In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and garlic powder.
Pour the buttermilk into a separate bowl and the panko crumbs onto a plate.
Dredge a piece of chicken into the flour mixture until evenly coated then dip in buttermilk, letting excess drip off. Lastly, roll in panko bread crumbs until evenly coated. Transfer to a platter.
Preheat 1-inch of oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Adjust the heat to keep the oil at 350˚F. Fry the popcorn chicken in small batches, leaving space between each piece and flipping as needed.
Fry until golden brown and 165˚F at the deepest part of the chicken on a thermometer.
Remove the popcorn chicken from the oil and let it rest on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce! ENJOY