Crispy Chicken Strips

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.

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 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)

  • 4 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Tsp Hot Sauce
  • 2 Large Beaten Eggs
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¾ Tsp Pepper
  • 1/8 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/8 Baking Powder


  • After you make sure that there is no bone in the meat, start cutting them into evenly shaped strips.
  • Then, take one large bowl and soak them all with the buttermilk and the hot sauce for around 30 minutes.
  • While you leave the chicken for marinating, take two other bowls and add the eggs into one and the flour and spices into the other.
  • After 30 minutes have passed, take one piece of chicken from the buttermilk mixture and put it into the flour mixture.
  • After the flour dipping, dip it into the egg mixture and then again into the flour mixture.
  • Then, shake any excess flour from the chicken and place the strips into a sheet. Repeat the same step with all the strips.
  • Now, heat the oil (It should be around 3 inches deep) in a frying pan on medium heat to 350°F.
  • After the oil has reached the recommended temperature, fry the strips in small batches for around 5-7 minutes each, until they become golden brown on the outside.

Crispy Baked Chicken Strips Recipe


Image by: Sugarlaws


(Servings: 8 People - Preparation Time: 20 Min - Cook Time: 28 Min)

For Marinade

  • 32 Oz Buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 8 Garlic Cloves (Preferably Minced)
  • 2 Tsp Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Chipotle Powder
  • 1 Medium Cut-into-Strips Brown Onion

For Coating

  • 8 Oz Italian Style Panko
  • 1 Cup Parmesan (Grated)
  • 1 ½ Tsp Salt


Marinade the Chicken

  • First, start by preparing the marinade. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and set aside.
  • Get the chicken breast and make sure there is no bone. Cut it into long, even shape strips.
  • After you are done, lay the strips into a large pan and pour the marinade mixture over them. Stir gently to make sure that the marinade has reached the chicken from all sides.
  • After the marinade is evenly distributed across all the strips, put the pan in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours to marinate.

Baking Chicken Strips

  • Start by preheating the oven at 400°F.
  • Then, place Only Panko onto a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for around 8 minutes or until it becomes golden brown. This steps will create a super crust but be careful as Panko can burn quickly.
  • Remove the Panko from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Now, add the Panko, parmesan, and salt to a shallow dish and mix them well.
  • Take the marinated chicken strips and dip them into the Panko mixture, turning several times and making sure the mixture covers their surface completely.
  • Place the covered chicken strips carefully on a wire rack on top of a cookie or baking sheet and bake them at 400°F for around 20-25 Minutes.

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:

  • Chicken Tenders come from the underside of the breast and are extremely tender. They are recommended to marinate for around 1 hour due to their high tenderness. They taste exactly like the breast meat.
  • Chicken Strips are long strips of chicken breasts, covered in bread and then fried or bakes.
  • Chicken Fingers are a fun name which has been applied to both chicken tenders and chicken strips from restaurants. When you order one at a restaurant, there is a 50% chance that they are Chicken Tenders.

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.
  • 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.

About Kendrick

Kendrick is an outdoor cooking enthusiast, living in Kansas. He loves to share his passion about outdoor cooking with everyone on various Social Media platforms (Read More)

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