FRITOS®-Crusted Popcorn Chicken
Recipe Written by Becky Hardin // @thecookierookie
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 egg white
- 1¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 1¼ cups finely crushed Original FRITOS® (use food processor, if possible), divided
- 1½ quarts peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
- Pat the chicken dry, season with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Cut the chicken into ½-inch pieces and place it in a zipper-style plastic bag.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking together the cider vinegar, cornstarch, and egg white. Pour the slurry over the chicken, close the bag and shake it to coat all the chicken pieces. Place the chicken in the fridge 15-30 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, baking powder, onion powder, granulated garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add water and rub the flour/water
- mixture with your fingers until the mixture becomes tiny bits with craggy edges. It should hold together like damp sand when squeezed.
- Add 1 cup crushed FRITOS® and mix to incorporate.
- Remove chicken from fridge and place half in the flour/FRITOS® mixture. Toss well to coat on all sides. Remove the chicken from the flour/FRITOS® mixture and spread out over a rimmed baking sheet.
- Add remaining ¼ cup flour and ¼ cup crushed FRITOS® to the remaining flour mixture and whisk to combine.
- Add the remaining half of the chicken to the flour/Frito mixture and repeat the coating process.
- Add oil to a Dutch oven 1-inch deep, and heat over medium-high heat to 400°F.
- Line another rimmed baking sheet with paper towels and set it on the counter next to the Dutch oven.
- Use a slotted spoon (or spider skimmer) to carefully add half the chicken to the hot oil. Stir the chicken immediately and often to keep the chicken moving. Fry 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. When chicken is cooked and beautiful, use the skimmer or slotted spoon to transfer it to the paper towel-lined baking sheet.
- Heat oil to 400°F (again) and fry the remaining chicken. Transfer the chicken to the prepared baking sheet.
- Let chicken cool 5 minutes and serve with favorite dipping sauce.