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Wingin’ It: Popcorn Chicken & Coconut Buffalo Sauce for the AFC Championship game vs. Kansas City

Big-time snacks for a big-time game

Where there’s football, there’s food. There are many great options in the category of “traditional fare” but you might be in the mood for something different. Wingin’ It has you covered with a new Buffalo sauce-inspired recipe every week of the Buffalo Bills’ season. Get ready to win big in your kitchen as the Bills get ready for Kansas City!


Popcorn chicken and coconut sauce

You might be asking: What does popcorn chicken and coconut buffalo sauce have to do with Kansas City? Not a damn thing as far as I know. And while coconuts don’t migrate, they could be carried to Missouri. Perhaps by an African swallow. Anyway, remember this year I wasn’t going to abide by the normal rules and this just sounded good so here we are.

Popcorn Chicken & Coconut Buffalo Sauce

Serves: 4-6
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 30 min

Popcorn chicken Ingredients

2 cups flour
3 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp black pepper
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp water
1 lb chicken, chopped into half-inch or smaller pieces
Vegetable oil

Sauce ingredients
1⁄2 cup hot sauce
1 can (5.4 oz) coconut cream
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Make Popcorn Chicken: Combine flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in large, flat container like a pie dish or cake pan.
  2. Whisk together eggs and water in a similar container/dish.
  3. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, then egg mixture, then flour mixture again and set aside.
  4. Pour vegetable oil to about one-half-inch depth in a large sauté pan.
  5. Heat oil on MED/HIGH and test with one drop of water* in center of pan for correct heat.
  6. Carefully add chicken in batches to oil and fry until golden brown, about 5-6 min, turning at least once. Carefully remove chicken; set aside.
  7. Make Coconut Buffalo Sauce: Combine hot sauce, entire can of coconut cream, and brown sugar in a medium sauce pan on MED.
  8. Reduce sauce about 10 min or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in butter.

Wingin’ It Tips

*NO MORE THAN ONE DROP! The oil should crackle and then percolate if the oil is ready


BONUS thing! Skewers with bacon!

Popcorn chicken and coconut sauce

To go the extra mile, once the chicken is done you can create skewers like I did. You may have noticed that there are tater puffs alternating with the chicken and the whole thing is surrounded with bacon.

Cook the chicken and puffs first (puffs according to package). Then, using one 12-oz pkg uncooked bacon to yield 12 skewers—or two 12-oz pkgs to double the yield—prepare skewers as you see in the above photo. I baked mine at 400ºF for about 45 min, turning the skewers every 15 min. The extra mass around the bacon increases the cooking time. Don’t worry about the puffs and chicken, the bacon fat will keep them from overcooking.

(Editor’s note: I’m here for all of this. Because, bacon.)