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Copy That! A Copycat Recipe of Chili’s Chicken Crispers

When it comes to family restaurant chains in our area (and there seems to be many more than we need, in my opinion), Chili’s seems to reign as the one that we frequent. Sean has always liked the food at Chili’s since he was little and is well-known throughout our family for his affinity for their cheese fries. Almost as much as he likes those, he and Michelle also both prefer the classic chicken crispers that you can find on their menu. I decided recently that I was going to try and find a copycat recipe for this particular recipe and see if I could make them at home and if they would even be close to what you get at the restaurant. I found the recipe on Chili’s at Home, a blog that features their recipes, and it seemed pretty easy to do so I gave it my best shot.

Copycat Chili’s Chicken Crispers

For the Batter:

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup milk

3/4 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3/4 cup self-rising flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

For the Chicken:

Vegetable oil or vegetable shortening for deep frying

10 chicken tenderloins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the batter, combine the beaten egg, the milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the ingredients until they are well combined. Add the 3/4 cup of the self-rising flour and the cornstarch, whisking into the mixture until the batter is smooth. Let the batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

To cook the chicken, Heat the vegetable oil or shortening in a deep fryer or large Dutch oven until the oil registers 350 degrees on a deep fry or candy thermometer inserted into the oil. Place the all-purpose flour in a medium shallow bowl. Coat the chicken pieces with the dry flour and then dip the chicken into the batter, making sure to coat it completely. Allow the excess batter to drip off and repeat the process with the remaining chicken. When the oil has reached the proper temperature, place 3 pieces of the battered chicken into the hot oil and fry the chicken for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the chicken is well browned. Drain the fried chicken pieces on a paper towel-lined plate and repeat the process with the remaining chicken. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Just a couple of things about this recipe. First, if you can’t find self-rising flour near you, you can easily make your own. Take 1 cup of all-purpose flour and whisk in 1 1/4 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and you will have your own self-rising flour. Second, you don’t have to use chicken tenderloins for this; I only had some boneless chicken breast on hand, so I cut them into small strips and used those, so we actually ended up with more than 10 pieces. I have to say that I think this recipe is pretty much spot on. The coating seemed exactly like what you get at the restaurant. I read elsewhere that Chili’s actually uses an MSG as an ingredient, so the chicken broth is a solid substitute to give you the flavor enhancement without the MSG. The coating is light and crunchy and the chicken is cooked through perfectly. I served this with tater tots and the obligatory corn on the cob. You could easily make your own favorite dipping sauce or use whatever you like to dip them in. I actually made Chili’s avocado-ranch dip to use, which is one of our favorites as well, but you could just use ketchup, honey mustard, barbecue sauce, hot sauce or whatever you like best.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Eating Out, Poultry

 

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A New Twist on Chicken Fingers – Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers

I had made some classic chicken fingers not that long ago along with some homemade dipping sauces and the grocery store was having a really good sale on chicken tenderloins so I picked up another batch of them and was looking for something else to do. Sure, I could have just cut up the chicken and used it for something like a stir-fry or a warm chicken salad, but I wanted to try something else with chicken fingers again. Lo and behold along came the newest issue of Cook’s Country magazine in the mail shortly after and in it was a recipe for pretzel-crusted chicken fingers. I thought this was a good one to try to see if I could get some extra crunch and flavor out of the chicken. The recipe is very simple and only takes a few minutes to make, so you can easily make this anytime you want some chicken fingers.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Fingers

6 ounces thin pretzel sticks

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins, trimmed

Salt and pepper

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Process the pretzel sticks in a food processor until they are finely ground, about 20 seconds. you should end up with about 1 1/2 cups of pretzel crumbs. Transfer the pretzel crumbs to a shallow dish. Spread the all-purpose flour in a second shallow dish. Beat the eggs and the Dijon mustard in a third shallow dish.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season it well with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip the chicken pieces in the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, dip the chicken pieces in the pretzel crumbs, pressing on the chicken gently in the crumbs so the crumbs adhere well.

Heat 3 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Cook half of the breaded chicken tenderloins until they are golden brown and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Adjust the heat along the way if the crust seems like it is beginning to burn. Transfer the chicken fingers to a paper towel-lined plate, discard the oil, and wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the remaining chicken tenderloins. Serve the chicken fingers with your favorite dipping sauces.

You want to make sure you use the thin pretzel sticks for this recipe and not the thick pretzel rods. The thin pretzels will grind easier and are not as dense and hard as the rods, giving you better crumbs for the crust. You get a really nice flavor from the pretzel crust and just a hint of the Dijon mustard along the way to give them great flavor. This is a great recipe to offer up for the kids who love chicken fingers but want something a little different or as a quick dinner or to serve at a party. You can make large batches of them and freeze them cooked for later use at another time.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

pretzel crusted chicken fingers

 

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Appetizers, Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Picnic Fare, Poultry, Snacks

 

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A Tasty Sandwich: Chicken Tender BLAT

Sandwiches are one of the great pastimes in my house. I personally love to eat them and could have it every day if I could get away with it. They are quick and easy meals that are perfect for hectic weeknights or just for a lazy weekend dinner. Of course, they are great for lunch any time at all. I had bought a package of chicken tenderloins when they were one sale this past week and was looking for something to do with them, and this turned out to be a fine idea.Michelle had suggested sandwiches, so that’s the way I decided to go with it.

Chicken Tender BLAT (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato)

1 pound chicken tenders

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup vegetable oil

6 slices bacon, cooked

4 leaves Romaine lettuce

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

4 rolls

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Place the bread crumbs in one shallow bowl, the beaten egg in a separate shallow bowl and the flour in a third bowl. Season the flour with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken tenders in the flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the chicken in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then roll the chicken tenders in the panko bread crumbs until well coated, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken on a separate plate and repeat the process until all the chicken is coated in the bread crumbs.

In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it is shimmering. Add the chicken to the skillet in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Allow the chicken to brown on one side before flipping it over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and brown the second side until the chicken is cooked through completely, about another 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cover to keep warm while you repeat the process with any remaining chicken.

Once all the chicken is made, you can begin assembling the sandwiches. Place slices of tomato on each roll, followed by pieces of bacon. Then place one or two chicken tenders on the roll, followed by a piece of romaine lettuce and topped with avocado.

You could also put some mayonnaise or other sauce on the sandwiches if you wish. I actually added a little bit of sliced red onion to my sandwich as well and it was great. I served the sandwiches with some of the Alton Brown potato salad that I posted the recipe for yesterday and some homemade cole slaw that I had also made. You can serve these sandwiches hot or cold depending on whatever each person might like to have. it’s certainly easy enough to do for any night of the week and you could even use boneless chicken breasts sliced thinly into strips instead of buying the chicken tenders or use frozen chicken tenders if that is what you like best and eliminate the entire step of breading the chicken.

That’s all I have for today. Tomorrow is Father’s Day so I don’t know if I will get around to doing a post or not. We’ll have to see how the say goes, but I do have some recipes that I used this week that I intend to post, so keep checking back for those. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day, a happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there, and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 15, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Poultry, Sandwiches

 

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Jennifer Probst

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