Have you ever had a craving for some comfort food but it’s too cold outside to leave the house? Maybe you’re too lazy to leave the apartment, or it’s a Sunday night and Chick-fil-A is closed, but you desperately want their chicken nuggets? Well I have the solution for you. With my recipe for homemade spicy popcorn chicken you’ll never have to leave the comfort of your own home for something this tasty, spicy and easy to make. This recipe, that I experimented with until perfection, is a personal favorite snack or entrée that can be sure to please any chicken nugget lover. With such relative ease and only a few ingredients, why not give this a shot?!
(Caution: This dish deals with extremely hot oil, be very cautious when handling the hot oil and have safety precautions available. This dish also deals with peanut, dairy and chicken products)
Step 1: Ingredients
· 2-3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
· 1 ½ cup of Peanut Oil
· 1 ½ cup of Buttermilk
· ¼ cup of Franks Red-hot
· 1 cup of Milk
· One Egg
· 1 ¼ cup of Flour
· 1 tablespoon of Confectionary sugar
· ½ tablespoon of Cayenne Pepper
· ½ tablespoon of Salt
· ½ tablespoon of Pepper
Step 2: Prep the Chicken
Once you have located all your ingredients, the next step is to prep your chicken. Take the chicken breasts and cut them into bite sized nuggets while also making sure you cut out any cartilage or fat from the desired pieces. Now place the fresh cut pieces into a large bowl and pour in 1 ½ cup of buttermilk over the chicken until all pieces are immersed. Then pour ¼ cup of franks red-hot into the bowl and mix it in with the buttermilk. Cover the bowl with foil and marinade the chicken in the fridge for at least one hour (for better flavor, leave in to marinade to up to four hours).
Step 3: Flour/Seasoning Mix
While your chicken is marinating it’s time to make your seasoning and flour mix. In a gallon sized zip lock, or large bowl, pour in 1 ¼ cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of confectionary sugar, as well as desired amount of salt/pepper/cayenne pepper (recommend ½ tablespoon each). Shake up the mixture well so the ingredients mix together.
Step 4: Prepping the Deep Fry and Egg Wash
When it’s close to begin the deep fry, first thing to do is to prepare the peanut oil. In a medium to large skillet, pour in 1 ½ cup of peanut oil. Place the skillet on the stove and on medium heat. The oil should be ready to cook from 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. While your oil is heating up, it’s time to make the egg wash. In a medium sized bowl, pour in 1 cup of milk and 1 egg and whisk them together until the egg is perfectly mixed in with the milk.
Step 5: Frying the Chicken
· Once the chicken is done marinating for your desired time, your flour mix and egg wash are made, and the peanut up oil is heated and ready, it’s time to cook! Working in batches of 3 to 6, take the chicken out of the marinade, dip into the egg wash, shaking off any excess liquid, then place into the flour/seasoning mix.
(Note: it is VERY important to work in batches. Too much chicken at a time during the frying process can cause the oil to heat too fast and thus cause the chicken to burn on the outside and stay raw on the inside. This could also ruin the oil. Work slowly but efficiently.)
· Once the chicken has been tossed into the flour mix, gently, place the now seasoned and floured chicken pieces into the skillet to start frying. Evenly cook the chicken pieces’ until they are golden brown. This process should take about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Take the fried chicken out of the skillet/pot with tongs and set them to cool on a plate covered with layers of paper towels to soak up excess oil. Repeat this process until all pieces of chicken have been fried.
Step 6: Enjoy!
Once all the chicken has been fried to golden perfection, serve them up immediately with your favorite dipping sauce!
(Note: Be sure the heat has been turned off the stove and to let the oil cool before you throw it away. Do not throw it down the drain)