If you are looking for an amazing Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken recipe this golden brown, juicy chicken is just for you. It is perfectly seasoned and cooked to crispy perfection every single time it is made.
What a great dinner idea that is quick and easy to make. With just a few ingredients from your pantry this dish will be ready to savor in less than 15 minutes.
Why I Love This Popcorn Chicken
You will love this recipe because everyone loves chicken, and these are the perfect size for snacks or for a family dinner. This is a family favorite that is served with salads, mashed potatoes or all on its own with a yummy sauce.
The crispy breading is what keeps children and adults coming back for seconds and sometimes even thirds. This is a food favorite that can be made as an appetizer, packed in school lunches or for a quick dinner during the work week.
- chicken breasts
- panko breadcrumbs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper
- olive oil cooking spray
Optional Additional Flavors: Garlic powder, onion powder, popular spice mixture, hot sauce, celery salt or Lawry's seasoned salt.
How to Make Popcorn Chicken in the Air Fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
On a cutting board, gently pat dry the chicken breasts.
Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together.
Add the flour to a small, rimmed bowl.
In a medium-sized bowl, add panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.
Create a dipping station with the flour on the left, egg mixture in the middle, and breadcrumbs on the right.
Dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour mixture, then the eggs, and then into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture.
Place popcorn chicken pieces on a baking sheet until you are done coating all the pieces.
Prepare the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, olive oil spray, or a piece of parchment paper.
Place the seasoned popcorn chicken into the basket, in a single layer, and spray pieces of chicken with olive oil cooking spray.
Air fry at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking process. Use a digital meat thermometer to ensure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees F/74°C.
Serve warm or hot. If not serving, immediately place bite-sized pieces on a wire rack so they remain crispy.
- Optional Favorite Dipping Sauce: Ranch dressing, ketchup, BBQ sauce, sweet and sour sauce, buffalo sauce, cherry tomato sauce, Greek yogurt with cayenne pepper or light cream cheese mixed with honey.
- Coating: When coating pieces of chicken use one hand to place in the dry mixture and the other into the wet mixture so that it creates less of a mess.
- Substitutions: Use additional seasonings in a panko mixture, cornflakes mixture or plain breadcrumbs for different breading textures and flavors.
- I make this recipe in my Cosori 5.8 qt. air fryer. Depending on your air fryer, size and wattages, cook time may need to be adjusted 1-2 minutes.
Storage and Reheating
- Storage: Allow leftover chicken to completely cool prior to storing them. Store leftovers in an airtight container or resealable storage bag in your refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Place chicken in an airtight container or freezer storage bag in your freezer for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Reheat by placing popcorn chicken in air fryer and air frying at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-3 minutes, or until heated through and the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165°F/74°C.
There are some amazing dishes that can be served with this crispy chicken. Some of my favorites are creamed corn, fresh spinach or arugula salad, a creamy Cole slaw or a dill potato salad. Other sides are jasmine rice, baked beans, garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green beans with crispy bacon.
You definitely want to make sure the chicken is cooked through properly prior to eating and is no longer pink. The internal temperature of the chicken should be 165 degrees F. The best way to check the internal temperature is to use a meat thermometer or an instant-read thermometer.
Absolutely! A couple of ways to add spice to this recipe are adding red pepper flakes, hot mustard, ground jalapeño powder or hot paprika into the dry ingredients. A few drops of sriracha, tabasco, wasabi paste, or horseradish into the wet ingredients will really take the heat to the next level.
We love this recipe for an appetizer or to serve at family get-togethers. It's quick and easy and everyone loves it.
MORE AIR FRYER CHICKEN RECIPES
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Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
- 1 Air Fryer
- 2 chicken breasts boneless skinless
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon olive oil in a spray bottle
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- On a cutting board, gently pat dry the chicken breasts.
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs together.
- Add the flour to a small, rimmed bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add panko breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne pepper.
- Create a dipping station with the flour on the left, egg mixture in the middle, and breadcrumbs on the right.
- Dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned flour mixture, then the eggs, and then into the seasoned breadcrumb mixture.
- Place popcorn chicken pieces on a baking sheet until you are done coating all the pieces.
- Prepare the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray, olive oil spray, or a piece of parchment paper.
- Place the seasoned popcorn chicken into the basket, in a single layer, and spray pieces of chicken with olive oil cooking spray.
- Air fry at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking process.
- Serve warm or hot. If not serving, immediately place bite-sized pieces on a wire rack so they remain crispy.
*Nutritional information is a calculated guesstimate. Please note that this can change with different brands and modifications you may make to the recipe. For the most accurate information, use a nutritional calculator with the exact brands and measurements you're using with each recipe.