THE BEST HOMEMADE CHICKEN STRIPS EVER

These Homemade Chicken Strips are tender, juicy & flavorful. Easy to make at home as I share 2 tips on how to take chicken tenders from good to great!

I’ve made homemade chicken strips many, many times over the years but until recently, they’ve just been mediocre. There are 2 small things you can do that really take homemade chicken up a notch or twelve. Add in some homemade fry sauce and you’ve got yourself an incredible batch of tender, juicy chicken! To show you the process, I created a video for this recipe, so be sure to scroll to view it!

The BEST Homemade Chicken Strips Ever - Butter With A Side of Bread  These Homemade Chicken Strips are tender, juicy & flavorful. Easy to make at home as I share 2 tips on how to take chicken tenders from good to great!The BEST Homemade Chicken Strips

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Coating:

  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (or Italian)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt or garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shortening or oil, for frying (omit if baking)
  1. The BEST Homemade Chicken Strips Ever - Butter With A Side of BreadTo cut chicken into strips: This is one of the tips behind better chicken strips! To get a more tender strip, you need to cut against the grain of the chicken. Don’t just cut the chicken any way you like- notice where the grain lines are and be sure to cut opposite them. This makes the cooked fibers of the chicken shorter, so they tear apart easier. Cut strips as big or small as you’d like, just cut against the grain! Place chicken in a ziplock bag and set aside.
  2. Next, combine milk, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
  3. Whisk in the cornstarch. This is the 2nd tip I use to make better chicken! I first noticed asian recipes calling for cornstarch in the marinade. When I researched it, it turns out adding cornstarch to chicken prior to cooking it gives it a protective coating that locks in juices. You know what?! It works! It’s amazing actually! The trick is to not let it marinate for too long.
  4. Add in the hot sauce (feel free to add more if you’d like!) and the pepper and whisk to combine. Pour marinade in the ziplock with the chicken and gently shake until chicken is coated. Place bag in the fridge and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour.
  5. Heat about 2 cups of oil to 365 degrees in a frying pan. Frying the chicken in Crisco (plain shortening) yields the crispiest tenders!
  6. While the oil is heating, combine all ingredients for the coating in a shallow bowl. Remove chicken pieces from bag a few at a time and thoroughly coat them in the breadcrumb mixture. I like to place them in the breadcrumbs, then spoon some on the top of the chicken, then press the chicken down- then flip and repeat the process. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  7. Once oil is hot, fry chicken pieces for anywhere from 2-4 minutes per side, depending on how big they are. The small pieces cook quickly! If you’re unsure if the chicken is done, by all means use a meat thermometer. It should register 165 degrees F. (I use one all the time! I have 5 kids- getting distracted while cooking is a common occurrence for me and I detest overcooked chicken!)
  8. Remove cooked chicken and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Serve hot, with Homemade Fry Sauce (it’s a Utah thing- SO good!) alongside.

**To Bake Chicken Strips: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and arrange chicken tenders. Spray chicken tenders lightly with a couple sprays of oil (non stick spray.) Cook 12-15 minutes, until tenders register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. (Cooking time varies depending on the size of your chicken tenders! Pay attention and check often as to not overcook them!) Note that my recommendation is to fry these tenders (the photos are of fried tenders), but if you opt to bake them, they will look different as you’re not submerging them in oil. To add a little moisture, I like to spray my baked tenders with a little olive oil spray prior to baking, after you bread them. It’s a lot less oil than frying but I like the way they taste better that way.

Homemade Fry Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 2 TBSP ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • a couple dashes of salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Serve alongside chicken or french fries. Or chicken AND french fries- even better!

Try more of our favorite chicken recipes here: 

The BEST Homemade Chicken Strips Ever - Butter With A Side of Bread  These Homemade Chicken Strips are tender, juicy & flavorful. Easy to make at home as I share 2 tips on how to take chicken tenders from good to great!

