Crispy Air Fryer Popcorn Hen

Crunchy on the surface and tender and juicy on the within, this Air Fryer Popcorn Hen is prepared in 20 minutes from begin to end! These dippable crispy nuggets are the right recreation day appetizer or enjoyable household dinner.

Crispy air fryer popcorn chicken on a white place next to a ramekin of BBQ sauce for dipping.

20-Minute, Extremely-Crispy Air Fryer Popcorn Hen

We love a very good chicken tender recipe round right here, and I additionally LOVE my air fryer. I really feel like I make a batch of Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Tenders at the very least as soon as every week. With soccer season developing, I needed a recipe that’s simply as straightforward to make, but in addition completely snackable. Whats up, recreation day.

So, at the moment we’re making a bite-sized variation of one in all my favourite meals: crispy air fryer popcorn rooster. These crunchy, juicy nuggets of pleasure are a fast, straightforward appetizer to make for a crowd, and simply as scrumptious to function a meal on weeknights.

Popcorn rooster is ideal for dipping in our favourite Copycat Chick-Fil-A Sauce, or barbecue sauce. You received’t imagine how crispy these rooster nuggets get in just some minutes!

Close up of air fryer popcorn chicken with a bite missing from a nugget.

Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Recipe

So, why use the air fryer to cook dinner popcorn rooster? When you’re simply getting acquainted with the world of air frying, I’ve a super-handy information for How to Use an Air Fryer. An air fryer is principally a countertop convection oven, and it’s a handy, lighter means of getting your favourite meals good and crispy.

I’ll warn you now: when you get the dangle of it, you’ll wish to put all the pieces in your air fryer. Biscuits? Air fryer. Mac and Cheese Balls? Air fried. I even use the air fryer to make Chocolate Chip Cookies! It’s a life-style. 

Right here’s why we will’t get sufficient of this air fryer rooster recipe:

  • A lighter means of frying. This air fryer popcorn rooster crisps up completely, minus the surplus grease and oil of deep frying (to not point out, clear up is straightforward, since there aren’t any oil splatters to wipe off the partitions afterward).
  • Prepared in below 20 minutes. Having an air fryer in the home is a deal with on weeknights. These rooster bites come out crazy-crispy in a fraction of the time that it could take within the oven.
  • Nice for newcomers. That is a simple air fryer recipe that anybody could make. Merely coat the rooster, pop it into the fryer, cook dinner, flip, and serve.
The ingredients for homemade air fryer popcorn chicken.

What You’ll Want

Beneath is a fast abstract of the elements wanted to make crispy popcorn rooster within the air fryer. Be sure that to take a look at the complete recipe particulars within the recipe card additional on.

  • Hen: Boneless skinless rooster breast is greatest for this recipe. Boneless rooster thighs may even work.
  • Flour and Bread Crumbs: You’ll want each for the breadcrumb coating. For popcorn rooster, I really like Panko because the crumbs are bigger and crunchier after they come out of the air fryer.
  • Seasonings: You’ll season your breadcrumbs with a mixture of salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper.
  • Eggs and Milk: An egg wash helps the Panko adhere to the rooster. You need to use any sort of milk you favor, entire milk, 2%, or skim. For a tangier taste, you may even use buttermilk (store-bought, or homemade).
  • Dijon Mustard: I really like the creamy, zesty taste that comes from including Dijon mustard to the egg wash. When you don’t have Dijon, you need to use common yellow mustard as an alternative. You could wish to use barely much less, as the flavour shall be stronger.
  • Olive Oil Spray: Air frying recipes name for considerably much less oil than conventional frying strategies. You should purchase olive oil spray from the shop, or add your individual olive oil to a twig bottle. Only a few spritzes is all it takes to crisp up the surface of the rooster because it cooks.

The way to Make Popcorn Hen in Your Air Fryer

Able to “fry” some rooster? Earlier than you begin, you’ll wish to cube up your rooster breasts into nugget-sized chunks. This recipe makes about 60 rooster nuggets, so there must be greater than sufficient to feed a hungry crowd. Now, let’s get this recipe poppin’.

  • Put together the Seasoned Breadcrumbs: First, in a shallow dish, mix Panko with flour and a teaspoon of salt, together with the remainder of the seasonings.
  • Put together the Egg Wash: Subsequent up, in a separate dish, whisk collectively the eggs with some milk, Dijon, and a half-teaspoon of salt.
  • Coat the Hen: Coat your rooster items first within the egg wash, then within the Panko combination. Use your palms to essentially press the Panko over all sides of the rooster nuggets, and switch the coated nuggets to a baking sheet.
  • Air Fry: As soon as all of the rooster is coated and your air fryer is preheated to 390ºF, add a batch of rooster to the air frying basket and spritz them with olive oil spray (not non-stick cooking spray, see the ideas under). Prepare dinner every batch for 8 minutes, turning midway by way of.
  • Serve: As soon as all of the rooster has cooked by way of, it’s time to serve! This crispy popcorn rooster makes an awesome appetizer or essential, excellent for household dinners or events.

Can I Make Baked Popcorn Hen As a substitute?

