Chicken strips don’t have to be those nasty, flavorless sticks you pull from the freezer. With a little bit of work, you can make fantastic chicken strips at home, usually much healthier and cheaper than those frozen alternatives.
This recipe came about many years ago when I still worked in a restaurant and was in charge of making lunch for everyone, and made a come back after a stomach churning experience at KFC that also led to this hot sauce recipe. This does take a little bit of time to prepare, and makes a bit of a mess, but its really worth doing.
The strips also freeze well, so you could just make a whole mess of them at once and keep frozen, ready to eat chicken strips on hand all the time. Compared to the frozen ones from the store, you know what goes into them, and using fresh ingredients adds actual flavor. This recipe calls for a tempura batter, but any good frying batter will work, I just went with tempura from past experience with it.
- 2 lbs of boneless chicken tenders
- 1 package of tempura batter
- 1.5 cups ICE cold water
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- cayenne pepper
- smoked paprika
- fresh cracked black pepper
- Peanut oil or equivalent
- Heat the oil in a thick pot to 350F, I go to 365 to help keep temp when adding food
- Mix the tempura batter in a bowl according to instructions
- Set up an assembly line in the kitchen while the oil is heating, chicken, batter, bread crumbs, oil, drying rack. This will make things easier as well as localize the mess
- When oil is up to temp, go take the chicken strips in order through batter, breadcrumbs, then oil
- Cook 4 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. If you aren't sure, check with a thermometer for 160F internal
- When cooked, remove chicken to a cooling rack. I lined to cookie sheet with newspaper to aid cleanup
- Eat immediately or serve
- I apologize I don’t have a picture plated, they never made it to a plate
- Thicker pieces will obviously take longer to cook. If anything seems questionable, use your thermometer
- The tempura batter isn’t very crunchy, but absorbs sauces well