Popcorn chicken is the name given to tiny chunks of white breast meat cooked with breading and deep-fried. If you buy frozen or ready-to-eat popcorn chicken, you can eat it as it is or use it in recipes. Popcorn chicken is a useful substitute for recipes that require deep frying if you don't own a deep fryer or don't want to take the time to prepare the chicken. Use popcorn chicken as an ingredient so that you can focus on the flavor elements of the recipe and prepare food in a fraction of the time.
Barbecue Chicken Sandwich
Combine popcorn chicken, a hamburger bun and barbecue sauce to create a crunchy barbecue chicken sandwhich with lots of flavor. Use the smallest pieces of popcorn chicken you can find, or slice large pieces into cross sections in order to get the best sandwhich shape and crunch. If you like, top with deep fried or pan-fried onions and swiss cheese.
Add popcorn chicken to any meatless casserole dish or substitute in hotdishes that call for canned tuna or cooked chicken. Use this method to turn macaroni and cheese into a main course or popcorn chicken in recipes like chicken wild rice casserole or chicken florentine.
Chicken mozzarella is a dish commonly made with breaded, deep-fried chicken that you can recreate using popcorn chicken. Prepare a simple marinara of canned tomato sauce with Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste. Toss this in an oven-safe dish with cooked spaghetti. Lay the cooked popcorn chicken on top (if this is frozen chicken, it should at least be thawed) and grate mozzarella cheese over it. Cook in a broiler for a minute or two, or until the cheese is melted and browned.
Make a crunchy buffalo chicken wrap by combining prepared popcorn chicken with an easy buffalo sauce. Mix one part melted butter, two parts cayenne pepper hot sauce and garlic salt to taste. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Toss the chicken with this sauce and wrap in a large flour tortilla with lettuce (if you like) and a little blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Asian Chicken Recipes
If you enjoy restaurant-bought Asian chicken recipes that feature breaded, deep-fried chicken, but don't want to bother with the process of doing your own deep frying, substitute popcorn chicken in recipes. Creating dishes like orange chicken, kung pao and sesame chicken is as easy as making the sauce, pan frying any vegetables, then mixing sauce and veggies with the prepared popcorn chicken. To make things even easier, try a store bought stir fry sauce mix, heated in the microwave.
- "The New Best Recipe;" Cook's Illustrated Magazine, John Burgoyne, Carl Tremblay and Daniel J. Van Ackere; 2004
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