Fried chicken strips are one of a restaurants most popular items. Serve them as an appetizer or as a meal for lunch or dinner with a delicious side. The ultimate kid-friendly recipe.
To say that my kids, especially my oldest, LOVES chicken strips is an understatement. It is his menu item of choice when dining out and I would suspect that’s the case for thousands of kids.
You may know them as chicken tenders or chicken finger or chicken strips. Whatever you or your kids call them, this recipe is for you.
This recipe took me a few tries to tweak it but it was well worth the practice and trial and error. Plus my family got to be the taste testers each time.
I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe. You can certainly use the chicken tenders instead. I find they are a bit more pricey and the boneless, skinless chicken works just as well.
Slice it into strips and even cut longer ones in half so they are more manageable in the oil.
This is a fried chicken tender recipe without buttermilk. I know many think buttermilk tenderizes chicken and I agree but it’s really not necessary for this recipe.
We like using a honey mustard for dipping but my classic blue cheese or ranch dressing will also be delicious.
What sides go with chicken strips?
My kids like a variety of sides. They kind of look at the meal as picnic food. For a more casual type of meal try:
- Fried Onion Strings
- Bacon Egg Potato Salad from The Baking Fairy
- Macaroni Salad from Books and Cooks
- Creamy Coleslaw
- Potato Chips from Daily Dish Recipes
Tips for making the best chicken tenders
- Season both the chicken and the flour with salt and pepper.
- DO NOT skip dredging in flour twice.
- DO NOT skip on letting the chicken strips rest before frying.
- Check your oil temperature by sprinkling a bit of flour in the oil. If it bubbles, it’s ready, if not, patience.
- Use a neutral oil like canola or vegetable.
- Drain the chicken tenders on a wire rack, not a paper towel. You’ll compromise crispiness.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips then strips cut in half, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- Canola (or vegetable) oil for frying
- In a Dutch oven place enough oil for frying.
- Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. You will need two of these.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs with water. In a separate shallow bowl combine flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
- Dip chicken strips in flour, then egg letting excess liquid drip off, then back in flour. Place on prepared baking rack and let stand for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Heat oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F. Test oil by sprinkling a bit of flour in it. If it sizzles, it's ready.
- Working in batches, add a few strips at a time, 3 -5 depending on the size of your pan, fry until golden and cooked through.
- Remove from oil and drain on second prepared baking rack. Serve warm with dipping sauces if desired.