Southern Fried Chicken Strips are totally irresistible. The chicken strips are marinated in seasoned buttermilk and fried to perfection. Each bite is crispy, crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning. When paired with my Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, each bite is pure heaven.
If you ask Susan, she will tell you that there are two things that I can’t make: fudge and fried chicken! For some reason, however, I had a craving for extra crispy chicken strips and honey mustard dipping sauce. The honey mustard wasn’t much of a challenge – in fact, I nailed it on my first attempt.
The chicken was another story!
In my first try, I used chicken tenders marinated in buttermilk with a touch of hot sauce. This produced a good flavor to the chicken, so I was all right with that. After marinating the chicken, I coated it in seasoned flour, dipped it again in the buttermilk and added another coating of the seasoned flour. After the chicken was fried, it appeared that this would be a winner. However, the coating didn’t stick at all and wasn’t nearly as crispy as it looked.
I did a bit of research and read that one of the reasons that coating doesn’t stick is that the chicken wasn’t dry before adding the coating and that egg is important to help “glue” the coating. Therefore on my second try, I again marinated the chicken tenders in the buttermilk with hot sauce. This time, however, before coating the chicken in flour, I rinsed the buttermilk off and patted the chicken dry. I coated the dry chicken in seasoned flour, dipped it in a mixture of buttermilk and egg and coated it again in the seasoned flour. This looked to be a winner until I picked up a piece. Again, the coating didn’t stick and wasn’t nearly as crispy as it looked.
As they say, third time is a charm! I had thawed some boneless, skinless chicken breasts to use for dinner, and on a whim, decided to try one more time with the chicken strips. I sliced the chicken breasts into strips that were about 1/2-inch wide. I plopped the strips into the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture and let them marinate for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, I coated the strips in seasoned flour. This time, however, I dipped the coated chicken in beaten eggs before adding another coating of the seasoned flour. I let the chicken strips dry for about 10 minutes on a wire rack and noticed that the coating wasn’t dry, but had gotten a bit wet. Therefore, before frying the strips, I again coated the chicken strips in the seasoned flour. Guess what? Sheer perfection!
Marinating the Chicken Strips
I started by trimming the chicken breasts of all fat. Then I sliced the chicken breasts vertically into long strips that were about 1/2-inch thick.
Once the chicken was sliced, I added some hot sauce to the buttermilk and whisked the mixture to combine. Then, I added the chicken strips to the buttermilk/hot sauce mixture and made sure that the chicken was fully submerged.
The first and second time that I tried making the Southern Fried Chicken Strips, I marinated the chicken for about 4 hours in the refrigerator. This time, I marinated the chicken strips for about 30 minutes without refrigerating it. I honestly couldn’t tell any difference between using the chicken tenders and using the chicken breasts and marinating the chicken for the shorter amount of time.
Making the Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Making the honey mustard dipping sauce was super easy. I whisked together some mayonnaise, honey, yellow mustard and lemon juice until all of the ingredients were thoroughly combined. That’s it!
Seasoned Flour for the Southern Fried Chicken Strips
On my first attempt at making these tasty Southern Fried Chicken Strips, I thought that the seasoned flour was perfect, so I didn’t deviate from that.
For the seasoned flour, I added all-purpose flour, salt, pepper, baking powder, paprika and garlic powder to a gallon Ziploc bag. I gave the bag a shake and the seasoned flour was ready!
Making the Southern Fried Chicken Strips
Before coating the chicken strips, I whisked together two eggs in a dish.
Next, I removed one of the chicken strips from the buttermilk marinade and let the excess buttermilk drip off. Then, I placed the chicken strip in the seasoned flour and gave the Ziploc bag a shake to coat the chicken. After that, I dipped the coated chicken strip in the egg and again coated it in seasoned flour. I placed the coated chicken strip on a wire rack that I had set over a rimmed baking sheet and repeated the process with the remaining chicken strips. I let the chicken strips sit on the wire rack for about 10 minutes to allow them to dry out a bit.
While I was heating the oil, I noticed that the chicken strips were starting to look wet. Therefore, right before I added them to the hot oil, I again placed them in the Ziploc bag with seasoned flour and gave them a good shake.
I fried 3 or 4 chicken strips at a time in oil that I had heated to 360° F. It took 5 to 7 minutes before they were golden brown. I removed the Southern Fried Chicken Strips from the oil and let them drain on paper towels that I had place on a wire rack.
The Southern Fried Chicken Strips were amazing. They were extra crispy and crunchy with just the right amount of seasoning. The Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce was a perfect compliment to an extraordinary dish. Yum!
Southern Fried Chicken Strips with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Southern Fried Chicken Strips
- 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (See Tip 1)
- 1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk (See Tip 2)
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 cups (10-ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 large eggs
- Vegetable oil for frying
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup (4-ounces) mayonnaise
- 2 Tablespoons (1.5 ounces) honey
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons (0.75 ounces) yellow mustard
- 1 Tablespoon (0.5 ounces) fresh lemon juice (See Tip 3)
Southern Fried Chicken Strips
- Trim chicken breasts of all fat. Slice vertically into 1/2-inch long strips.
- Combine buttermilk and hot sauce in a bowl; add chicken strips. Marinate for 30 minutes. (See Tip 3)
- Combine flour salt, pepper, paprika, baking powder and garlic salt in a gallon Ziploc bag.
- Whisk two large eggs together in a bowl.
- Heat 2 to 3-inches of oil to 360°F.
- Remove chicken strips from buttermilk allowing excess to drip off. Coat in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Dip egg and coat again in seasoned flour, shaking off excess flour. Place on wire rack; repeat with remaining chicken tenders.
- Allow coated chicken strips to rest on wire rack for 10 minutes. If the chicken strips start to look wet, coat again in seasoned flour.
- Fry chicken strips in small batches 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. (See Tip 4)
- Serve with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.
- Yield: 4 servings. (See Tip 5)
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Whisk together mayonnaise, honey, mustard and lemon juice. Add enough orange juice to achieve the desired consistency.
- Cover and refrigerate. Yield: about 3/4 cup.
Chula's Expert Tips
- May also use chicken tenders.
- I used low fat buttermilk
- If the honey mustard dipping sauce seems too thick, add additional lemon juice to desired consistency.
- When you add the chicken strips to the hot oil, it will lower the temperature somewhat. Therefore be sure not to add too many chicken strips at a time. Otherwise, they could become greasy and soggy.
- Leftover chicken strips can be reheated at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes.