I rarely deep fry things. Rarely as in if I deep fry something more than two timers per year that is a lot. I get turned off by many deep-fried foods, not to mention the smell in the kitchen they leave behind.
But Spring has sprung, the windows are open and there is a gentle breeze in the air. The perfect weather to deep fry something without suffering the stifling smell indoors for the next two days.
One of my children requested chicken strips for dinner. I really hate the frozen version of these because they are kind of like eating breaded cardboard. So I promised to make them and to actually deep fry them.
Two of my children will eat plain ketchup with their chicken strips, but my husband and I, along with our oldest son, tend to like something more substantial to dip our strips in. I was craving something spicy, and had a half a can of Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce left over. Using a mini food chopper, I mixed them up with some sour cream and mayonnaise and it turned out to be just the creamy yet spicy kick we were looking for.
This recipe is so adaptable. You can pretty much make the flour mixture you dip the strips into either savory, sweet, spicy, or mild, but using pretty much anything you have in your spice cabinet. This is the version I used today and it came out very good.
Chicken Strips & Chipotle Dipping Sauce:
Makes approximately 25 to 30 strips
For the chicken strips:
- 3 – 4 Large Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tsp. Seasoned Salt (I used Lawry’s)
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Onion Powder
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp. White Ground Pepper
- 1/8 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- Canola Oil for frying
- 2 Cups Buttermilk
For the dipping sauce:
- 5 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo Sauce (more or less depending on your own personal taste, and seeded or not seeded depending on the amount of heat you want)
- 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
- 1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
Begin by setting up your work station. In a large bowl place the flour and all the dry ingredients and mix well. In another large bowl, pour in 2 cups of buttermilk.
Take your chicken breasts and filet them. Then cut each filet in half and then in strips. Place the strips into the buttermilk. Allow them to sit in the buttermilk for around 10 minutes or so.
Begin dipping each chicken strip into the flour mixture and coating well. For a thicker crust, after dipping in the flour, dip again into the buttermilk and then again in the flour, getting a full and even coating. Lay them flat on a large plate and set them to the side.
On another large platter, place several pieces of paper towels out. Use this to lean the fried strips on to help drain off the excess oil.
In a large cast iron skillet, pour in about 1 1/2 – 2 inches of canola oil. Turn heat to medium and allow oil to heat up. I don’t use a thermometer to check the temperature. I just do a test of adding some flour and seeing if it rapidly begins to fry. When it does, I know the oil is hot enough.
Once the oil is ready, begin gently placing 5 chicken strips in at a time. Allow them to brown to a golden color on one side, and then flip them over to achieve the same on the other side. This should take about 4 minutes total. Once the chicken is browned and fully cooked through, remove the strips to the paper towel covered plate, and add in the next batch of chicken strips.
When done, place them on a cookie sheet in a preheated 300 degree oven to keep warm and crisp until ready to serve.
To make the dipping sauce I added the mayonnaise and sour cream to my mini food processor. I removed the seeds and veins from 5 chipotle chilis and added them along with a teaspoon or so of the chipotle sauce to the processor and pulsed until smooth. This was enough to give the sauce a nice little tang and a bit of a burn, but nothing so hot I couldn’t stand to eat it.
Serve up some dipping sauce with each chicken strip and chow down. There was not one chicken strip left over, so I’m going with this being a success. The next time I make these I may include either a little honey in the sauce or some honey on the chicken before dipping in the flour.