Friday, February 26, 2010

Comfort food

So the other day I was browsing the Pioneer Woman blog when I came across a link for her recipe for Homemade Chicken Strips. I was intrigued since I've never really seen a good "restaurant style" chicken strip made at home. As you probably know, chicken strips are one of the food groups in my world, so I was excited to find that the recipe looked super easy and contained a twist I just had to try. So I did. I know, you can't believe I'm posting about cooking, but I am. So here's how it went:

You start off by soaking your chicken strips in buttermilk for 15-20 mins. *Ty did comment on the buttermilk taste, so if you don't like it you could sub regular milk for everything. (I couldn't really tell, by the way.) While that's going on, you measure out about a cup and a half of flower and 2-3 Tbsps. of Lawry's Seasoning Salt (I'd say at least 3, 'cause I put in less and couldn't really taste it). I made 12 strips, and this was just barely enough so adjust according to how many of these bad boys you plan to make.

Then you add the twist! Slowly pour 1/4 - 1/2 cup of butter milk into the flour mixture! You may be laughing now because it's so simple, but I honestly never would have thought of this! It makes the flour kind of gloppy so it sticks to the chicken in little chunks like you see on the ones at the restaurant! *I used just over 1/4 cup, and I really think if was too much. The chicken has alot of moisture on it from the soaking, and I found that it got the flour a little too wet. This meant that there was a lot of it stuck together for the last couple of strips which made it a little harder to get them coated well. You tell me what you think when you try it...

Anyway, you dredge the strips in the flour mix and get 'em coated up good. Here's a pic of them post coat. See what I mean about the globs?

Next, you heat up the oil. P-dub said 1" of oil in the skillet. I clearly went overboard, but I've never been good at estimating stuff like that. Didn't seem to matter too much, though, so I lucked out.

When it's hot enough (flour should bubble when thrown in - learned that too) put in a few at a time to fry. You literally only cook these for like a minute and a half on each side, and they're done! Let me just say, "Yum"! The meat was tender. The coating was all crunchy. I was pretty darn proud of myself! It was an all around good experience.

Except for the disaster mashed potatoes I made to go with them. Someone please explain to me how a person messes up mashed potatoes. I'm still not sure what happened, but I'm a bit bruised. I felt the need to share this failure with you so you don't confuse me for some culinary goddess you don't even recognize anymore. I know! Close call!

So anyway, here's the finished product. I'm tellin' you, these are good. PW suggested flash freezing them just after they're coated (before you cook) and then storing them in the freezer in a Ziplock bag. Seriously, if you did this, you'd never have to buy those precooked nugget thingies again! If you want a MUCH more detailed guide to making these lovelies, follow the link at the top of the post.

Go try these, and tell me what you think!


Jamie said...

Those look pretty amazing, Jenn! And I just got some chicken tenders on sale at Target for $1.98, so I am definitely going to try to this recipe. Don't worry about mashed potatoes because I have you beat — I have never successfully made a baked potato. It's embarrassing.

:::b r a n d i::: said...

I've messed up mashed potatoes before, so don't feel bad.

Cary said...

Dang, this makes me want to make these RIGHT NOW, and it's midnight and I rarely cook. **Homer Simpson drool**

Sarah said...

Yum! Next time chicken tenders are on sale I'll have to give this a try. And don't feel bad about mashed potatoes. I've learned that they are really hard to get just right. Those darn things are always either too dry or too gummy. PW has a recipe that I've been using with decent results, so you might try that?

Robin E. said...

I'm so proud! I haven't even attempted these. BTW, the buttermilk is a tenderizer so milk would not give the exact same effect. And I use instant mashed potatoes at home.