How to Make The Best Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken Three Ways: Baked, Air Fried, and Deep Fried
Course: Main Course
Keyword: fried chicken
1lbboneless skinless chicken thighscubed
1/2tbspchinese five spice powder
thai basilif desired
Salt and Pepper Mix
1/2tspchinese five spice powder
In a bowl, marinate the chicken in the garlic, soy sauce, five spice, garlic powder, white pepper, and salt for 30 minutes. If you are air frying or baking, add a 1/2 tablespoon oil to the marinade.
Lightly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the cornstarch and potato starch in a bowl and, working in batches, toss and coat several pieces of chicken, making sure they are well coated. Alternatively, put the cornstarch and potato starch in a bag or container, add the chicken, and shake to coat. The chicken should be well coated and look fairly dry.
Prepare a wire cooling rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Heat up 2 - 2.5 inches of oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 325°F. It doesn’t need to be too deep, it depends on the size of your chicken. Use a pair of tongs to gently add a couple of pieces of chicken to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry in batches until lightly golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let rest on your prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of it has been fried once.
Turn the heat up to 350°F and fry the chicken a second time around until deeply golden and crispy, another 1-2 minutes. Drain on the wire rack, sprinkle with the extra spice mix if desired, and enjoy immediately!
Lightly oil or use cooking spray on the air fryer basket. Place the coated pieces of chicken in the basket, with at least 1/4” of space in between pieces. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Cook at 400°F for 5 minutes, then flip and lightly spray with extra cooking spray. Cook for 5 more minutes at 400°F. If your pieces of chicken are large, you might need an extra minute or two. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes, then air fry for an extra 5 minutes at 400°F to crisp it up.
Immediately remove from the air fryer basket and let rest on a wire rack. Sprinkle with the extra spice mix if desired and enjoy immediately!
Heat the oven to 450°F. Oil or use cooking spray to fully coat a wire rack in a foil lined baking sheet. Place the coated pieces of chicken on the rack, with at least 1/4” of space in between pieces. Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes, then flip, lightly coat with extra cooking spray and bake for an extra 5 minutes. The pieces of chicken should be golden brown, crispy, and cooked through. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the extra spice mix if desired and enjoy immediately!
You probably won’t use all the spice mix – dust and taste to see what level of extra salty peppery-ness you like.