Better Than Takeout Chicken Popcorn: Easy, Fast And Cheap

Crispy chicken popcorn is the best snack to enjoy. They’re coated with spicy and crunchy batter and succulent chicken pieces inside.

crispy chicken popcorn pieces with white napkin and flower pattern napkins underneath.

Crispy Chicken Popcorn

Crispy chicken popcorn is the best snack to enjoy. They’re coated with spicy and crunchy crumbs and succulent chicken pieces inside. 

They’re as small and crispy just as the popcorn. Hence, these little chicken pieces are called popcorn chicken. And they have been so popular among the takeout/ takeaway menu. 

My kids are among those crazy fans of these tasty chicken poppers. They can have them anytime. 

some crunchy chicken popcorn on white napkin

But ever since our world has been in restriction and lockdown, we couldn’t get those tiny fried chicken pieces. Even when the lockdown was eased, we didn’t really want to get takeaway/ takeout due to being careful about bringing the food from outside.

So, homemade chicken popcorn had to be created. After so many trials, I’m currently happy to use this recipe whenever my kids crave one of their favourite takeaways. 

And my little one claims that my recipe makes the best spicy and crispy chicken popcorn which is better than the famous takeaway. Well, of course, the kid was just being biased.

Easy, Fast And Cheap

These three words – easy, fast and cheap – are the best to describe these homemade chicken poppers. 

You may think that it is not cheap to get all the ingredients for the recipe, especially the spices and herbs. But really, once you buy them, you can use them to make the recipe multiple times. In the end, you get more value from them.

And for the poultry, I suggest you get skinless and boneless chicken thighs. Not only, they’re cheaper, but they’re also more flavourful. 

Secret Tips For Tasty Chicken Popcorn

photo collage of chicken in spices and yoghurt marinade
  • Cut the poultry as small and equal as possible. I always try to cut them in cubes about 2 cm/ 0.78 inch. 
  • Don’t skip the marinade, please. If possible, try to do it at least 20-30 minutes before cooking. The best is to leave it in the fridge/ refrigerator overnight so the flavour in the chicken will develop more, and you’ll get a tasty chicken piece right to the middle. 
  • Deep fry the flour-coated chicken pieces in hot oil at a temperature around 178°C/ 350°F. If you don’t have a food thermometer, you can try to check the oil by frying a pinch of flour or a tiny piece of chicken. The oil should fry it steadily fast but not too rapid. Make sure the oil is plenty enough to cover all the chicken pieces. 
photo collage of making chicken poppers

Ways To Store

These chicken popcorn are best eaten fresh. But if you need to keep it for longer, you can put it in a food container and store it in the fridge/ refrigerator for about 3 days. 

If you make the poppers in bulk, you can keep them in a ziplock bag and freeze them. They keep well in the freezer for about 6 weeks. 

When you want to have them, you can pop them in the preheated oven at the gas mark 4/ 180°C/ 350°F for about 15-20 minutes after being in the fridge or 30 minutes when frozen. 

Related Recipes

Thank you for reading this recipe. I hope you want to try it out. When you do, it will be awesome if you can share what you think about the recipe in the comments below.

And please follow me on Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest to sneak a peek at what’s cooking in my kitchen.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out my other snack recipes that you may like.

Thank you and all the best. 

chicken popcorn pieces on a plate lined with a white paper napkin.
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5 from 3 votes

Better Than Takeout Chicken Popcorn: Easy, Fast And Cheap

Crispy chicken popcorn is the best snack to enjoy. They’re coated with spicy and crunchy crumbs and succulent chicken pieces inside. 
Author: Devy Dar
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Course: Snacks & Starters
Cuisine: International
Servings: 4 portions


  • Mixing bowls.
  • Kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Frying pan
  • Slotted spoon


For marinade:

  • 21.16 ounces boneless chicken thighs.
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder.
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder.
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika powder.
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder.
  • ½ teaspoon mixed herbs see the note.
  • ½ teaspoon salt.
  • 2 tablespoons yoghurt.
  • 2 tablespoons milk.

For the coating:

  • ½ cup plain flour/ all-purpose flour.
  • ¾ cup cornflour/ cornstarch.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • ½ teaspoon paprika powder.
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder.
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Oil for frying.


  • Clean and cut the chicken into small pieces, about 2 cm/0.78-inch cubes.
  • Place the chicken pieces in a mixing bowl and add the rest of the marinade ingredients. Stir and mix well until all chicken pieces are coated with spices and dairy. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes. You can also keep it in the fridge/ refrigerator overnight to get a more developed flavour.
  • Sieve the plain flour and cornflour into a deep plate or a mixing bowl. 
  • Add the garlic powder, paprika powder, red chilli powder, ground black pepper, and salt to the flour mixture. Stir well until all is combined. 
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a deep frying pan. 
  • At the same time, pick the chicken pieces and put them in the flour mixture. Do it one by one to make sure each piece is well coated with the flour. I use chopsticks to do the job as I find it easy to pick the pieces up.
  • Check the oil if it’s hot enough by putting a pinch of flour into the oil. If it’s frying fast, it means the oil is ready. Then carefully slide the chicken pieces into the hot oil. Deep-fry your chicken popcorn for about 7 minutes until they look golden and crispy. Turn them around in between. 
  • When they’re fully cooked, pick them up with a slotted spoon.


  • You can replace the yoghurt with milk. So use 4 tablespoons of milk instead. And add about a teaspoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to the milk. 
  • Cut the chicken as small as you can to make them look like the regular popcorn size. 
  • Cooking time can vary according to the size of the chicken pieces. 10 minutes is the approximate frying time for about 0.7-inch size chicken popcorn. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 1810kcal | Carbohydrates: 342g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 184mg | Sodium: 1174mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g


Nutritional info in this recipe is only estimate using online calculator. You should refer to it as a guide only. Please verify with your own data if you seek an accurate info.

Author: Devy Dar

Title: Food Writer, Recipe Developer, and Digital Content Creator.


Devy Dar founded So Yummy Recipes and Drizzling Flavor to share her love of food after exploring various cultures and cuisines for more than two decades. Her mission is to help others easily recreate traditional and non-traditional food with readily available ingredients. Her works have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Al Jazeera, MSN, Yahoo, Bon Appetit, and more. 

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