Popcorn Chicken Salad
Crispy chicken cubes are tossed with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, kiwi and mangoes, then drizzled with ranch dressing in this chicken popcorn salad recipe.
- 4 to 5 large chicken thigh fillets or 2 to 3 breast fillets
For the chicken seasoning
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
For the salad
- 1 large head Romaine lettuce
- 2 kiwi fruits
- 2 ripe mangoes
- 12 cherry tomatoes
- Ranch Dressing
- 1 generous pinch cayenne powder
To fry the popcorn chicken
- 2 to 3 cups cooking oil
For the chicken breading
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 egg whites
- 1 ½ panko panko you may need more
- Pat the chicken thigh fillets dry. Cut into 1 ½-inch cubes.
- In a bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the chicken seasoning. Add the chicken cubes. Mix well. Cover the bowl and leave the chicken to marinate while you prepare the salad.
- Rinse the Romaine lettuce. Tear into smaller pieces. Dump in the salad spinner and spin to dry.
- Peel the kiwi fruits and mangoes, and cut into one-inch cubes.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Stir the cayenne powder into the Ranch dressing.
- Toss the lettuce, kiwi, mangoes and cherry tomatoes with about a tablespoonful of the Ranch dressing.
- Heat enough cooking oil in a wok or frying pan to reach a depth of two inches. The ideal temperature is 350F. If you don’t have a thermometer, dip a bamboo skewer in the oil; if tiny bubbles form around it, the oil should be hot enough.
- Place the flour, egg whites and panko in three shallow bowls.
- Dredge each piece of chicken in flour, roll in egg whites then coat with panko.
- Fry the breaded chicken in batches of 10 to 15 (depending on how wide your frying pan is) until golden and crisp. Scoop out and drain on a rack.
- Pile half of the mixed salad in a bowl. Scatter popcorn chicken over it. Cover with the rest of the salad and top with more popcorn chicken. Drizzle Ranch dressing over everything.
- Serve your popcorn chicken salad with spicy ranch dressing immediately.
A generous portion of this popcorn chicken salad is filling enough for a meal. If you prefer to serve it as a starter, the yield should be enough for six to eight people. Updated from a recipe originally published in June 10, 2017