Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Crispy Chicken Strips

One of R's biggest complaints is that she can't have any restaurant or store bought breaded chicken products.  I haven't found one yet that has good ingredients.  There is an awesome new restaurant nearby that caters to most food allergies - they even set up a special card for each customer.  They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free and do their level best to accommodate  many others.  It's called Graces 5 and was a wonderful lunch out when we went.  R absolutely adored the satay style chicken skewers she ordered, not only because it was chicken she could actually have but also because it was delicious.  It is definitely not an inexpensive place but our server and the food was absolutely wonderful.  Fortunately homemade is not that difficult.  I've tried Pioneer Woman's recipe and aside from having to make a homemade Lawry's blend, it was fabulous.  This time I cobbled together my own recipe and it was super crispy and the breading seemed to stick to the chicken better too.  I also found out that you can not only dip in egg but buttermilk as well.  (I ran out of egg and didn't feel like cracking another one, so I used some buttermilk instead.)  I was pleased to receive positive comparative reviews from hubby on the rest of the batch that I had frozen and cooked up the next week.  He bought a box of chicken strips from his standard fast food place and remarked that they were disappointing and mine had more flavor and better breading.  And R waxes poetic about our homemade strips, which always makes me feel good.  ☺  I think for batches that I intend to freeze, I may stick to buttermilk or mostly buttermilk for the liquid dip portion since freezing tends to make egg a wee bit rubbery when cooked.  Interestingly, the panko bread crumbs I found had dextrose (corn) in the plain crumbs but not in the italian herb and parmesan flavor.  That meant I had to use the flavored crumbs but they turned out great.  If I can find plain without the bad ingredients, I will probably come up with different seasoning options for variety.

Notes:  If you are a big fan of the crispy breading you can double bread these, which I did this time.  We found out that the panko is so nice and crispy that one layer will suffice.  You can judge how much coating you want on yours to personal preference - if you tend to "debread" commercial strips, one layer will suffice.

Crispy Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
serves 6-8

2 pounds chicken breasts (that was three breasts for us)
1 cup flour
pinch garlic powder
pinch onion powder
3-4 large eggs or 1 cup buttermilk (if you are double breading you may need the extra egg)
2 cups panko bread crumbs (seasoned or plain)
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
refined coconut oil (for frying - no coconut smell or flavor; gives a super crispy fry and is a healthful oil)

(If using plain panko add a tsp each of garlic powder and lemon pepper to both the flour and the panko crumbs, plus a pinch of cayenne if desired)

Honey mustard sauce:
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp lemon juice
sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut the chicken breasts into long tender sized strips.  Season well with sea salt and pepper. 

Mix onion and garlic powder into flour.  Dredge the strips in flour.  Then dip in the egg or buttermilk and finally the panko crumbs. 

That's my messy kitchen version of mise en place. 

Let the prepared strips sit on a rack or plate for 10 minutes to allow the coating to set.  (You can freeze a portion after this point, this batch made enough to feed our family of four twice.)

You can see three lighter colored strips - those are the ones
I dipped in buttermilk.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, fry the strips in batches for 3-4 minutes a side until golden brown.  You can cook from frozen but the strips will need a little more oil and slightly longer cook time as well as flipping a few times.

(I love that the coconut oil doesn't turn brown and get full
of burned bits.)

I like to turn the oven on to warm and put the finished strips on paper towels on a rack in there so we can all eat at the same time.

Serve warm with desired sauce:  honey mustard, ketchup or barbeque.  A side of baked or home fries always goes over well too!  To make the honey mustard sauce, just stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and serve along side.

1 comment:

  1. These strips looks great. I love doing this kind of treat at home, and knowing exactly what we are eating!


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