If you have ever made chicken strips, then you know that it is not exactly easy to ace the whole “juicy-tender-on-the-inside-while-crunchy-on-the-outside” thing…without deep-frying it, of course. Up till now, that’s what has held me back from making chicken strips, all that deep-frying business. Until Cooks Illustrated and Pinterest came along, the experimental juices started flowing and thanks to those two sources, I do not only believe that I have found the recipe that is fail-proof but it has become one of our top 5 favorites in our home. And that’s saying something, considering how many recipes we go through!
All steps to this recipe add something wonderful, and should not be skipped, otherwise you won’t get the same texture or flavor. I use Greek Yogurt to marinate this chicken in overnight, but after washing it off, the taste is only very subtle and that’s only because I know its there. The main point to the yogurt is that it makes the chicken extremely tender. The step on putting the strips in the fridge is also very important, because it dries out any extra moisture from the surface of the chicken, thus making the panko-crust more adhesive and less able to fall off. Frying it in a little bit of oil is important, that is what adds the crispy-ness and brown look. Frying it then baking it is a fail-proof way to achieve that crispy outside while not over-cooking the inside.
Yes, these require a bit more work than the usual everyday chicken strip…but then again, after trying this recipe out, will you ever go back to the usual everyday chicken strip? No. No, I dare say that you won’t. This is worth it!
Yogurt-Marinated Panko Chicken
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 bag of frozen chicken cutlets, thawed
1 pint of greek yogurt
4 egg whites, whisked
3 cups of panko bread crumbs
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded finely
A little bit of oil
1. Marinate chicken in yogurt overnight.
2. Rinse and pat chicken dry, season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper.
3. In a shallow bowl, stir up 1 1/2 cups of panko crumbs, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, and add a little bit of each of the seasonings and whisk to combine.
4. One at a time, dip chicken in the egg whites then in the panko crumb mixture and place chicken on sprayed wire-rack that is on a baking cookie sheet. Place the baking sheets in the fridge for 1/2 hour to air dry.
5. Brown chicken in a little bit of oil on medium-high heat in a skillet, only cook long enough to get the crust brown and crispy, do not over-cook!
6. Place browned chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and place in 350 degree oven, cook for 20 minutes.
7. Serve with a honey mustard sauce (I combine honey, dijon mustard, and frank’s hot sauce for our dipping sauce – yummo!)