Crispy, fried, battered chicken tossed in your favourite prepared barbecue sauce, Boneless Chicken Bites are a perfect party food. Serve with fresh veggies, dip, and lots of toothpicks. There’s no need to get your fingers dirty here!
When it comes to finger foods and appetizers for game day or any other get together, nothing beats Boneless Chicken Bites! Then again, who could resist these Homemade Mozzarella Sticks, or these Baked Cauliflower Bites? And, when it comes to these types of chicken recipes, I have a lot for you to drool over. You can find them right here.
BONELESS CHICKEN BITES
This is one of those recipes that I make just for myself. Whenever I find myself at home alone, especially at mealtime, I’ll make something just like this. My partner, John.e, is a vegetarian, so that’s one reason to prepare this dish when he’s away.
Secondly, my daughter, McKenna, is very plain when it comes to food. If she’s going to eat chicken, she prefers to have chicken legs that are baked with just some salt and pepper. She’s not a huge fan of sauces. Unless it’s gravy. I swear, she could drink gravy!
I’m the complete opposite. I absolutely love sauces of all types. In fact, I’m like that old lady in the Franks Red Hot commercials – sauce on everything! Our fridge is never void of ketchup, barbecue sauces, spicy Asian sauces, and a few homemade sauces too, like this 10 Minute Teriyaki Sauce, or my Sweet and Sour Sauce.
HERE’S SOME OF WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE BONELESS CHICKEN BITES:
- Chicken – You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Since breast meat cooks much faster than thigh meat, cut the breast a little larger to avoid overcooking and drying out the meat. I prefer thigh meat, not only because I prefer dark meat in general, but because it just has more flavour. And, it’s cheaper too! Three average chicken breasts would be equivalent to the amount of thighs used in the recipe card below.
- Cornstarch – The cornstarch is mixed with flour in this recipe. It helps to get a lighter, yet crispier coating on the chicken.
- Barbecue Sauce – Use your favourite prepared sauce for this recipe. Or you can make your own if you wish. I have a great Red Currant Barbecue Sauce, and also a Sugar Free Barbecue Sauce that would work really well on these Boneless Chicken Bites!
- Vegetable Oil – Optimum frying temperature for chicken is 350 degrees F. You can use vegetable lard or peanut oil as well.
HOW TO MAKE BONELESS CHICKEN BITES:
This recipe couldn’t get any easier! Depending on how experienced you are with preparing the chicken and the batter, you could be eating this chicken in about 30 minutes! Here’s how I did it:
- Cut the chicken and get it into a large bowl.
- Whisk the egg. Pour it over the chicken and toss well to coat every single piece.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Transfer the flour mixture to the chicken and stir until evenly coated and distributed. Set aside.
- Add the oil to a large pot and bring it to 350 degrees F.
- Fry chicken in batches.
- Toss with sauce and serve!
TIPS AND TRICKS:
The most important thing you can do is make sure the oil is as close to 350 degrees F as you can possibly get it. If you have any doubts, I highly recommend you use a cooking thermometer. I have one like this. It clips to the side of the pot and you can adjust the heat accordingly to keep the temperature in check.
If the oil is too hot, the batter will darken much too quickly and might leave the inside, meaning the chicken, not properly cooked all the way through. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will sink to the bottom of the pot, some of the batter will soak off, and what’s left will be soggy and oily.
Don’t overcrowd the pot. Fry the chicken in batches. Adding too much chicken will cause the chicken to clump together, and it will also drop the temperature of the oil.
Lastly, get a sheet pan and place a wire cooling rack on top. Place it in your oven and heat the oven to 200 degrees F. When finished frying the first batch, place the chicken on the hot wire cooling rack and pop it back into the oven. Do not pile the chicken; spread it out so that it’s not overlapping. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy while you fry the next batch.
PREPARING THE RECIPE AHEAD OF TIME:
Can you prepare Boneless Chicken Bites ahead of time? Yes, you most certainly can! The chicken can be tossed with the egg and the flour mixture, tightly covered, and refrigerated overnight. Or you can prepare it before you leave for work in the morning.
Just one thing, it will take about five minutes for the oil to get hot enough, but you shouldn’t add fridge-cold chicken to it. Remove the chicken from fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before you start to fry.
There’s not much else that can be prepared ahead of time. This recipe uses store-bought barbecue sauce. Of course, if you opted to make your own sauce, that can certainly be prepared ahead of time too!
SERVE IT UP PUB STYLE!
Besides the delicious chicken itself, my favourite thing about this recipe is getting to eat it with skewers. I found some wooden skewers that were much thicker and longer than a toothpick at the dollar store. They are perfect for sticking into the chicken.
Hey, if I can keep my fingers clean and not have another thing to wash up, I’m all in! Stick a bunch of the skewers (or toothpicks) into a small jar and place it next to the platter of chicken.
And, in true pub style, don’t forget the celery and carrot sticks! I like to serve those with a ranch dip. You can use blue cheese or whatever dip you want. I’m not much of a fan of blue cheese, so ranch it is for me! Now, who’s ready for some Boneless Chicken Bites!?
Boneless Chicken Bites
For the Chicken:
- 10-12 large boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into one inch pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- vegetable oil for frying
For the Chicken:
- Place the prepared chicken in a large bowl. Pour over the beaten egg and stir until the chicken is well coated.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add to the chicken and toss to coat. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add enough vegetable oil so that there is at least 3 inches of oil. Over medium-high heat, bring the oil to optimum frying temperature which is 350°F.
- Fry the chicken in batches. Don't overcrowd the pot. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil and place on a sheet pan lined with a wire cooling rack to drain.
- When the chicken is done, set in a pre-heated 250°F oven to stay warm.
- After all of the chicken is fried, add the barbecue sauce to a large skillet and warm the sauce over medium heat until heated thoroughly.
- Add the chicken and toss well to coat in the sauce.
- Plate and garnish. Serve immediately.