Take Out Fake Out: The Crispiest Chicken Strips

There are a few words that you will spot on almost every restaurant or take out menu, that almost always mean “unhealthy.” A few of those dead giveaway adjectives you can watch out for are:

  • Creamy
  • Rich
  • Crunchy
  • Battered
  • Crispy

Like I said, most of those words are describing foods that may not be the best for the ol’ waistline. Fortunately for us all, there are ways to make some of those delicious foods in a healthier manner. I am always looking for ways to health-ify some of my favorite foods. Of course there is only so much health-ify-ing you can do to these naughty recipes. You need to make sure they still taste great, otherwise what is the point? Am I right?

I figure even if I can cut a few calories, it is better than eating the real thing. Then, when you inevitably get those cravings that you can’t resist, at least you can indulge without feeling guilty.

In this case I was actually trying to re-create the colonels classic KFC. After much planning and a few failed attempts, I came up with this. When I did the official taste test, I thought they tasted great but just not enough like the real thing to label it with the prestigious ‘Copycat KFC Chicken’ title that I was hoping for. However, they were some darn good chicken strips and I knew I had to share them. Don’t worry I will keep working on the KFC.

Trust me guys, I have tried LOTS of “oven fried” dishes and no matter how wonderful and easy Pinterest makes them seem, they never work. Basically if you try to bread something with flour and bake it in the oven, it’s not going to get the crispy crunchy factor that you get with deep frying. After many attempts, I have concluded that you have to coat it in something that is already crunchy. Unfortunately, most things that are crunchy, such as chips or crackers, aren’t the healthiest choices to begin with. Which is where the cereal comes into the picture!

I tossed these babies in a mixture of crunched up corn flakes, spices and a little flour just to bring it all together. Then I laid them out on a wire rack set on a baking sheet so the strips could get crisp on all sides. I also used coconut oil cooking spray to give the breaded strips a light spritz before baking them. I would challenge you to serve this to an unknowing guest and have them guess they came out of the oven and not a deep fryer!

Ugh, just so darn good.

Of course you can serve them with your favorite dip, honey mustard or barbeque sauce are my go to dips. Since they are still breaded, I went with a side salad and it was a delicious and satisfying dinner!

I really hope you guys enjoy these and as usual, please comment below if you have an idea of something you would like me to recreate. Sometimes thinking of things makes my brain hurt.

The Crispiest Chicken Strips:

Serves 6

Total time: 60 minutes

Total time where you actually need to do things: 15 minutes

What you will need:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips.
  • 1 cup light buttermilk
  • 3 cups cornflakes, crushed
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • coconut oil cooking spray

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Grab a baking sheet (or two) and place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Spray the wire rack generously with the cooking spray. Set aside.

Set out two shallow dishes, and add the butter milk to one. Set aside. In the other shallow dish add the crushed cornflakes, flour and seasonings. Stir well to combine.

Start by dipping a chicken strip into the buttermilk, let the excess buttermilk drip off and then place into the breading mixture, toss the strip in the coating, using your hands to press the breading on to the chicken. Lay the coated chicken strip on the wire rack, making sure to leave an inch or so between any other pieces. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.

Once all the chicken is breaded, spray them with the cooking spray, then flip them over and spray the other side. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Serve on their own or with your favorite dip!