Oven Fried Cajun Popcorn Chicken (with Creamy Honey Mustard)
Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest has totally nailed baked, crunchy, perfect chicken bites – and the sauce! – the sauce is to die for. When I buy a large pack of chicken breasts I will cut up and label different amounts for different future meals…in this case, 2 pounds in 1 or 2-inch cubes. I promise that once the chicken is prepped, the rest is really quite quick and completely possible for a weeknight dinner – enjoy!
2 lbs. boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 c. corn flakes, finely crushed
2 T. EACH flour AND Cajun seasoning
1/2 c. finely grated old cheddar
olive oil to spray or brush on before baking AND freshly ground pepper
Creamy Honey Mustard Sauce
1/4 c. EACH Dijon, honey AND sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
2 T. olive oil
juice from 1/2 a lemon AND 1 T. Cajun seasoning
1/4 t. cayenne
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper – to taste
Add the chicken and buttermilk to a large freezer Ziploc or bowl and toss to coat. Preheat the oven to 425, line a large baking sheet with parchment and in a shallow, medium-sized bowl, combine the corn flakes, flour, Cajun seasoning and cheddar.
Individually take out each piece of chicken and dredge thoroughly in the corn flake mix, pressing them in to get as much coating to stick as possible, then place on your prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all of the chicken is done – I use a large half sheet so all of the chicken fits without touching, but you don’t want to crowd it, use 2 baking sheets if you need to.
Lightly brush or spray all of the chicken with olive oil then cover all with a good grinding of pepper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature of the large pieces is 165 degrees.
As the chicken is baking, whisk together the sauce ingredients and taste for seasonings – it will be a bit zippy! Serve the chicken as you wish with the sauce on the side and I’d be shocked if there was any left over!