How long: 15-18 minutes at 400ºF (baking) plus 2 hours inactive prep for brining
Bring the soulful flavors of Vietnam to party food with an appetizer that hits every note. A kosher salt brine seals in juices, keeping chicken tender and flaky as it bakes. For an aromatic twist, add lemongrass stalks to the baking pan and remove as you would Bay leaves. Feeling saucy? Serve with a spread of dipping sauces ("nước chấm”) like seasoned fish sauce or hoisin. Download recipe as PDF.
Fun to salt with—and equally intriguing to the tastebuds—kosher salt is considered by chefs to be more than a salt, but a fundamental ingredient and avenue for flavor. Its flat, airy flakes adhere to foods easily to bring out the best in most any dish. Let’s cook.
Featuring Kosher Salt
For the brine:
2 Tbsp Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt
8 cups cold water
2 tsp seasoning such as chili powder
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
For the coating:
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 eggs + 1/3 cup coconut milk, beaten
3 cups gluten-free or regular panko crumbs, seasoned with black pepper and Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt
For DIY sweet chili sauce (spicy!):
2 Fresno chilies
½ cup water
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tsp coconut aminos, g.f. soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp cane sugar
1 garlic clove
2 tsp cornstarch
Make brine by heating Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt and water on stovetop until salt dissolves (add spices, if using). Cool brining liquid to room temperature and pour over whole chicken breasts in a large bowl. Cover bowl and chill 2 hours or overnight.
Drain chicken, pat dry and cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with cornstarch in a zip-top bag.
Dredge chicken in egg-milk mixture, then dunk into panko crumbs.
Bake 15-18 minutes on a greased baking sheet, until crispy.
Garnish with toppings like cilantro, green onion, hot peppers, mint and a lime squeeze. Serve with sweet chili or your favorite sauce.
Pssst: Some Tips
- Before baking popcorn chicken, scatter lemongrass stalks (with outer stalk removed) on the pan for extra aroma. Remove before serving.