Baking enthusiast Sally McKenney Quinn is the author of the popular blog and cookbook Sally’s Baking Addiction as well as a food blogger for PEOPLE.com. Check back each month for her latest easy-to-follow recipes! You can order her new cookbook, Sally’s Candy Addiction, here. Warning: Don’t read when hungry.
I love whipping up snacky comfort food for the Super Bowl.
Football and tasty appetizers go hand in hand and one staple I always like to prepare is popcorn chicken: bite-sized pieces of chicken with the crispiest, most flavorful crust. They’re undeniably easy to throw together, though you will need a few different bowls for all the steps. And guess what? My popcorn chicken isn’t fried! Baking in the oven still gets you that fabulously crisp crust!
My most requested variety is this buffalo-flavored popcorn chicken. It’s simply my basic popcorn chicken recipe, only coated in buffalo sauce when the bites are still warm. The buffalo sauce covers each and every crevice of that crispy crust, leaving the chicken bites inside tender and juicy. They’re savory, warm, and there’s just enough spicy kick from the buffalo sauce. They remind me of boneless chicken wings you order out at restaurants. And they’re simply incredible made at home. Add some blue cheese dipping sauce and chow down!
Fact: you’ll focus more on eating buffalo popcorn chicken than watching the game. And since they’re baked, not fried—does that mean we can all eat more? The answer is HECK YES!
Baked Buffalo Popcorn Chicken with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups corn flakes cereal
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. smoked paprika
2 large eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup buffalo wing sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
¾ cup blue cheese crumbles
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2/3 cup sour cream
1 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Celery, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. Place the bite-sized pieces of chicken in a large bowl. Add flour and stir to coat each piece. Set aside.
3. Place the corn flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika into a food processor (you can do this in stages if it doesn’t all fit). Pulse 4-5 times in a food processor until the mixture is in fine crumbles. Not completely crushed; some larger pieces can remain. Pour into a large bowl. Set aside.
4. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a small bowl.
5. This next step gets your hands a little messy so have paper towels nearby. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the cornflake mixture, shaking off any excess. Place onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken bites.
6. Bake for 18 minutes, flipping once at the 9-10 minute mark. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Carefully place the chicken bites into a large bowl. Add the buffalo sauce and gently stir to coat.
8. Prepare the dipping sauce by stirring mayo, sour cream, milk, and Worcestershire in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve chicken with sauce and celery, if desired.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour