Welcome to the world of air frying! If you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer that the whole family will love, learn how to cook popcorn chicken in air fryer This popcorn chicken recipe is perfect for it.  This popcorn chicken recipe is perfect for it. Learn to make this crunchy KFC style popcorn chicken at home with a simple and quick recipe without deep frying the chicken. It’s crispy outside and tender inside. And it’s super yummy to eat. This chicken popcorn goes great with any dipping sauce of your choice.

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Let’s get started to see how to make chicken popcorn at home in the air fryer.

Image of Popcorn Chicken

What Is Popcorn Chicken?

Popcorn chicken is a delightful dish consisting of bite-sized, tender and crispy chunks of chicken that have been expertly seasoned, breaded, and deep-fried to a perfect golden brown. The name ‘popcorn chicken’ comes from its uncanny resemblance to popcorn due to its tiny, breaded chunks.

This delicious food was first introduced to the world by the popular fast food giant, KFC, and has since gained immense popularity worldwide. Nowadays, you can find popcorn chicken on menus everywhere, from budget-friendly fast food chains to upscale restaurants, and it has become a favorite among many.

There are numerous versions of popcorn chicken available globally, with some variations featuring a breaded exterior, while others are simply coated with flour to create a popcorn-like structure with a crust. Each version is uniquely seasoned to provide a distinct flavor. Interestingly, even KFC’s popcorn chicken varies from country to country, as it is made to cater to local taste preferences.

Popcorn chicken ingredients:

Ingredients for Marinade the chicken:

  • Chicken Breast- 1 lb
  • Salt- 1 Tsp
  • Red Chilly Powder/ Cayanne Pepper- 1/2 Tsp or to taste
  • Garlic Powder- 1/2 Tsp
  • Vinegar- 2 Tbsp
  • Chilli Sauce / Hot Sauce- 2 Tbsp
  • Milk- 1/4 Cup

Dry Ingredients for Chicken coating:

  • All Purpose Flour- 1 Cup
  • Corn Flour- 1/2 Cup
  • Salt- 1/2 Tsp
  • Chilli Flakes- 1/2 Tsp
  • Garlic Powder- 1/2 Tsp

Other Ingredients:

  • Egg- 1
  • Cold Water- 1/2 Cup

How to Cook Popcorn Chicken In Air Fryer

How To Cook Popcorn Chicken In Air Fryer


Marinate the chicken: Begin by chopping one pound of chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Add salt, chilli powder, onion pepper, garlic powder, vinegar, red hot sauce, and milk according to your preferred level of spiciness. If you prefer not to use vinegar, you can substitute it with buttermilk. Mix everything well and refrigerate it for at least one hour.

Prepare the flour mix:  In a large bowl add the following ingredients

  • 1 Cup-All Purpose Flour
  • Corn Flour- 1/2 Cup
  • Salt- 1/2 Tsp
  • Chilli Flakes- 1/2 Tsp
  • Garlic Powder- 1/2 Tsp

Mix everything well and set it aside.

Coat the chicken:  After an hour, add one beaten egg to the marinated chicken and give it a quick mix. Take small batches of chicken and coat them with the dry flour mix. Shake off excess flour and place them on a plate. Once all the chicken is coated, add half a cup of cold water to the remaining marinade and mix well. Dip the chicken again in the marinade and coat it once again with the dry flour mixture. Be sure to gently shake off the excess flour mixture to get a crisp layer on the fried chicken.

Preheat the air fryer: Let’s Preheat the air fryer to 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. Use parchment paper or spray olive oil onto the air fryer tray or basket. Place the breaded chicken in an even layer Do a quick spray with olive oil. Set aside the remaining chicken. Now the preheating is done.

Cook the chicken: Place it into the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes. If you’re using an oven model, place it on the middle rack. Halfway through cooking, open the air fryer and shake the basket or use tongs to turn the chicken pieces over if you’re using a tray-style air fryer. Spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray and keep it in the top layer to brown it. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes if needed. Serve immediately with your favourite dipping sauce.

Depending on the size and amount of chicken, you may need to allow it to cook in the air fryer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Make sure to shake off excess flour before cooking and add an even layer of spray oil to the top of the chicken.

If your flour isn’t crispy after 10 minutes, you may have too much flour or have crowded too many pieces into space. In this case, add a little more oil to the top or remove excess flour to ensure even cooking. When it’s perfectly done, remove the chicken from the air fryer.

Place any extra chicken into the freezer-safe plastic packs and freeze it for up to 3-4. I’m sure this delicious flavourful and crispy fried tender popcorn chicken will be your new favourite. Enjoy them with any sauce of your choice. Have fun!

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How Long To Cook Frozen Popcorn Chicken In Air Fryer?

To cook frozen popcorn chicken in an air fryer, set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Place the frozen popcorn chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd.

Halfway through cooking time, remove the air fryer basket and shake it to ensure even cooking. If the popcorn chicken is not crispy enough, it can be put back in the air fryer for a few additional minutes. However, cooking time may vary depending on the brand and model of the air fryer.

Read More: Easy Air Fryer Recipes


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