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Some of you might remember a couple of years ago when I scored a great deal on Edgar the Super Chicken (yes, I name my chickens…don’t you?!!). Edgar’s post, pics and even good ol’ Edgar himself are long gone (some due to loss of content from a server move, some due to…well we ate Edgar), but his legacy lives on…lol. This is Merle. Merle was MIGHTY tasty last night. He was made into awesome chicken strips, served with fries and bbq sauce and dined on by the entire House of AIC. We rather enjoyed him and I enjoyed the fact that he’s so quick (and CHEAP!). Yes…Merle is cheap. I’d never say that to his face though. 😉
Anyhow, I bet you’re wondering just how ol’ Merle here became so tasty. Well let me help you out with that. I will warn you. I don’t measure things often so you’re gonna have to play this by ear. One other thing: These freeze FANTASTIC!! Just make them like the instructions say and freeze! Microwave on 90 seconds or so to heat back up! Quick and easy lunch idea!
You will need:
- 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
- baking powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- seasoned salt
- poultry seasoning
- cooking oil
- (2) medium mixing bowls
- meat mallet or tenderizer
In a bowl (preferably larger than this one..all of mine were running in the dishwasher), add the flour. I’m gonna guestimate about 2 cups worth, but hey, it’s a guess. To the flour, you’re going to add the seasonings to taste and about 2 tsp of baking powder. I happen to like garlic, so I add more garlic. If you like more seasoned sale? Add more. Season them to your tastes. Yes, I know that it appears there is a lot of poultry seasoning in that bowl, but there’s not. Just looks that way b/c it hadn’t been mixed and poultry seasoning ALWAYS looks like you have more than you need.. You may be asking WHY I add baking powder? It helps the breading set better.
and speaking of mixing? Go ahead and give that flour mixture a good mixing. Make sure that all of the spices are mixed well together with the flour. I personally use a small measuring spoon to give it a few good stirs, but to each his own.
In another bowl, crack yourself 5 or 6 eggs and add 1/4-1/2 cup milk. These would be known as Merle’s cousins. Tiny cereal bowl for the win!
and of course, scramble those eggs! Well, whisk them, but you get the idea. (I add my pepper to my egg/milk mixture but that’s just a personal preference. You can add it to the flour without any harm to taste.) See that pretty LIGHT YELLOW color? That’s what you’re going for. It will turn that color when it’s thoroughly scrambled.
Now? Make like Michael and Beat It. Grab a meat mallet and beat each chicken breast! Seriously. Pound it thinner. NOT flat, but thinner. Seriously. Try not to flatten it. If you flatten it, you could actually pound right through the piece of chicken. Also, use the flat side of your mallet. Otherwise you’ll have a mess and torn up chicken. Poor Merle.
Next you’re going to cut your chicken breasts into chunks, strips, nugget, fingers, whatever suits your fancy. At this point, you could just bread the whole breast and *gasp* have fried chicken! We’re not talking about fried chicken though…we’re talking about chicken strips. Rest in Peace Merle.
Heat oil in skillet on med/high heat. No high heat. You’ll set your house on fire when the oil burns b/c there’s nothing in it and let’s all repeat after me. Burning your house down is a bad thing! Your oil is hot enough when you can drop a pinch of flour into it and it sizzles.
I know that you can’t really see it well but I promise. There is a piece of ol’ Merle in there. I PROMISE he is!! This is where I will get serious for a sec. I like a crispy breading. I don’t like soft chicken. I always get my crispy breading. This is accomplished quite easily (albeit very messy.)
Grab a chicken strip and dip it into your egg mixture. Go ahead, don’t be shy. Give that bad boy a good dunking. Then roll in the flour mixture making sure it’s well covered. Being well covered is important here. Now at this point, most of you would put poor Merle in the frying pan and let him go. Don’t. RE-DIP in the egg. When you’ve got a good first coating, RE-ROLL in the flour. Yes, you heard me right, we’re some double dipping bad girls here. 😛 All in all, you want to give Merle at least 2 complete breads. Once in the egg, one in the flour, back in the egg, back in the flour.
Now you may commence frying. Here’s the thing though; don’t throw your chicken into the pan and then flip immediately. Give it time (60 seconds or more) for the breading to set on that side. It will help it cook better on that side, actually reducing the total time each piece needs to cook and it will give you that crispy, crunch that most of us love in a chicken finger. When that side is golden brown, flip it and cook the other side the same way. When cooked through and golden brown, remove from oil and drain on paper towel covered plate. Serve with bbq sauce, honey mustard or whatever suits your fancy!
Voila! Congrats! Not only did you make it through reading this crazy recipe, you also may have some quite tasty chicken finger /nuggets/strips. 😀
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