Popcorn Chicken Thighs with Green Salad

Popcorn Chicken Thighs with Green Salad

Topped with crunchy fried chicken and a creamy homemade dressing, this might just be our favorite way to eat a salad.

Popcorn Chicken Thighs with Green Salad
Makes 4 to 6 Servings
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups pickle juice
  • ¾ cup whole buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 (5-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 head fresh butter lettuce, torn
  • 1 cup chopped English cucumber
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken and pickle juice. Cover and refrigerate overnight or 24 hours. Drain chicken, discarding pickle juice.
  2. In a shallow dish, whisk together buttermilk and egg. In another shallow dish, whisk together flour, salt, onion powder, paprika, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper.
  3. In a Dutch oven, pour oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.
  4. Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, letting excess drip off. Dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess.
  5. Working in batches, if necessary, fry chicken until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  6. In a large bowl, combine spinach, lettuce, cucumber, and green onion.
  7. In the container of a blender, combine lemon juice, vinegar, parsley, tarragon, dill, salt, and remaining ½ teaspoon black pepper; process until smooth. Add mayonnaise; process until just combined. Drizzle dressing over spinach mixture. Top with chicken, and garnish with dill, if desired. Serve immediately.



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