Popcorn Chicken

Popcorn Chicken


  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, about 3 small chicken breasts
  • 1.5 quarts vegetable oil, or 6 cups


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon EACH: garlic powder, onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne
Preparation time:

50 minutes

Portions: 6
Difficulty: Baja


Popcorn Chicken


  • Use the textured side of a meat mallet to create texture on the outside of the chicken (don’t pound it flat, use fairly gentle taps). The texture helps the chicken grip the breading better.
  • Pat the chicken dry and cut it into bite-size pieces of even size.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, milk, and salt. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature. (Note: You can marinate it for up to 12 hours in the fridge. Let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to frying.)
  • Meanwhile, combine the breading ingredients in a wide container. 

Bread the Chicken

  • Use your fingers or the edge of the container to slide excess marinade off of the chicken. Too much of it will cause it to bleed through the breading, you want a light coating.
  • Transfer the chicken to the breading and use dry hands or a spoon to thoroughly toss/coat the chicken completely in the breading, leaving no part of the surface wet or exposed. 
  • Set aside and repeat for all. If any of them start to look a little moist, return them to the breading to coat again.


  • As you near the end of breading, heat a pot of oil to 350-375° F. 
  • Important: Make sure the oil is sufficiently heated before you add the chicken. (Otherwise it will sink to the bottom of the pot and the breading will fall off.) If you don’t have an oil thermometer, drop a test piece of breading into the oil. It should rise to the top of the oil and begin frying immediately.
  • Fry the chicken in batches for about 4-5 minutes per batch, until a golden-brown color is obtained. Note that the color darkens a little more after you remove it from the oil. Maintain the temperature of the oil as you go.
  • Use a spider strainer or very large slotted spoon to remove the chicken from the oil and transfer to the cooling racks. Repeat until all chicken is fried.
  • Serve with dipping sauce


  • Vegetable, Canola, and Peanut oil are great for deep frying.
  • 1 cup Buttermilk can be used instead of the milk/sour cream mixture.
  • Dipping sauce options include sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard,  BBQ sauceranchBuffalo Sauce, and honey 
  • You can also combine equal parts BBQ Sauce + Ranch Salad Dressing for an easy homemade sauce!
  • Crushed Cornflakes can be used instead of Panko breadcrumbs as well!

Back to blog