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Popcorn Chicken with White Cheddar Popcorn & Buffalo Ranch Dipping Sauce

Popcorn Chicken with White Cheddar Popcorn & Buffalo Ranch Dipping Sauce



  • 2 lb. chicken tenders

  • 2 quarts canola oil, for frying

  • 1 cup flour

  • ½ cup cornmeal

  • 3 tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

  • 1 tbsp. sugar

  • 2 tsp. dried lemon peel or finely grated lemon zest

  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper or other ground hot chile powder

  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • 1 tsp. hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot

  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh dill and chives, for garnish


  • 1 bag (8 1/2 oz.) white cheddar popcorn

  • 1 tbsp. dried dill

  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic

  • 1 tbsp. granulated onion

  • 1 tsp. celery seed

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup (combined) finely chopped dill, flat-leaf parsley, and chives

  • ¼ cup hot sauce, such as Frank’s RedHot

  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, grated

  • Salt and pepper


  • Step 1

    Cut each chicken tender crosswise into three pieces. Fill a deep pot with 3 1/2 to 4 inches of oil and heat to 350° (medium to medium-high heat). 

  • Step 2

    In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, sugar, lemon peel, cayenne, and salt. Pour half of the flour mixture into a large resealable plastic bag; add the chicken and shake to coat.

  • Step 3

    In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and hot sauce. Shake the excess flour off the chicken. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, then coat in the flour mixture left in the bowl. Working in batches, fry the chicken until the outside is deep golden brown and the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. 

  • Step 4

    In a large bowl, toss the popcorn with the dill and spices. 

  • Step 5

    In a small bowl, mix all of the sauce ingredients until combined. 

  • Step 6

    Add the chicken to the bowl with the popcorn; toss. Top with the 1/2 cup dill and chives. Serve with the sauce.