This Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken recipe is so comforting! The popcorn chicken is so crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside! It’s savory with just a bit of a kick. Mac Spicy Pork Rinds are used, as the breading. With some additional spices, and a simple egg wash, this recipe comes together quickly and easily. Fortunately, it remains very low carb. It’s served with a mayo (find my preferred brand here) and sour cream dip, which I can’t wait to make again. Overall, the dip is creamy, flavorful, and a perfect balance to reduce some of the spiciness.
Getting Started with Popcorn Chicken
With this recipe being keto/carnivore, of course a different approach had to be taken in preparation. For instance, rather than using buttermilk, flour, breadcrumbs, etc. I opted for an egg wash and then a spicy pork rind breading. The specific brand of spicy pork rinds that I used were Mac’s Cracklin Curls: Spicy. If you haven’t tried these yet, they are delicious! Above all, they definitely have a kick to them.
Macros for Spicy Popcorn Chicken
With the workarounds, this recipe ends up being 64.2% fat and 35.5% protein. There is about 0.3% carbs involved. As a result, it easily fits into a very low carb lifestyle!
Sides for Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken
If you aren’t sticking to lower carb, or want to add vegetables, there are a few I’d recommend with this dish. If you want to keep using the air fryer, roasted broccoli is delicious! (In fact, I’d like to create a recipe soon.) Alternatively, you could make a broccoli salad, cauliflower mac & cheese, or just a side salad. If you are looking for side ideas, you can check out this past recipe I published, including mac & cheese – https://ambersketokitchen.com/2018/10/05/keto-smoked-salmon-pinwheels-with-mac-and-cheese/
Hope you enjoy this recipe!
Keto (Air Fryer) Spicy Popcorn Chicken
Spicy Popcorn Chicken
- 6 Chicken Thighs, 24 oz - cut into 1 inch/bite sized pieces
- Olive Oil Cooking Spray
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 tbsp Water
- 5.5 oz Mac's Spicy Pork Rinds (1 bag)
- 1 tsp Pink Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 4 tbsp Mayo
- 4 tbsp Sour Cream
- 1/2 tsp Pink Salt
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
- Dash of Hot Sauce - depending on spiciness preference
- Spray your air fryer with olive oil cooking spray. (Recommend using at least a 3.5 liter air fryer.) If using this size, you'll need to cook in multiple batches, as you won't want to stack or crowd the popcorn chicken.
- Cut your chicken thighs into about 1 inch bite sized pieces. (In total, I made 50
pieces of popcorn chicken.)
- In a medium sized bowl, add eggs and water to form your egg wash. Mix with fork until combined.
- Using a large ziplog bag, crush your pork rinds, with a meat tenderizer,
rolling pin, etc. Place your pork rinds in a medium sized bowl. Add your spices/seasonings: salt, black pepper, old bay, and onion powder.
- Dip your bite sized chicken in the egg wash using left hand and in the pork rinds mixture using right hand. Add to your air fryer basket.
- Air fry the first batch of popcorn chicken at 400 degrees F, 204 degrees C, for 8-10 minutes. (Ensure chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees F, 74 degrees C.)
- Then, air fry the second batch of popcorn chicken, for same amount of time. Continue additional batches, if necessary.
- In a medium sized bowl, add your dip ingredients: mayo, sour cream, salt, old bay, onion powder, and dash(es) of hot sauce. Mix together. Serve cold with hot popcorn chicken. Enjoy!