Baked popcorn chicken is a lower-fat take on a favorite snack. Children especially love the bite-sized chicken pieces, and you can feel good about serving them. Homemade popcorn chicken allows you to control the ingredients and limit the amount of salt and fat. Most fast-food popcorn chicken also contains sugar, which you can cut out. Making popcorn chicken is not difficult, and enlisting the younsters to help with the breading makes it fun.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking oil.
Pour about 1 inch of milk into a pie plate. Skim milk is best if you’re watching calories and fat grams.
Crack an egg into the milk and whisk them together until the liquid is smooth and foamy. Egg substitute works well and offers you a lower-cholesterol dish. Egg whites will also work, though the breading may not stick as well.
Fill a pie plate with panko bread crumbs. Panko crumbs are best for oven frying because they are larger and fluffier and tend to become crisper without being fried in oil.
Roll your cubed, raw chicken pieces around in the milk and egg until they are well-coated.
Put the soaked chicken cubes into the panko bread crumbs and roll them around until they are coated on all sides. Push them around gently with your fingers so that you don’t flatten the bread crumbs too much.
Place the breaded chicken cubes onto the oiled baking sheet and bake them for 10 minutes.
Turn the chicken pieces carefully with tongs and cook them for another 10 minutes, or until they are crisp and just turning golden.
Reheat leftover popcorn chicken in sweet-and-sour sauce and serve them over rice.
Never use the same plates or utensils for raw chicken and for cooked chicken.