Popcorn chicken

by Barry Lewis

Prep time
60 mins
Cook time
5 mins


BBQ sauce

130g tomato ketchup

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

2tbsp light brown sugar

2tbsp worcester sauce

1tbsp cider vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

dash of salt

Popcorn Chicken

400g chicken breast

300ml buttermilk

oil for frying

130g plain flour

2tsp smoked paprika

1tsp oregano

1tsp garlic powder

1tsp onion powder

1tsp baking powder

Ever wanted to make your own popcorn chicken? With a bbq sauce to boot? Well, here is how to make it, the chicken is super tender and you get a lovely bubbly outer coating on the chicken thats golden brown, this is great as a treat or you can make it as part of a meal. Of course you could make them bigger and you’d have chicken nuggets!

So for the bbq sauce lets do that first, basically all you need to do is plonk all the ingredients for it into a saucepan, and heat over a medium flame for 5 mins and keep it on a low simmer to warm through. Ensure that you continually stir it though to prevent it burning and don’t heat it too high. Once gently simmered for a few minutes leave to cool. You can use this as a glaze too if you wish!

For the popcorn chicken cut the chicken into even sized cubes and place into a mixing bowl. Pour the buttermilk all over the top of the chicken, give a gentle stir and cover with cling film. Place in the fridge for at least an hour. If you can leave it for several hours or overnight. The lactic acid in the buttermilk makes the chicken super tender so it really helps to leave it long!

Add the remaining ingredients (except for the oil!) into a bowl and mix or a plastic container and shake it together. Once the chicken is ready lift it into the tub, don’t pour the buttermilk in with it, discard it or use it for more chicken, just lift the pieces in, any bits of buttermilk on the chicken will help it stick to the coating. Shake up the plastic tub again with a lid on or alternatively stir it around to evenly coat the chicken.

Warm a wok with some vegetable or sunflower oil and get it nice and hot so that when you drop in a chicken piece it will gently bubble and fry. Cook the chicken as long as you can in the oil on a steady heat to allow the chicken to cook through and get a nice golden colour on them. Place on kitchen towel to absorb excess oil, allow to cool then serve with the homemade bbq sauce!