Cooking Light
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
35 Mins
serves 4 (serving size: about 5 pieces)

Much healthier, but with that irresistible “fried” taste and texture, this air fryer popcorn chicken was described by recipe testers as “super addicting!” Dredging the chicken bits in finely-crushed cornflakes add a nice crunch, plus they brown better in the air fryer than if you were to use flour. Don’t skip the powdered sugar, as it also helps brown the popcorn chicken pieces (and also balance the dried spices).

Hot tip: Sprinkling the chicken with salt after cooking is a great healthy cooking tip to amplify the flavor of salt while dialing back the total sodium count. Plus, it’s common to salt food after frying it. Don’t forget your dipping sauce—ketchup, BBQ sauce, even Chick-fil-A sauce.

How to Make It

Step 1

Stir together cornstarch, powdered sugar, paprika, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Dredge in cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess. Dip chicken in buttermilk, allowing excess to drip off. Toss chicken in cornflakes to coat.

Step 2

Lightly spray air fryer basket with cooking spray. Place half of the chicken in single layer in the basket and spray with cooking spray. Cook at 400°F until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes, turning chicken halfway through cook time. Remove chicken from fryer basket and sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces and salt.

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