Chicken popcorn, when prepared in a health-conscious manner such as using an air fryer instead of deep frying, can offer several nutritional benefits. Chicken is a rich source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle development, repair, and overall cellular function. Additionally, the use of a lean cut like boneless, skinless chicken breasts reduces saturated fat content. The coating can be made with whole-grain or alternative flours for added fiber and nutrients. Incorporating chicken popcorn into a balanced diet can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight, as protein helps promote satiety. Furthermore, the method of air frying reduces the need for excessive oil, potentially lowering calorie intake compared to traditional frying methods. While moderation is key, consuming homemade air-fried chicken popcorn can be a tasty and nutritious option within a well-rounded diet.
- 200g boneless chicken
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cooking spray (olive oil or vegetable oil)
Marinate the Chicken:
- In a bowl, combine the bite-sized chicken pieces with buttermilk. Make sure all pieces are coated well.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1-2 hours or overnight for best results.
Prepare the Coating:
- In a separate bowl, mix together flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. This will be your coating mixture.
Coat the Chicken:
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C) for about 5 minutes.
- Take each piece of marinated chicken from the buttermilk and dredge it in the flour mixture until it's well-coated. Shake off any excess coating.
- Lightly coat the air fryer basket with cooking spray to prevent sticking.
- Arrange the coated chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket, leaving some space between them.
- Spray the top of the chicken pieces with a little more cooking spray.
- Cook in the air fryer at 400°F (200°C) for about 12-15 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces halfway through the cooking time. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.
- Once the chicken popcorn is cooked, remove it from the air fryer and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
- Serve the chicken popcorn hot with your favorite dipping sauce.