Chicken strips have a bad reputation because they are categorized as junk food, since most people are referring to the frozen convenience food from the grocery store. There is nothing wrong with having some frozen convenience food on hand, but I vote we make it ourselves with ingredients we actually know went into them!
I don’t mind making them in the moment, like right before dinner, but it’s nice to have a bag of them ready to go in the freezer and just pull them out on those nights when you need them. Honestly, I feel like having them on hand is a necessity, but since I make them from scratch before they become ‘convenience’ food, I think twice before I decide on them when I’m trying to hurry dinner along. They’re more precious to me because I can’t easily replace them, so I feel like they last longer that way too. Ha!
You probably have everything you need for these on hand already. I’ve made these over the years with both panko and plain bread crumbs and they’re both so good. You can always crisp these in your air fryer as well, and I’ve been known to do that too, but not everyone has one, and sometimes it’s busy with something else (my combination pressure cooker / air fryer is often busy with sweet potatoes while I’m making these chicken strips). All you need is your chicken sliced into the strips or nuggets or whatever size you’d like them and your dredging station (three bowls; flour, a whisked egg, and the breadcrumbs).
Dredging the chicken pieces gets fast once you get into it. Each piece has to be totally coated in first the flour, then the egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Each layer needs the one before it to make it stick, so if you get sloppy trying to do it too fast, your breadcrumbs wont stick and that’s a sad, sad snack. Kidding, but if you’re going to go to all the trouble of putting this together, you may as well do a good job with it.
Two chicken breasts easily yields four servings, though the number of individual nuggets and strips will vary depending on what you choose. You’ll have a whole lot more pieces of popcorn chicken than you will thick strips, and with that in mind remember that your cooking time will vary. The instructions are for strips, that typically take about 15 minutes total. Thick strips will take longer and small nuggets will of course be done much quicker.
What you serve them with is up to you! My two chicken strip eating teenagers like them with plum sauce or ketchup, and I’ve been known to eat them with honey. I like making lots in advance and either making them as a quick dinner or making them for lunch! Everyone has an opinion on chicken strips being a lunch or dinner food. What do you think? Team lunch or dinner?
- 2 chicken breasts uncooked, thawed
- ½ cup flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 eggs whisked
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Cut each chicken breast into strips (or nuggets, etc)2 chicken breasts
- Prepare dredging station by placing flour, whisked eggs and breadcrumbs into individual bowls or plates.½ cup flour, 1 cup bread crumbs, 2 eggs
- One at a time, coat each piece of chicken in first the flour, then the egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Arrange on lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake for another 5 minutes. Check that internal temperature has reached 165°F with a meat thermometer.
Products referenced in this post:
Baking Sheets (Canadian link)
Baking Sheets (US link)
Parchment Paper (Canadian Link)
Parchment Paper (US link)