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guilty pleasure essentials: spicy popcorn chicken

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

I love popcorn chicken; however, since it is a deep-fried recipe, it is a guilty pleasure that I do not indulge in very often. This is one of the foods I served as we watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve, and no matter how much I made, it was gone as soon as the plate hit the sideboard. Another guilty pleasure that comes from this recipe are the bits of batter that fry up with the chicken (I call them crunches). I think that they are almost as good as the chicken. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield serving(s)
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 15 Min
method Deep Fry

Ingredients For guilty pleasure essentials: spicy popcorn chicken

  • 2 md
    boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1.5 pounds (680g)
  • 1 c
    all-purpose flour
  • 1 c
    bread flour
  • 1/2 c
    arrowroot powder
  • 1 Tbsp
    coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp
    garlic powder
  • 2 tsp
    dehydrated onions, crushed into a powder
  • 2 tsp
    baking powder
  • 1 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, or to taste
  • 1 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 1 - 2 pinch
    cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 lg
  • 4 Tbsp
    fresh clover honey
  • 3 Tbsp
    hot sauce, i prefer frank’s
  • soda water, or filtered water, as needed
  • grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • ponzu sauce, more on this item later (optional)

How To Make guilty pleasure essentials: spicy popcorn chicken

  • 1
  • 2
    What is Ponzu sauce? This sauce is not as well-known as tamari, or soy sauce, nevertheless it is a classic Japanese condiment. It is citrus based, with tart-tangy flavor similar to a vinaigrette. It contains a mix of ponzu (citrus juice of sudachi, yuzu, and kabosu and vinegar), soy sauce, sugar or mirin, and dashi. Because of its versatility and refreshing flavor, you can use the sauce in many ways… For example, a dipping sauce for seafood, or as a marinade for grilled meats and vegetables, possibily a dressing for salads and/or cold noodles. The use of Ponzu sauce in this recipe is strictly optional; however, I do think that it gives the chicken another level of flavor, that compliments the other elements. Totally up to you.
  • 3
    We all have our favorite dipping sauces, this is the one I used:
  • 4
    Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  • 5
    Cut the chicken up into bite-size pieces.
  • 6
    Optional Step: Add the chicken to a small bowl, and then add 3 – 4 tablespoons of Ponzu sauce. Toss the chicken with the sauce, cover, and place into the fridge for about an hour… 2 hours, if you can spare the time. Remember, this is an optional step.
  • 7
    Whisk all the dry ingredients together into a large bowl.
  • 8
    Whisk all the wet ingredients together in another bowl, plus 4 tablespoons of soda or filtered water.
  • 9
    Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk to combine. Then add more water or soda, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture resembles the consistency of pancake batter.
  • 10
    Chef’s Note: We are not trying to replicate a tempura batter, which typically is a bit lumpy. We want a smooth consistency.
  • 11
    Dump all the chicken into the batter, and coat.
  • 12
    Add about 1.5 inches (4cm) of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot, and bring the temperature up to 400f (205c).
  • 13
    Add the chicken in batches (do not crowd).
  • 14
    Chef’s Note: Do not shake off the batter before adding to the hot oil. We want a nice thick coating. Plus, this helps to make those yummy crunchy bits of batter.
  • 15
    Cook until the chicken is a golden brown, about 4 – 5 minutes, per batch.
  • 16
    Drain on paper towels as you finish up the other chicken.
  • 17
  • So yummy
    Serve while hot with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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