Popcorn Chicken with Honey Mustard Mayo + Tangy Dipping Sauces


Similar to my Chicken nuggets recipe but more like fried chicken in bite size pieces.  Perfect on its own with the honey mustard mayo and tangy dipping sauces or in burgers or wraps!

Course Main Course
Keyword Chicken, Dinner, Dipping Sauces, Family Meal, Popcorn Chicken, Savoury
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Author Julie Cavanagh



  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper & Me italian stallion
  • 800 grams chicken breast or thigh cut into bite sized pieces


  • 2 ½ cups breadcrumbs*
  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper & Me manrub
  • 2 teaspoons Pepper & Me Italian Stallion
  • 1 litre vegetable oil like canola


  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Squeeze lemon juice


  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce


  1. Combine the milk and lemon juice in a large bowl, leave to sit for a few minutes this creates a buttermilk. Once the milk looks a little like it's curdled add in the remaining buttermilk marinade ingredients, stir and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is resting in the fridge you can prepare the sauces.
  3. In a medium to large sized dish combine the coating ingredients.
  4. Add the canola oil into deep pot perfect for deep frying, heat it up on medium high. You can test the oil temperature by popping one piece of popcorn chicken in and if it browns too quickly the oil is too hot and if it takes a long time to cook the oil isn't hot enough.
  5. Once you feel like the temperature is just right, turn it down to a medium heat.
  6. Cook the chicken in batches, I normally would add 8-10 pieces at a time.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked gently lift out and pop onto a large plate lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil.
  8. Serve with the above dipping sauces and a variety of vegetables. We like to eat the the popcorn chicken in brioche burger buns with the sauces, cheese and coleslaw.

Recipe Notes

*To make breadcrumbs start stashing away crusts and stale bread (like day or two old fresh bread) in a container or large snaplock bag in the freezer.  When you have a full container defrost the bread and blend it up in batches in the food processor. Place the breadcrumbs in a large oven roasting tray, spread the breadcrumbs evenly over the tray and sprinkle with olive oil.  Bake in the oven at 180 degrees, stirring regularly until golden. Leave to cool then pop into a large airtight jar