Positively. When you don’t have an air fryer, this recipe is straightforward sufficient to translate to the oven! Right here’s the best way to do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and get a baking sheet prepared and lined with parchment paper.
  2. Organize the coated rooster on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 20 minutes (or till the inner temperature of the rooster is 165ºF), flipping the nuggets midway by way of. 
Crispy air fryer popcorn chicken on a white place next to a ramekin of BBQ sauce for dipping.

Suggestions and Variation Concepts

What’s the key to completely crispy air fryer popcorn rooster? I’ve included some notes and variation concepts under. Try my tutorial for extra useful air frying suggestions and methods.

  • Keep away from aerosol cooking sprays. Now, for somewhat Air Fryer 101: Aerosol non-stick sprays, like PAM, can injury the non-stick coating that’s already in your air fryer basket. Keep away from utilizing cooking sprays, and as an alternative use an olive oil spray when air frying, or add olive oil to a spritzer bottle.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Be sure that to depart sufficient area for the recent air to flow into between the rooster items for the crispest outcomes. Work in batches and let these items breathe!
  • The way to inform when the rooster is completed cooking: Your popcorn rooster is completed when the inner temperature is at a completely cooked 165ºF. Use a kitchen thermometer to test.
  • Scale the recipe. This popcorn rooster recipe makes quite a lot of nuggets! Be happy to scale down or double up the elements to fit your wants.
  • Make spicy crispy popcorn rooster. For some additional warmth, combine some cayenne pepper or crushed pink pepper flakes into the breadcrumb coating.
  • Add dried herbs. Along with the spices already within the coating, you may add dry herbs like thyme, basil, oregano, or a spoonful of Italian seasoning mix.
  • Use cornflakes for additional crunch. Crush up cornflake cereal to combine in with the Panko for an excellent crunchier texture. That is straightforward to do by putting the cereal inside a big zip-top bag and rolling over it a number of instances with a rolling pin.
A hand holding a piece of popcorn chicken partially dipped into a ramekin of BBQ sauce, on a plate with more popcorn chicken pieces.

Serving Recommendations

We love dunking our crispy rooster in The Best Chicken Dipping Sauce (significantly, it’s the BEST!) or my straightforward Homemade BBQ Sauce. However the serving potentialities are limitless. Take pleasure in your air fryer popcorn rooster with a number of of those straightforward home made dipping sauces:

This straightforward popcorn rooster recipe is ideal to make as a celebration snack alongside extra appetizer concepts like Mini Corn Dogs, Pigs In A Blanket, and Philly Cheesesteak Sliders

For dinner, I’ll serve popcorn rooster with a facet of Beach Bread and veggies, like a inexperienced salad, steamed broccoli, Air Fryer Asparagus, or Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

A piece of popcorn chicken partially dipped into a ramekin of BBQ sauce, on a plate with more popcorn chicken pieces.

The way to Retailer and Reheat Air Fryer Hen

This popcorn rooster could be saved hermetic within the fridge for as much as 3 days. Reheating leftovers is as straightforward as popping them again into the air fryer at 280ºF, for about 7 minutes or till warmed by way of.

Leftover popcorn rooster can be nice to get pleasure from chilly over a Couscous Salad, in rooster wraps, or as a snack dipped in Ranch Dressing.

Can I Freeze Popcorn Hen?

Sure! Cooked air fryer popcorn rooster is freezer-friendly and perfect for defrosting and reheating. As soon as the rooster bites have cooled utterly, retailer them hermetic in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Defrost the popcorn rooster within the fridge earlier than reheating.


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Crispy Air Fryer Popcorn Hen is irresistibly crunchy on the surface and juicy on the within, prepared in 20 minutes from begin to end! That is a simple air fryer rooster recipe to make for dinner or as an appetizer.

  • 1 1/2 kilos Boneless Skinless Hen Breast
  • 1/4 Cup All Objective Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • Olive Oil Spray

  1. Minimize the rooster breasts into 1?2” extensive strips. Then minimize every strip into 2-3 nugget-sized items.
  2. Mix the flour, panko, 1 teaspoon of salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper in a shallow dish. Whisk collectively till effectively combined.
  3. In a second shallow dish, mix the eggs, milk, dijon mustard, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk collectively till easy.
  4. Add the rooster items to the egg combination. Stir to coat them effectively.
  5. Working a number of at a time, transfer the nuggets to the panko combination. Coat all sides of the nuggets with panko, urgent it in to make a pleasant thick coating.
  6. Transfer coated nuggets to a baking sheet. Repeat till all of the nuggets are coated.
  7. Preheat the air fryer to 390 levels F.
  8. As soon as the air fryer is to temperature, place a batch of nuggets into the air fryer, leaving area between them for airflow.
  9. Calmly spray the nuggets with olive oil spray.
  10. Prepare dinner for 8 minutes, turning midway by way of and spraying the second facet after you flip.
  11. Repeat with the remaining nuggets till all are cooked.
  12. Make sure the rooster has reached an inside temperature of 165 levels earlier than serving.


Retailer the leftover nuggets in an hermetic container within the fridge for as much as 3 days. Reheat within the air fryer at 280 levels F for 7 minutes.

Key phrases: air fryer rooster nuggets, air fryer rooster recipes, crispy rooster

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