These air fryer buffalo chicken bites are a healthier and easier alternative to your favorite buffalo chicken wings. Serve them with a blue cheese sauce and celery sticks. A perfect appetizer for a crowd!
Buffalo Chicken Bites
We all know and love the spicy, vinegary zing of great buffalo wings. But sometimes you don’t want to deep-fry your wings. Maybe you’re cutting calories, or you don’t feel like something as dense as deep-fried food. What are you to do?
Well, you can take a look at this awesome recipe for buffalo chicken bites! It’s actually healthier than typical buffalo wings, and it’s easier to make as well. We even think it tastes better, but we’ll let you be the judge of your own cooking.
What is Buffalo Chicken?
Something that has long confused visitors to the United States is the phrase “buffalo wings”. Buffalo, after all, are huge mammals. They don’t have wings, right? So what gives?
The term “Buffalo”, as we’re using it here, actually refers to Buffalo, New York, not the American bison. Buffalo wings, chicken wings either cooked, dipped, or marinated in buffalo sauce, supposedly trace their origins, like the sauce, to this part of New York state.
Typically, Buffalo wings are deep-fried without batter, tossed in a sauce, and served with a cheese dressing and celery sticks. The sauce is usually some type of hot sauce mixed with butter, and the classic cheese dressing is blue cheese. Chicken wings became a popular bar food because it’s easy to make large quantities to share with your friends and family.
Here, we’re riffing on this classic, and making some tangy, zesty buffalo bites. You can make your own chicken treats at home, miss the mess, and keep it pretty healthy, too.
Why We Love Boneless Wings
These buffalo bites aren’t deep fried. That means that some buffalo wing purists will claim that they aren’t authentic enough, but we say these are delicious enough to make up for it. These contain all the classic buffalo wings flavors with less mess, easier cooking, and even easier eating. How?
Just as the majestic American buffalo has no wings, we’re using bite-sized chunks of boneless chicken breast rather than a bone-in chicken wing to make this recipe. Why is that?
- First of all, there’s no skin. Traditional chicken wings taste best with the skin on, but the skin tastes best because it’s chock full of saturated fats. Here, we’re reducing the calories and lowering the saturated fat content by going skinless.
- Secondly, we’re not deep-frying chicken breast here. We’ll be quickly sauteeing our breast bites in olive oil to keep things from getting too messy, make it a little bit healthier, and still give you satisfyingly crispy chicken bites.
- Finally, with no bones, there’s less to worry about cleaning up. The chicken breast pieces are all meat, so there’s no annoying chicken bones left over to throw in the bin, and your guests can simply put the whole chicken bite in their mouth.
You will need a few simple ingredients to make this fantastic chicken dish.
How To Make Buffalo Chicken Bites
So these low-carb chicken bites are awesome for those on a diet, and they taste good enough that those who aren’t won’t suspect a thing! They’re also just as easy to make as they are to eat, and the simple, quick preparation minimizes mess as well. You won’t be deep-frying anything or using a batter, so that removed the pesky deep-cleaning that often follows a deep-frying session. As we mentioned before, with no bones, there’s nothing to clean up except the bowl you serve these little bites in!
- Combine chicken and olive oil in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the mixture to the chicken and toss until evenly coated.
- Arrange the chicken in the air fryer basket and air fry at 390°F |200°C for 9-10 minutes. After 6 minutes, open the air fryer and flip the chicken.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, remove from heat, and make up your buffalo sauce. We’ll be using a mixture of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce and butter. Stir your chicken bites in this mixture until they’re generously coated in the sauce, which should be an attractive shade of red and quite aromatic.
- Last of all, you serve them up! As sides, serve up with blue cheese dressing and some celery sticks for the palate-cleansing crunch we all love.
Tools You’ll Need
You’ll need an air fryer. We love our Instant Vortex Air Fryer.
Tongs are very helpful for turning and tossing your buffalo chicken while it cooks.
Use a wooden spoon to coat your chicken bites in the buffalo sauce.
- While we often recommend the use of a meat thermometer to check the doneness of your chicken, in this instance because there’s a large quantity of small chicken pieces, that’s not very helpful. Instead, you can simply cut through one of your chicken pieces - preferably a larger one - to see if it’s cooked through.
- Try to make sure your pieces of chicken are uniform in size and shape so they all cook evenly.
- If you have a medium-sized air fryer, we highly recommend cooking your chicken in batches so as not to overcrowd the basket. You want enough space between each bit of chicken so they aren’t touching one another. This can make the bites stick to each other and prevent them from cooking evenly, so we recommend that you prioritize quality over time if need be. These little bites don’t need long to cook, so your first batch won’t cool down too much while waiting for the second, and they all go back into the pan on low heat with the sauce anyway, so your chicken will all be served at a similar temperature.
More Air Fryer Recipes
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