Crispy Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken is a classic bite-sized appetizer that is perfect for Gameday or any other party. Small pieces of chicken are coated in spices, Lemon Zest, Honey, breadcrumbs, eggs, and cornstarch. Then they are baked in the oven until completely cooked. Finally, they are served with Ketchup, Mayonnaise, or Mustard Sauce.
These popcorn chicken breasts are cooked in the oven. But, you can either deep fry or you can try in the air-fryer. A few days back I tried Classic Southern Fried Chicken in Air-fryer along with Crispy Cajun Air-Fryer Sweet Potato fries. They were so good. Honestly, it feels so good to cut out some carbs. right?
As you take a bite of these crispy popcorn chickens you will feel the refreshing zing of lemon with a subtle undertone of honey. The egg, the cornstarch, and the panko breadcrumbs give these baked popcorn chicken breasts a crispy outer coating.
On the inside, you get soft, moist, and tender chicken pieces that feel exceptionally GOOD. I really love the combination of honey and lemon. Have you tried my Grilled Honey Lemon Chicken recipe? It's definitely worth a try.
You can make the same recipe with Cauliflower if you want. You can call this Honey Lemon Popcorn cauliflower. In fact, Once I tried Jalapeño Cheddar Cauliflower Fritters with Lemon Tabasco Aioli and they were so good. Exceptionally tasty and so delicious.
Talking about these Oven-fried Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken, I want to tell you about how I decided to make them. So, basically, I have this habit of watching Masterchef Australia every night after I finish off my work. You know as a food blogger, the only dreams that I want to get are nothing but food. And, looking at those young kids competing against each other, making such excellent recipes, I learn so many things.
The way, the judges put them under pressure, the way they handle that pressure, the way they think delicious in that crazy ambiance, is all so amazing and so inspiring. If you are a foodie like me, you should definitely try catching up few episodes.
So, there I saw a young 18-year old chef making popcorn chicken for a crowd. And the crowd went mad over his fried popcorn chicken. I decided to make popcorn chicken for my blog then and there.
But, I had to do something unique. I went and saw that I don't have enough oil at home that will be enough for deep-frying 2 pounds of chicken. Then I thought about Air-fryer. But, then again, I started thinking that not many people might have an air-fryer at home. So, finally, after a looooot of confusion and indecisiveness, I thought, let me go back to my good ol' oven and get done with my popcorn chicken.
And, Man oh Man! Was I right? Well, as a Libra, I might have to deal with a lot of indecisiveness on a daily basis, but, I tell you, the decisions we make are the best! Proud of myself!!!
Anyhoo, so that Is how I decided to make these Honey Lemon Popcorn chicken. Honestly, when I heard the "ding" from the oven, I opened it up and saw the beautiful sizzle. It just made me soo happy.
I wanted to capture that moment. I quickly grabbed my camera and tried to take a video but, as soon as they were out of the oven the sizzle was gone! Sad me, I ain't a superwoman!
But, I wish I could capture that moment, especially that feeling of seeing your crispy chicken popcorns out of the oven bubbling with excitement.
It was the best part about making this dish. Oh no! Wait, the better part is still awaited. The moment you drizzle some lemon juice and dip it in ketchup and take its bite, the world goes to sleep. Your mind flows into a state of extreme delight, savoring every bite! The crunchy outer skin followed by the tender chicken breasts on the inside feels immensely good.
Ingredients you need to Make Popcorn Chicken Breasts
- Boneless Chicken cut into 2-inch cubes
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- Chili Flakes
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Dried Oregano
- Cayenne Pepper
- Lemon Zest
- Panko Breadcrumbs
How to Make Crispy Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken in Oven?
- First, you gotta make sure that you cut your chicken breast pieces into small 2-inch cubes. Cutting them into small pieces makes them a bite-sized appetizer. Moreover, they get cooked evenly.
- Next, you gotta coat them in spices. I generally like to keep the spices high. Because, it's an appetizer, adding so many different spices makes the appetizer hit all the right places. So, generally, I start with Salt and Freshly Cracked Black pepper. Then I add dark soy sauce, garlic powder, Onion Powder, Cayenne pepper, Chili Flakes, Dried Oregano, Cornstarch, and Eggs. These are like the basic spices in which you gotta coat your chicken pieces in. As you can see, I haven't used buttermilk here. Well, there is no good reason. I was just out of milk and vinegar at the moment and so I thought to go ahead without buttermilk. But, if you wish to add buttermilk you can surely do that.
- Now it's time to dredge these chicken pieces in cornstarch. Toss well using two spoons so that each piece of chicken is uniformly coated with cornstarch. This is exactly what will bring crispiness to our honey lemon popcorn chicken.
- Now once you have coated your chicken with egg, spices, and cornstarch, it's time to bring in the two main ingredients of the recipe. Honey and Lemon. I generally add lemon zest now. And, later while serving I add lemon juice. Adding lemon juice, at last, makes people get the lemony taste the moment they take a bite and it feels so refreshing and zesty and wonderful. While adding lemon zest be careful to not add too much or else it will turn bitter. Also, keep in mind that adding too much honey will make your popcorn chicken too sweet and you really do not want that. So, it's necessary to hit a balance. For the exact measurement, I recommend you to check out the recipe card below.
- Lastly, dredge through Panko Breadcrumbs for that extra bit of crunchy texture. Make sure your chicken pieces are beautifully coated with panko breadcrumbs.
- Finally, these babies are ready to go into the oven. But, not without a touch of some oil. Drizzle some vegetable oil on the chicken pieces and let them bake in the oven at 425F 0r 220C for 15-20-minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Other Chicken Recipes:
- Nacho Cheese Dorito Chicken Casserole
- Asian Cashew Chicken [Better Than Takeout]
- Sweet and Sour Teriyaki Cauliflower Chicken Stir Fry
- Chicken Korma Recipe || Shahi Chicken Korma
- Chipotle Grilled Chicken Pineapple Tacos
- Taco Bell Chicken Quesadillas
If you are making Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken using this recipe then please leave a rating below. Also, share your image on Instagram with #recipemagik and tag me @recipemagik.
Oven-Fried Crispy Honey Lemon Popcorn Chicken
- 2 Pounds Boneless Chicken Breasts cut into 2-inch cubes
- Kosher Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper As per taste
- ½ Teaspoon Chili Flakes
- 1 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 3 Tablespoon Cornstarch more to coat later
- 1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- 2 Whole Eggs at room temperature
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- ½ Cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- Vegetable Oil for brushing
- Lemon Juice, Cilantro for garnish
- Chop Chicken Pieces into 2-inch cubes. Coat the chicken with salt, freshly cracked black pepper, chili flakes, dark soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, cornstarch, cayenne Pepper, Dried Oregano, and one whole egg. Toss well to combine. Preheat oven to 425F or 220C and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or vegetable oil. Line with parchment paper.
- Use a fork and a spoon to coat each chicken pieces with cornstarch. Grate some lemon zest and pour in some honey. Toss until combined.
- Remove Chicken Pieces from cornstarch mix and dredge through panko breadcrumbs. Gently press to adhere. Toss the chicken pieces with Panko breadcrumbs until evenly coated and there are no visible specks of cornstarch left.
- Place them in a prepared baking sheet leaving some gap between each chicken piece. Lightly drizzle chicken with vegetable oil.Bake in a preheated oven at 425F or 220C for 15-20-minutes or until chicken is completely cooked through.
- Serve immediately with some lemon zest, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice. Serve this alongside mustard sauce or mayonnaise or Ketchup.