Popcorn or bites?
What to name a post title can be a tricky thing. When I initially thought of this recipe I was going to title it chicken popcorn because of the obvious association with the KFC. But I wanted the similarities to end with the appearance of the food. So I present Chicken Bites.
For a long time, I have known how to cook chicken in breadcrumbs. My parents used to make chicken or pork escalope when I was growing up and it was always better in breadcrumbs. The process is relatively simple, you cover the meat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. A few months ago I thought to myself could I use this as a basis for a recipe to write about.
It appeared to be a logical idea seeing as some people may not know how to do it and it can be a satisfying result. However that was just something I was doing with the piece of meat, what would I make with it that would be an interesting and tasty accompaniment? Nothing good came to mind but it sparked another idea. How would I make chicken nuggets? Which lead to how would I make chicken popcorn, as you’d find in KFC? Well, the answer appeared easy, why don’t I cut a breast of chicken into tiny pieces and then apply the breadcrumb method?
Hallelujah! This was the recipe, a homemade version of a popularised fast food.
What I have accompanied the chicken bites with is homemade sweet potato wedges, tomatoes, spinach leafs and potato salad with my own crème fraiche lemon dip.
For chicken bites:
- A single piece of chicken breast
- Plain flour
- 2 eggs
- Breadcrumbs (brought pre-ready is fine)
Crème fraiche dip
- Crème fraiche
- Half a lemon
- Cut the chicken breast into tiny pieces. No need to be too exact. For this recipe, I managed to cut 21 pieces.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl
- Put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into separate bowls and place them next to each other, in that order left to right. Being side by side will make things easier.
- Season the chicken and breadcrumbs. I added some mixed herbs to the breadcrumbs and mixed well.
- Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, ensuring that all sides are coated. (
- Follow the same process for the eggs and breadcrumbs. The ingredients will stick to your fingers. Rubbing them through some extra flour will help remove most of it.
- After the breadcrumbs leave your coated chicken pieces on a separate plate.
- Fry the chicken pieces in vegetable oil in a frying pan. I don’t add a lot of oil, just enough to cover one side. Only add the chicken pieces when the oil is hot.
- Turn the pieces when the one side has a nice bit of colour.
- Drain off the excess oil and serve.
- The crème fraiche dip is just about mixing the creme fraiche and lemon together. Nice and simple.
The chicken bites are so tasty. With breadcrumbs pre-ready, they will add a certain amount of flavour but by supplementing with your own really enhances something so small with a huge burst of flavour. With the sides, this made for a perfect light dinner. Although I must say that I did eat all the chicken bites because they were so yummy and I didn’t want to waste them.
It’s safe to say that I won’t be buying KFC’s popcorn chicken again, even though I never really did in the first place! My chicken bites beat chicken popcorn hands down. This is a fun thing to do if you want to share the cooking experience.
Have you made chicken bites or chicken nuggets before?
Do you know how to cook with breadcrumbs?
Do you make your own alternatives to fast food at home?
No need for postcards, feel free to leave a comment…