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Yields 6

THE BEST HOMEMADE CHICKEN STRIPS EVER

1 hr

8 min

1 hr, 8 Total Time

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Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • Coating:
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (or Italian)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups shortening or oil, for frying (omit if baking)

Instructions

  1. To cut chicken into strips: This is one of the tips behind better chicken strips! To get a more tender strip, you need to cut against the grain of the chicken. Don't just cut the chicken any way you like- notice where the grain lines are and be sure to cut opposite them. This makes the cooked fibers of the chicken shorter, so they tear apart easier. Cut strips as big or small as you'd like, just cut against the grain! Place chicken in a ziplock bag and set aside.
  2. Next, combine milk, lemon juice and sugar in a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup.
  3. Whisk in the cornstarch. This is the 2nd tip I use to make better chicken! I first noticed asian recipes calling for cornstarch in the marinade. When I researched it, it turns out adding cornstarch to chicken prior to cooking it gives it a protective coating that locks in juices. You know what?! It works! It's amazing actually! The trick is to not let it marinate for too long.
  4. Add in the hot sauce (feel free to add more if you'd like!) and the pepper and whisk to combine. Pour marinade in the ziplock with the chicken and gently shake until chicken is coated. Place bag in the fridge and let marinate for at least 20 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour.
  5. Heat about 2 cups of oil to 365 degrees in a frying pan. Frying the chicken in Crisco (plain shortening) yields the crispiest tenders!
  6. While the oil is heating, combine all ingredients for the coating in a shallow bowl. Remove chicken pieces from bag a few at a time and thoroughly coat them in the breadcrumb mixture. I like to place them in the breadcrumbs, then spoon some on the top of the chicken, then press the chicken down- then flip and repeat the process. Repeat until all chicken is coated.
  7. Once oil is hot, fry chicken pieces for anywhere from 2-4 minutes per side, depending on how big they are. The small pieces cook quickly! If you're unsure if the chicken is done, by all means use a meat thermometer. It should register 165 degrees F. (I use one all the time! I have 5 kids- getting distracted while cooking is a common occurrence for me and I detest overcooked chicken!)
  8. Remove cooked chicken and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Serve hot, with Homemade Fry Sauce (it's a Utah thing- SO good!) alongside.
  9. To Bake Chicken Strips: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and arrange chicken tenders. Cook 12-15 minutes, until tenders register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. (Cooking time varies depending on the size of your chicken tenders! Pay attention and check often as to not overcook them!) Note that my recommendation is to fry these tenders (the photos are of fried tenders), but if you opt to bake them, they will look different as you're not submerging them in oil. To add a little moisture, I like to spray my baked tenders with a little olive oil spray prior to baking, after you bread them. It's a lot less oil than frying but I like the way they taste better that way.
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53 COMMENTS

