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Gluten-Free Popcorn Chicken

This Gluten-Free Popcorn Chicken is a total family favourite. Bite sized pieces of chicken are coated in a perfectly seasoned mix of gluten-free flours chosen for optimal crisp factor. The chicken is then shallow fried in a dash of oil to give you all the feels of KFC without any of the junky vibe. This healthier Fried Popcorn Chicken is light, crisp, juicy and flavourful.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 631kcal


  • 700 g chicken thighs 6-8, boneless, skin on
  • 80 g tapioca starch
  • 90 g potato starch not potato flour
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¾ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil


  • Place a wide cast iron skillet on a medium heat and allow it to heat up whilst you prepare the chicken.
  • Cut the chicken into large bite sized pieces, about 1-2 inches, keeping the skin on.
  • Whisk the tapioca and potato starch together in a large shallow bowl with all the spices and salt and pepper.
  • Drop the chicken pieces into the flour mixture, tossing so that every piece is evenly covered in flour.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan and swirl it around so that it has covered the pan.
  • Place the chicken pieces in the skillet spaced apart from each other so they are not touching, you may be able to fit one third to half the chicken pieces in the pan.
  • Cook the chicken for about 5-7 minutes until the chicken is golden and crisp on the underside and turn each piece over and cook for a further 5-7 minutes on the other side. Toss the chicken around the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, moving the chicken about so it has cooked evenly and is golden on all sides.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan, using kitchen tongs, and place onto kitchen towel, patting another piece of kitchen towel over lightly to remove any excess oil from the chicken.
  • Wipe the pan with kitchen towel or a clean cloth and add 1 more tablespoon olive oil to the pan. Repeat cooking the next batch of chicken in the same way and repeat again if necessary, until all the chicken is cooked.



Ingredient Substitutions

  • Chicken. You can use diced chicken breast instead of thigh. The chicken will be much quicker to cook.
  • Tapioca flour/ Potato starch. You can substitute either of these with cornflour (cornstarch).

Pro Tips

  • Tip #1 Make sure the pan is evenly hot before adding the chicken.
  • Tip #2 You might be tempted to remove the chicken skin. This adds to the delicious crisp factor so try leaving it on.
  • Tip #3 Don’t overcrowd the chicken, cook in batches so the chicken pieces are not touching each other.
  • Tip #4 Either keep the cooked chicken warm in a low oven whilst you are cooking the rest or add it all back into the pan for a final cook, making sure all the chicken is piping hot before serving.
  • Tip #5 Wipe the pan down after every batch of chicken with a clean piece of kitchen towel or a cloth to remove the excess crispy bits.

Make Ahead

You can make the whole recipe ahead of time and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.


Heat the cast iron skillet up on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the pan is evenly hot. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot you can add all the popcorn chicken into the pan and heat for 10-12 minutes, moving around the pan occasionally, until all the chicken is piping hot.


You can freeze this recipe by cooking the chicken as per the instructions. Allow to cool completely then space the chicken apart on a lined baking tray. Place in the freezer for 8 hours until the chicken is frozen. Transfer to a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months. To defrost, allow to come to room temperature then re-heat as above.

Ingredient measurements

  • Please note that the US customary measurements for the ingredients provided are based on a conversion calculator. This recipe was tested with metric measurements and I recommend using a digital scale to weigh ingredients for the most accurate results.
  • READ MORE >>> Why you should always weigh vs measuring with cups

Nutrition Information

  • Please note that the nutrition information provided below is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. Please seek a professional nutritionist’s advice for further clarification.
  • The nutrition serving is for 1 serving, assuming you are portioning out the recipe into 4 servings.


Calories: 631kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 172mg | Sodium: 585mg | Potassium: 620mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 324IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg