Crispy air fryer popcorn chicken is so easy to make using your favorite store-bought frozen popcorn chicken. It is a family favorite whether it is for an appetizer, snack, football food, lunch, or dinner. There is no better way to cook up some crispy frozen popcorn chicken than by air frying it. You will never want to bake popcorn chicken in the oven again since cooking them in the air fryer makes them more crispy.
Cooking chicken pieces with a breading or coating in the air fryer is quick and easy. No additional oil is needed which makes it healthier with less fat than deep frying would have. For the best crispy crunchy coating on chicken, grab a bag of frozen popcorn chicken, get it in the air fryer, and in 10 minutes you have perfection. Enjoy air-fried popcorn chicken with the best dips like homemade ranch, hot honey sauce, and more.
POPCORN CHICKEN VS CHICKEN NUGGETS
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between popcorn chicken and chicken nuggets? Well to put it simply, the shape and size. The main difference between the two is how the breaded chicken pieces are shaped. Nuggets tend to be rectangular in shape versus popcorn chicken which tends to be round breaded chicken pieces, resembling bumpy popcorn.
In addition to the difference in shape, popcorn chicken tends to be smaller in size so you can pop them in your mouth. Whereas chicken nuggets are often a bit bigger and it usually takes two bites to eat. Because of these differences, popcorn chicken tends to be more breading and crunch and chicken nuggets tend to be more chicken and less breading.
INGREDIENTS FOR AIR FRYER POPCORN CHICKEN
All you need for this popcorn chicken air fryer recipe is the frozen breaded chicken that is shaped like popcorn. Many other items may need a spray of avocado oil when air fryer but not frozen popcorn chicken. So grab your favorite bag and any dips you may want to enjoy with air-fried popcorn chicken. They will be hot, crispy, and yummy after the air fryer in just minutes.
HOW TO MAKE FROZEN POPCORN CHICKEN IN THE AIR FRYER
This recipe works to air fry your favorite popcorn chicken and with any brand. So whether you have Pilgrims, Perdue, Tyson, Great Value, Foster Farms, or Costco, this is the best way to air fry that frozen popcorn chicken.
Add the small pieces of frozen popcorn chicken to your air fryer basket or tray. Make sure they are in a single layer. It is also best to not overcrowd the basket or tray when air frying. If you can spread them out, that is my recommendation so that the hot air can circle all sides of the breaded chicken pieces to cook evenly. This will give you the crispiest popcorn chicken with browning on all sides.
HOW LONG TO AIR FRY POPCORN CHICKEN
I find it best to put the food in and then set it; therefore, the food can be inside while preheating. There is no need to worry about watching it preheat to make sure you get it in immediately as the time starts ticking down. This way you set it and forget it - let the air fryer do the cooking.
Once the chicken pieces are in the air fryer, be ready to cook. Set it to air fry at 400°. For how long to cook frozen popcorn chicken in the air-fryer, I recommend 10 minutes. I set the timer for 10 minutes and they come out hot on the inside and light brown and crunchy on the outside. I find that if they are spaced out enough there is no need to shake or flip the popcorn chicken pieces while air frying.
HOW TO TELL WHEN AIR FRYER POPCORN CHICKEN IS DONE
The frozen popcorn chicken will be done when they are hot on the inside and crispy brown on the outside. They will also not be soft or soggy when you pick them up. This is how they will be after 10 minutes. They should be light brown with some dark brown edges. For extra crispy popcorn chicken, set the air fryer timer for 13 minutes. If you like them super crispy, cook them for up to 15 minutes in the air fryer.
Once the little pieces of popcorn chicken are done air frying, carefully remove the tray or basket from the air fryer with an oven mitt. Using tongs, plate them for eating. Serve popcorn chicken with ketchup or your favorite dipping sauce. For tasty sauces & dip ideas, check out my recipe recommendations below.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH POPCORN CHICKEN
These great recipes go well as a side dish to serve with popcorn chicken, nuggets, or tenders. They all go well with any air-fried breaded chicken for lunch or dinner. Try one or more of these side dish recipes the next time you air fry some chicken. If you have room or a second air fryer, try AIR-FRIED FROZEN CRINKLE FRENCH FRIES.
DIPS FOR POPCORN CHICKEN
These are the best dip recipes to make & serve with popcorn chicken. There is nothing better than a homemade dipping sauce to eat with air-fried breaded chicken. If you want sweet, spicy, cool, or creamy, these are the dips that go well with fried chicken.
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AIR FRYER FROZEN POPCORN CHICKEN
- air fryer
- ½ pound Frozen Popcorn Chicken
- Add frozen popcorn chicken to your air fryer basket or tray. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket or tray, add only as many as will fit without overcrowding. Be sure to leave some space between the chicken pieces and that they are in a single layer.
- There is no need to preheat. Once the chicken is in the air fryer, set to cook. Set to air fryer at 400°. Next set the timer for 10 minutes. For extra crispy, set it for 15 minutes.
- When they are done cooking, carefully remove them from the oven and plate. Serve with ketchup or your favorite dip.
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Papa Joe says
My brand of popcorn chicken had really tiny pieces. It inly took 8 minutes for exra crispy but that’s how I like it.