  1. These look delicious. Any idea if they would hold together/taste good being cooked then frozen for a later meal?
    • I've not tried freezing them, but it's worth a shot! I'd barely fully cook them, that way they don't dry out when reheating. Tell me how it goes!
  2. Tried this recipe for dinner with my boyfriend tonight. They looked great, but I'm sure we will both be sick for days to come. This recipe calls for way too much sugar. Literally all I can taste from this bland concoction is sugar. We're totally disappointed. After the first few bites we realized we couldn't eat it as is. So we attempted adding dashes of pickle juice for flavor, hot sauce and ranch. Nothing could mask the sugary flavor. If this is how people up north season their food, I don't think I ever want to leave Louisiana. I do NOT recommend.
    • Hi Brooke- I'm sorry the recipe didn't turn out, but I'm thinking you might have mixed up the measurements. There is literally just 1 teaspoon of sugar in the ENTIRE recipe. Perhaps you put an incorrect amount in? 1 teaspoon should have that much of an effect. I've made this many, many times and have always received rave reviews.
  3. I made this for dinner tonight and everyone (4 boys and a husband) loved it. I also made me a couple with gluten free bread crumbs and they were great. The fry sauce is delicious!
  4. G'Day, I cooked this recipe last night and I was certainly impressed.! I usually only cook with chicken thigh fillets as breasts tend to be dry and lack flavour. These chicken strips were moist, tender and full of flavour and so easy to make. I baked the chicken in the oven. They came out with a crisp crumb as if I had indeed fried them. I have tried many recipes from several blog sites, the pictures always look promising but the end result is usually dull and boring and generally a waste of time and ingredients. But this recipe certainly delivered. This is the first recipe I have commented on as I felt it worthy of praise. Keep up the good work!
    • You can find them next to the regular breadcrumbs at the grocery store- they give it a crunchier texture. They've gotten more popular in recent years- they're larger and lighter than regular breadcrumbs so it adds a wonderful texture!
  5. The search is over!!! These really are THE BEST! It is rare to get a "5 thumbs up meal" in this family -- but this did the trick. The sauce was a nice compliment, but the chicken strips were so delicious, they didn't need it. :-) Thank you so much for sharing.
  6. Ok, I just made these and they were a winner!!!! I had everything but the lemon juice but they were still delicious! I have picky teenage boy who are brutally honest and they loved them. YEAH!!!! Thank you for the recipe. Oh, and the dipping sauce? WONDERFUL!!!!! I could go to town on that sauce with some fries.
  7. I made this for the 2nd time tonight. I am so glad to have finally replaced the Bisquick chicken strip recipie forever. This is delicious and the hubby and kids gobble them up. Also love this dipping sauce. Thank you!!!
  8. Hi Followed and double checked ingredients. Oven temp checked by thermometer and spit in. Things won't brown. Any suggestions? Os....pushing 30 min in oven right now🤔
    • I fried mine- that's the reason why they're the color they are. None of the instructions mention anything about browning. If you're trying to achieve the exact color I had with mine, I suggest making them like I made mine- frying them. Here is the instructions for baking again- as per the recipe- To Bake Chicken Strips: Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray and arrange chicken tenders. Cook 12-15 minutes, until tenders register 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. (Cooking time varies depending on the size of your chicken tenders! Pay attention and check often as to not overcook them!)
    • So, it's interesting, if you marinate them longer, the meat almost gets TOO tender- it's strange! If you do want to marinate them for longer, just leave out the cornstarch, then add that 30 or so minutes before you cook them. :)
  9. Horrible experience! Spent an hour working on these and they sucked. Don't bake! It doesn't work. They looked like flour covered chicken. Pinterest fail!
    • I'm sorry you didn't have a good experience Stephanie. When you leave rude comments on the internet, please remember there is a person behind the screen- my name is Jessica. The recipe photos and video were of the traditional fried chicken tenders. Yes, they're going to look different if you bake them, but I've done that- and they tasted great. Generally speaking, food that is baked instead of fried will look different, just FYI.
    • One final tidbit Stephanie- although your comment didn't offer any constructive criticism, it did prompt me to add a little more info to the section where it gives info on how long to bake the chicken for. Hopefully that helps others. I also added a little tip for adding moisture to baked chicken tenders. Good luck in your cooking endeavors in the future too. Remember, Pinterest is made of recipes from PEOPLE. Real people like me who are working hard give you access to completely FREE recipes.
  10. I just have a quick question before I make these. I'm concerned about using Frank's Red Hot. My family doesn't like spicy food. Does the Frank's Red Hot add much spice? Thanks for the wonderful recipes!!
    • Hi Shannon, The Frank's just adds flavor. If you want some real heat, you'll have to add more. My husband mixed Frank's with Ranch and dipped his in that. So don't worry- they're not spicy!
  11. I find that draining the chicken or any fried food on a brown or white paper sack is better than paper towel. Paper towels let the cooked meat cause the paper towel to get wet and soften the crust. Try it - I think you'll like this hint.
  12. I want to know how much sugar brook put into her's, I think she added a cup of sugar, Oh if that is how Southerners Prepare food I think I will stay up North. LOL Just kidding brook but, I would be nice if you said Sorry :O
  13. I absolutely love how you responded to Stephanie's hateful comment. It was so easy for her to hide behind her phone/computer. I admire you so much!! I can't wait to try your recipe! Thank you!
  14. I have been looking for a recipe for chicken tenders and this one sounded great. Got my chicken breasts unthawing now. Thanks for sharing your recipe.
  15. Have made these twice now and both times came out amazing, I oven baked as had not enough oil to properly fry them, I drizzled them with oil, cooked in about 20 mins and to make them golden threw them in the pan for about 20 seconds (there should be enough oil on them to brown nicely) definitely recommend this recipe to anyone wanting to make there own strips
  16. This marinade is really great. This is the second time making and had no breadcrumbs or planko so I used crushed ritz crackers. They turned out great! I also switched onion powder for 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder because of allergy.

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