As a teenager, my favourite thing to order off of any menu was the classic chicken tenders and fries. It didn't matter which restaurant I was at, I wanted to try those juicy strips. My friends would make so much fun of me, as they could always guess what my order would be. Now fast forward 15 years later, and here I am making my very own baked crispy chicken strips.
It is just so much more rewarding making homemade versions of your favourite recipes. And to top it off, making them healthier. Now that feeling is in a category of its own! Since the majority of restaurant-ordered chicken strips are deep fried, the fact that this version is baked makes it a zillion times healthier for you.
It is also healthier because we know exactly what we are adding into the bread mixture. I mean, just look at the ingredients. There is nothing outrageously bad for you in this recipe. So you know exactly what you are coating these bad boys with. A lot of chicken strips tend to include a big-sized serving of Parmesan cheese in their breaded crumbs... bet you didn't know that!
And just because they are healthier does not mean they aren't as tasty. In fact, they are tastier. These baked crispy chicken strips are phenomenal! Not that I am biased or anything... Juicy long strips of chicken shaped perfectly for dipping into your favourite sauce, coated with a flawless crispy and crunchy exterior created by a combination of panko breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning blend and paprika, should I keep going? 🙂
For those of you that don't know, in the world of breaded chicken, there are breadcrumbs and then there are panko breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese-style breadcrumb with a jagged coarse texture that gets super crispy without having to be deep-fried, hence why they make the perfect coat for baked chicken strips. I found them in the "International" aisle of my local grocery store. You can also find them at any specialty Asian supermarket.
Although, my restaurant activities have changed immensely from when I was a young teenager, and I now like to try new and more intricate dishes on the menu, I can still appreciate a batch of good old-fashioned chicken strips. I particularly consume them when I am at a baseball game or hosting game day at our home. It is the perfect appetizer to munch on while cheering on your favourite team.
Pair this with a side of your favourite dipping sauce (mine is barbecue sauce) and watch it disappear right before your eyes!