Ditch the questionable bagged frozen variety, and make your own homemade frozen chicken strips with things you already have in your own cupboard and save money, too!
Dish Count :: 1 Saute Pan, 3 Plates, 1 Baking Sheet
Let’s be real, there is never not a time that chicken strips don’t make you happy. And with busy schedules all around, they also make enormously happy when I can just pop them into the oven and just bake them into crispy divinity and devour them to my heart’s content instead of slaving away over the stove on a busy weeknight. We just simply don’t have time!
But one of the things I can portion out time for is a little meal prep to save me time for the busy week ahead. That where these crispy homemade baked chicken strips come in. It doesn’t take long to prepare them, and then you’re ready to bake when the weeknight hunger hits.
Panko crumbs make these extra crispy, unlike traditional bread crumbs so I highly suggest picking up a box at the store when you’re there next. Pick them up in that Asian food aisle next time you’re there.
In your skillet or saute pan, add a little oil and panko bread crumbs, and over medium heat, toast the panko crumbs until they are golden brown. They will smell like yummy toast and you will know you are on the right track. When they are toasted and golden, set them aside on a plate and allow them to cool.
Next, prepare your chicken breasts. I buy my chicken boobs at Costco, and man are they horkers!! I mean honestly, Pamela Anderson sized! The problem is they are so thick, they won’t cook evenly, so use a meat tenderizer, or in my case, the bottom of a measuring cup to beat the daylights out of it so they are even thickness all the way through – like the one on the right. The one on the left is the “before”. Then, slice them into evenly thick slices. Season the strips with salt and pepper to your liking!
Now, it’s all about the breading. This process is a three step dredge – with seasoned flour, an egg wash and then the toasted panko. It makes these homemade baked chicken fingers extra crispy just like their fried cousins.
I season my flour with salt, pepper and dried herbs. For ease, I used a dried Salad blend of herbs, which is Litehouse Salad Blend, but if you can’t find it, it’s a blend of parsley, dill, and basil and dried red onion. For 1/2 cup of flour, I added 1 1/2 Tablespoon of dried herbs and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Then mix it together.
For the egg wash, whisk together 2 eggs and 2 Tablespoons of water in a cup, and pour into a shallow bowl or rimmed plate.
Now is the fun part! Bring the kids into this process, so they can learn a little cooking and get their paws dirty! First, dredge each chicken strip in flour, coating them throughly, shaking away any excess, then dip into the egg wash, and then right into the panko crumbs and covering completely!
Later, rinse and repeat with all the remaining strips.
Place each chicken strip onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the chicken strips are coated, place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze for at least two hours, or until the chicken is frozen solid. Once frozen, place the homemade frozen chicken strips into a freezer safe plastic zip top bag and store in the freezer for later!
To prepare your chicken strips – it’s simple – preheat your oven to 425 degrees and bake your chicken strips on a parchment lined baking sheet for 22-25 minutes, turning half way through, and your chicken strips register 165 on an instant read thermometer!
And don’t forget the honey mustard sauce! Viola!Get more How-To’s for your kitchen know-how!
Homemade Frozen Chicken Strips
2 large Chicken Strips, approximately 1 1/2 pounds
1 1/2 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil, or other oil of choice
2 Tbsp Water
1/2 cup Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Dried Herb Blend of Choice, (Dill, Parsley, Chives Great!)
Salt and pepper
In a skillet or saute pan, over medium heat, add oil and panko crumbs. Lightly toast the panko crumbs stirring frequently until they become deep golden brown and toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside on a plate.
Whisk two eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together in a bowl, and pour into a dish or rimmed plate. Set aside near plate with panko crumbs.
On third plate, gently mix together flour with 1/2 tsp Salt, 1/2 tsp Pepper, and 1 1/2 Tablespoon of Dried Herb blend of your choice. I used dill, parsley and chives.
Set flour plate, egg plate, and panko plate in a row.
Tenderize chicken breasts using a mallet so that the chicken breasts are of even thickness. Slice into strips approximately 1 inch wide. Season with salt and pepper.
Dredge each strip, one at a time into flour, then egg wash, then coat into panko crumbs. Place each strip onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken strips.
When complete, place chicken strips into the freezer and freeze for at least two hours, or until frozen solid. Place all chicken strips, once solid, into a freezer safe plastic bag.
Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place chicken strips on a parchment lined baking sheet. Line chicken strips in a single layer. Bake for 22-25 minutes, flipping half way through, and the chicken strips register 165 degrees. Let rest two minutes prior to serving.