Luke Hines’ Popcorn Chicken with Avo and Macadamia Salsa

Who doesn’t love the crunch of crispy popcorn-style chicken? We sure do! And with this healthy version we can still enjoy the crunch and flavour without any of the unnecessary nasties.


  • 2 tbs white chia seeds
  • 2 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbs almond meal
  • 1 tbs arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 600 g chicken thigh fillets, roughly cut into thumb-sized pieces
  • 3 tbs coconut oil, melted

For the macadamia and avocado salsa

  • 80g (1/2 cup) toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 bunch of basil leaves, stalks removed


Step 1.
Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2.
In a large bowl, mix together the chia seeds, desiccated coconut, almond meal and arrowroot flour with the dried chilli flakes, paprika and a little salt and pepper until well combined.

Step 3.
Coat the chicken pieces in the beaten egg white and then toss them in the coating ingredients until really well covered. (It’s best to do this in two or three batches to ensure you get an even consistency.)

Step 4.
Arrange the coated chicken pieces on your prepared baking tray in a single layer and drizzle with the coconut oil. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until golden brown, crispy and cooked through.

Step 5.
Meanwhile, prepare your avocado salsa by pulsing all the ingredients together in a food processor until well combined.

Step 6.
Serve your chicken and salsa side by side so you can dip your pieces into your salsa and enjoy together.

Serves 4


eat clean luke hines Extract from 
Eat Clean by Luke Hines.
Available now. Published by Pan Macmillan. Go to Booktopia to purchase.

Originally published on 22 August 2020.