreading it out to cover the entire sheet. Then place the pieces of chicken on top of the coating. Then sprinkle the remaining coating over the top of the pieces, turning any that need for coating.
Keyword Chicken

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