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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Homemade Popcorn Chicken/Chicken Nuggets

Popcorn chicken is something that my family can always agree to eat.  Even my son, who is a very picky eater, loves it.  You can make a batch of this, and it is excellent so serve for a meal, as a snack, or serve alongside other goodies for a potluck type dinner.  We have a local chicken place that makes chicken chunks/nuggets, but they are just a little too big.  These are a perfect size to pop in your mouth, especially after dunking them in your favorite sauce.  As my son says, "Mom, these are the BOMB!" 

This is my own recipe that I developed over time.  I know most chefs would say that there is something special about the ingredients, but truthfully I just based them on trial, error, and what tastes good.  We like these served with ketchup or honey mustard dipping sauce, but they're also great smothered with gravy alongside mashed potatoes.  

Homemade Popcorn Chicken 
3-4 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 to 1.5 inch cubes 
1-2 cups milk 
2 cups of flour (eyeball it)
2 Tablespoons of my all-purpose seasoning or seasoning of your choice
1-2 teaspoons ground black pepper 
1 to 1.5 inches of oil in frying pan (or use a deep fryer) 

Instructions and are photos below.   
Cut chicken into 1 to 1.5 inch pieces (no bigger).  Place them in a large flat container. 
Pour in approximately 1-2 cups of milk.  Eyeball it, as the chicken just needs to be covered so that it can soak for a bit in a milk bath.  (Discard milk after all chicken has been removed from it.  Do NOT reuse this milk!)
While chicken is soaking, add oil to skillet (or turn on deep fryer) and allow oil to heat until a droplet of water flicked into the oil sizzles and turns to steam.    In another flat pan place flour, all-purpose seasoning, and black pepper.  Blend.  
When oil is heated, take pieces of chicken from the milk, place them in the flour mixture, and coat well.  Then fry batches of chicken in oil. Allow to cook 2-3 minutes, and then flip chicken pieces over so that both sides cook well.  Remove when chicken is a light golden brown.  Place on paper towels to drain and soak up any excess oil.  The color will deepen to a darker brown when removed from oil and allowed to cool. 
And there you have them.  Tender, golden, bite-sized chunks of yumminess just waiting to be popped into your mouth and enjoyed. 

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