Fast-food joint KFC introduced the world to chicken poppers in the ’90s. And it’s been a kids’ menu favorite ever since. Taiwanese cuisine has a similar dish, popularly enjoyed as street food and made with a savory marinade and lots of spices. Today, numerous brands of frozen goods and family-style restaurants offer these as the perfect kiddie treat. They’re bite-sized, fried to a golden-brown crisp, and best enjoyed with creamy dips. What’s not to like?
Do you have kiddos who love having these for baon, merienda, and all other meals in between? Consider making them from scratch and skip the takeout and store-bought stuff. By making them yourself, you get to decide exactly what goes into every bite – no preservatives, mysterious fillers, added oils, or excessive salt. Just pure crispy breaded chicken goodness!
Easy Chicken Poppers Recipe With Dip
This recipe uses breast fillets, but you can swap them out for thighs or even ground chicken shaped into balls. Want an extra crispy exterior? Try the double-frying method, made famous by Korean-style fried chicken. The first fry should cook the chicken through, while the second gives it an even crunchier finish. It only takes an extra 5-10 minutes, and the results are scrumptious.
For the honey-sesame dip:
- ¼ cup Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 cups flour
- 2 pcs raw eggs, beaten slightly
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 750 g chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces and chilled
- cooking oil, for frying
- Make the honey-sesame dip: Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Chill until ready to serve.
- Prepare the breading station: Take out three bowls or trays. Fill one with flour, another with eggs, and the last with breadcrumbs.
- Dredge chicken pieces in flour, dip in eggs, and roll in breadcrumbs.
- Deep-fry chicken in hot oil until crispy, golden brown, and cooked through. Drain on paper towels. Serve with honey-sesame dip.
Kid-Approved Side Dishes
Creamy mashed potatoes
Fried chicken and mashed potatoes are a classic pairing that no kid can resist. For an extra creamy and savory mash, blend your boiled potatoes with milk, melted butter, and cheese. Feel free to add roasted garlic to the mixture for extra flavor.
Crispy french fries
Dial up on the crisp factor by pairing your poppers with fries. You can cook these in the same oil as your chicken to give them the same chicken-y umami. Season with salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Alternatively, use a flavored powder (like cheese or barbecue) for the ultimate fast-food-at-home experience.
Make mealtime extra special by pairing the chicken with another kiddie favorite: sweet birthday spaghetti. Cut your prep time in half by using a ready-made Pinoy-style spag sauce. Don’t forget the classic red hotdogs and melty cheese on top!
This one’s a terrific opportunity to sneak veggies onto your kids’ plates without them noticing! Combine pre-cooked carrots, cauliflower, onions, garlic, cheddar cheese, and milk or cream in a blender. Blitz into a slightly thick, saucy consistency. Finish your cooked macaroni in the sauce and serve. So good, they’ll never know they’re eating veggies!
You can also air-fry or bake your chicken poppers instead of deep-frying if you want to cut back on oil. These methods will make this dish less indulgent, so your kids can enjoy them more frequently. Keep your poppers exciting by pairing them with other dips or tossing them in a sauce after cooking. Try these recipes for a tangy pickle dip and smoky barbecue with bacon!
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