You have probably tried the crispy chicken strips from popular fast-food chains. They taste amazing, and if you are a foodie, then you have probably wondered how to make them at home.
Even though most restaurants don’t share their recipe with everyone, I think that the recipe I am going to share with you down below is pretty close to their chicken tenders and you will end up with golden brown, juicy and full of flavor crispy chicken tenders, just like a restaurant cooked meal.
I am going to share with you the recipe and everything else you need to know to make homemade crispy chicken tenders.
Table of Contents
- 1 Tools You Need
- 2 How to Make Crispy Chicken Strips
- 3 Crispy Fried Chicken Strips Recipe
- 4 Crispy Baked Chicken Strips Recipe
- 5 The Difference Between Chicken Strips, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Fingers
- 6 Why Marinate using Buttermilk?
- 7 How to Keep Chicken Tenders Crispy after Frying
- 8 Should You Use Panko Breadcrumbs?
- 9 How to Make Spicy Fried Chicken Strips
My homemade chicken strips are made of boneless chicken breast, cut into strips, soaked in buttermilk and covered in several spices and ingredients to be full of flavor, just like the kinds you get at KFC or another fast food chain.
Tools You Need
To prepare this recipe, there is no need for any additional tools other than the basic kitchen utilities you use every day.
However, if you are not very experienced with frying, you may want to get a deep fryer, so you will have better control over the cooking temperature.
How to Make Crispy Chicken Strips
I am going to show you two different methods to make crispy chicken tenders. One method is by frying them, and the other one is by baking. You are free to use the method which fits better with your preferences.
For both recipes, I first marinade the chicken using the buttermilk mixture and other ingredients, then I start the cooking process. Read more the recipes card below for each cooking method instructions.
Crispy Fried Chicken Strips Recipe
This fried chicken strips recipe was originally published on the DinnerThenDessert blog. After I tried it, they came out super delicious, and I decided to share with my readers.
(Servings: 16 People - Preparation Time: 40 Min - Cook Time: 20 Min)
Crispy Baked Chicken Strips Recipe
(Servings: 8 People - Preparation Time: 20 Min - Cook Time: 28 Min)
Marinade the Chicken
Baking Chicken Strips
The Difference Between Chicken Strips, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Fingers
These three chicken recipes are often confusing for many people. Basically, they are all chicken breasts strips coated and fried. In detail, here are the differences between them:
Why Marinate using Buttermilk?
The usage of buttermilk as marinade is recommended because it acts as a tenderizer, making the chicken juicy. Just leaving the chicken for half an hour in buttermilk will enhance the flavor and make the meat juicier. Also, it acts as a binding agent for the first coat of seasoning.
In a few words, buttermilk:
- Is slightly acidic, tenderizing the chicken breasts.
- Helps adding the herbs and spices to create a juicy and a well-seasoned interior.
- Adheres to the chicken better, allowing more crust to stick to the chicken.
How to Keep Chicken Tenders Crispy after Frying
A lot of people find it difficult to keep the chicken tenders crispy after frying. This is due to several mistakes they do.
Once you finish frying, you can place the meat on a baking sheet and put into the oven on Low setting at 250 degrees. This will keep the chicken warm while they still stay juicy and crispy on the outside.
If you are worried if the extra heat will dry them out, then it will only happen if you leave them for hours.
Also, don’t cover the cooked chicken strips with anything as it will create steam inside and will ruin the crispiness.
Should You Use Panko Breadcrumbs?
When making baked chicken strips, you can use breadcrumbs instead of flour to cover the meat. When using breadcrumbs, the meat gets more texture and crunch.
If you are planning to fry the strips, when using breadcrumbs, it will be more rich in fat (saturated fat) as the breadcrumbs tend to absorb more fat from frying than flour based coating.
How to Make Spicy Fried Chicken Strips
If you want to make spicy chicken strips, you can use 1 Tablespoon of chipotle powder or any other spicy powder you prefer. On the upper recipe card, I originally stated to add 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder. That is enough only for flavor and doesn’t make the crust spicy. Increase that to 1 Tablespoon on the buttermilk marinade and 1-2 teaspoon to the Panko mixture. This will make your chicken strips into spicy ones.