No oil needed for this Extra Crispy Gluten-Free Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken recipe! A healthier, super crunchy version of your fast food favorite that’s top 8 allergy-free, a mom-approved quick & easy dinner idea, and kid-friendly!
How many kitchen appliances can Rebecca fit in her house? I can tell you that we haven’t hit the limit yet! People are so obsessed with their Instant Pots right now, but in my humble opinion, Air Fryers should be leading the way! Imagine having the ability to “fry” foods to crispy, crunchy perfection without all the oil and grease. Imagine a super quick “pod” that literally uses hot air to cook (and bake!) just about any food in the nick of time. All this at the press of a button, right on your countertop, in your hot air pod of magic!
When a GoWISE USA Air Fryer graces the presence of the Strength and Sunshine kitchen, something fun, something nostalgic, something perfectly gluten-free and top 8 allergy-free had to happen. Y’all know I’ve a huge fan of nuggets (chicken or chickpea!) and “baked not fried” versions of the classics. One food I’ve been wanting to celiac-approve and allergy-free-ify was some good ‘ole popcorn chicken; something I haven’t had in…over a decade.
Now, if you’re like me, you may be wondering just what is the difference between popcorn chicken and chicken nuggets. First, popcorn chicken is an original creation by, the one and only, KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). They launched in 1992 as small, bite-sized pieces of breaded and fried chicken, served in a popcorn shaped paper container. Chicken nuggets, on the other hand, are larger, invented in the 1950s and doesn’t necessarily have to be fried. They were made popular though, by McDonalds in the late 70s…and their nuggets are fried…very fried.
Popcorn chicken is typically soaking in buttermilk and breaded in a seasoned all purpose flour. Well, I wanted these to be extra crispy and really utilize the power of the air fryer, sans oil. I coated my gluten-free popcorn chicken in a trio of corn starch, coconut milk, and finely crushed corn flakes! Such a perfect crunch, no grease, and so bitably addicting! I used chicken tenders and cut them up into tiny pieces (perfect for little hands and prime for dunking in the goods).
To say that I’m in love with the Air Fryer is an understatment. From the crispiest chicken to the crispiest potatoes; it’s a dream machine for me! In the summer time, you won’t ever have to turn your oven on either! Just plug in the Air Fryer and go! It’s super light weight too, which surprised me. So moving it around isn’t a problem, but my Air Fryer isn’t leaving its prime spot kitchen (unlike my dehydrator that only gets used for the occasional “bacon” making. I actually use it as a stand for my basket of potatoes….sad). Now let me show you just how easy it is to make the best, crunchiest, Extra Crispy Gluten-Free Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken!
Extra Crispy Gluten-Free Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
- Once you've cubed your chicken tenders, place them to the side and set up your 3 coating stations, in order.
- First, make a plate of the corn starch.
- Second, mix the coconut milk and pickle juice together in a bowl.
- Third, crush your corn flakes with the spices in a plastic bag before pouring out onto a plate.
- Now take each chicken piece, coat in the corn starch, then dunk in the coconut milk, and finally roll in the corn flake crumbs before placing in your Air Fryer basket.
- Repeat for all the pieces of chicken, evenly spacing them out in the Air Fryer basket (you may need to make two batches depending on the size of your Air Fryer.)
- Close the Air Fryer and set the temperature to 400°F and the time to 10 minutes (7-8 minutes if doing two batches).
- Now let it cook and get your ketchup ready to enjoy!
Crispy crunchy perfection! It’s such a healthy and quick dinner option that everyone will love! Parents, kids, college students (like myself). Who knew popcorn chicken could be so easy or so….oil-free! That, we can only attribute to the GoWISE Air Fryer. Frying of the future is finally here, my friends!
So tell me:
+ Do you have an Air Fryer (…yet)?
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