Popcorn chicken (made with real popcorn!)

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How was your memorial day weekend? Mine was fabulous!!!

I went to my second cousin's Bar Mitzvah in NYC, and the party was beyond amazing. As in, I had caviar, lamb chops, center cut sirloin, pizza with truffle oil, dim sun, crab cakes, cheese of every variety, and there was an open bar, of course 🙂


I got to introduce the boyfriend to my family, and I was able to impress everyone with how much I've matured in the past year, as well as bore them with details of my new job.

You heard me correctly. I have a new job. 

YAY!!! Only weeks before my current research grant ran out, I was offered a full time position doing super exciting clinical research. I made those brain cupcakes after my interview two weeks ago, and they ended up being the good luck charm I needed! So there's going to be a lot of changes in the next few weeks, and I have no clue how my schedule will adapt to blogging/cooking/photography. But hopefully I'll be able to keep it up, because I can't imagine my life without it.

And while I was recovering from my food induced coma this weekend I found this recipe for real popcorn chicken in my sister's Parents magazine, and immediately tore out the page. I imagined it would be a fun thing to make, and I was right!

You will need:

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  • 6 cups popped popcorn (plain, unbuttered)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (you can omit this step for a gluten-free recipe!)
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Remove any unpopped popcorn kernels, and put the popcorn in a food processor. Cover and pulse until coursely ground. Place in a shallow dish and add the salt, pepper, and thyme.

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Crack the egg into another shallow bowl, add the water, and beat lightly with a fork. Place the flour in another dish.

Cover the chicken with the flour to coat (I found it easier to dump the flour into a ziplock baggie and shake the chicken to coat it), and dip in the egg mixture. Finally, coat each side with the popcorn.

Heat up the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 3-6 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are sliced. Be careful not to burn them, and turn them frequently. Reduce heat if necessary.

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Serve with the lemon slices, and some barbeque sauce for dipping!

These turned out awesome! The popcorn does not get mushy when cooked, like I imagined, but instead adds a great texture to the chicken. In the pictures you can see the different colors in the coating, including the kernel bits that did not get ground up entirely. Don't worry, they are completely chewable, and though you might get a few stuck in your teeth, I guarantee you wont notice they're even there.

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So compared to my exciting weekend of culinary firsts (caviar: I like it! Salty, but tasty. Sushi: Eh...I found it way too overwhelming and slimy. I'll try in in a few months though), these safe and simple popcorn chicken bites were a nice change. Since there's only 1 extra step (processing the popcorn), they aren't any harder than regular fried chicken bites.

And who doesn't love literal food?!

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