I am breaking my rule, just for this chicken tenders. I still favor baked over fried, just to be clear. But there were days that I really miss eating the commercialize crispy and tender fried chicken. Last week, that craving took over me and I gave in. I went on what I called my weekend chicken hunt and went out to go to a chicken restaurant. You can just imagine how much I had been craving for it for me to actually go out of my way and have it as part of my itinerary for that day. How difficuly it is to find a good quality crispy fried chicken? It shouldn’t be that hard, right? I thought so, until I went home disappointed and still not satisfied. Well, enough of that chicken hunt, I decided to put the matters to my own hand and made one for myself. Homemade crispy, tender and not greasy fried chicken, now that was what I had in mind.
This chicken tenders are very flavorful, not too greasy and most especially, very crispy. Just the way I like it, now the chicken hunt is finally over. I paired this with my Homemade Mashed Potato and it was so good! Definitely better than take-out. The joys of home cooking! Let me show you my trick on how to do that. Let’s get started!
- 1 Chicken breast – bone removed and cut into strips
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3/4 tsp chili flakes
- 3/4 tsp curry powder – optional
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 -1/2 cup oil
Note: Adjust seasonings as desired. I like hot and spicy tenders so I added variation of peppers.
Tips for crispy and crunchy chicken:
- Coat, Dip, Coat, Dip: Don’t go easy on the dipping and coating. Coat the chicken as much flour as possible. The flour coating is one of the key to having a crunchy chicken tenders.
- Season well: Don’t be scared to add more seasonings than usual. You need the flour mixture to have enough seasonings as this is the main source of the taste for the chicken. Add less and you will end up having a bland chicken. I always try to add the seasonings gradually and test small piece of chicken to fry. This way I know I have the flavor I am aiming for before cooking the entire batch.
- No over frying: 30 seconds – 1 minute will do the job if your pan is pre-heated. You just need the coating to clump together and have a slightly brown color. Over frying will result to dry chicken tender as there is still another step of baking it to finish the cooking.
- Let it drip: Use of wire-rack is very important as this will allow the oil to drip without the chicken absorbing the oil. So do not be tempted to just arrange the chicken in a pan as this will make some part of the chicken tenders soggy.
- Do not over crowd: No over crowding please. Leave spaces between strips to allow the heat to fully cook and reach all sides of the chicken.
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Heat a deep pan with flavorless oil.
- Cut chicken into strips, about 5 – 6 strips then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix all-purpose flour and all spices.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.
- Dip and Coat: One at a time, dip chicken strips into the egg mixture, then roll it in the flour mixture, repeat 2 times ending with chicken rolled in flour. Make sure to cover the entire chicken with flour.
- Frying: Drop the chicken in the heated pan (medium heat) with oil and cook until the color turns slightly brown (about 30 seconds – 1 minute). It is important that the oil is hot so that the flour coating turns brown easily. The intention is to slightly cook only the outer coating. If you have a small pan, do few strip at a time to avoid over crowding. Set aside each partially cooked strips in a plate with paper towel or in a wire rack to allow the oil to drip.
- Place the chicken in a wire-rack with a pan underneath and transfer it in the oven to finish cooking, about 25-30 minutes or until it turns brown and crispy. Leave spaces between strips to allow even baking. It is very important to have the chicken in wire-rack as this will allow the oil to drip freely while it bakes without the chicken absorbing the oil. You will be surprise to see how much oil it will drain from the chicken. This will result in a crispy and not greasy chicken tenders. Now you know my secret 🙂
Serve while hot and crispy. Left over can be stored and freeze. Re-heat in the oven or toaster for 10-15 minutes.
Try it and let me know how it goes. Feel free to share this recipe and let’s get the community home cooking!♥