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Monday, July 9, 2012

Popcorn Chicken

I love this!  We eat rather a lot of popcorn here and sometimes have leftovers.  I mean, I know it's *just* popcorn, but I hate to throw out the extra (which is why sometimes my kids get to eat popcorn for breakfast ::blush::).  I saw a recipe in one of those free parenting magazines that seem to come incessantly for using popcorn as a crumb coating on chicken...brilliant!  They had some particulars for seasoning, but I think the basics are good enough.

Kids liked it, husband liked it, I liked it...this one is a keeper!  The popcorn flavor is still there even after pan-frying, and it forms a really nicely crispy coating.  It's good to crunch into, and also makes the pieces a bit "stiffer" and easier to flip in the pan.

Note: this probably won't freeze well as a prep-ahead option...I think the popcorn would get soggy in the freezer.  But I did put some leftover popcorn in a ziptop bag, pressed the air out very well and fridged it for several days before using it for this recipe with good results.  You can prep ahead the dredging elements, but I wouldn't actually do the dip until right before cooking.

I made it with chicken tenderloins, but chunked up breasts or boneless skinless thighs would work too.

Popcorn Chicken
Makes 4-5 servings

4 cups popped popcorn
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/4 lbs. boneless chicken
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp butter

Put the popcorn in a food processor and run until finely ground.

Arrange flour, eggs and popcorn in 3 shallow bowls for dredging.  Season eggs with salt and pepper to taste.  Dredge chicken in flour, then egg wash, then popcorn coating.

Heat equal parts butter and olive oil over slightly higher than medium heat in a large skillet.  When butter finishes foaming, add chicken in a single layer (probably need to do 2 batches).  Fry 5 minutes per side, turning once.  Put on paper towels if needed after cooking.  Wipe out skillet and add more oil/butter if doing another batch. Pin It

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