There’s something about deep-fried chicken that touches your soul. From the moment the crispy, salty crumb touches your lips, you get transported to a beautifully pure world where things like calories and cholesterol don’t exist. In that moment, nothing else matters but you, your taste-buds and the satisfying crunch of a perfectly browned chicken crumb. But alas, that moment cannot last forever, as you will soon find out. After chomping your way through a mound of the delicious golden food – because one or two fried chicken strips became fourteen – you feel your stomach start to ache. You look down at your fingers, covered in oil, and wipe away the fried chicken graveyard of forgotten crumbs from around your mouth. What have you become? Already, you can feel the oily food-baby growing in your tummy.
At this point, I introduce to you my oven-baked crumbed chicken strips. It’s not that I don’t like fried chicken, I just don’t enjoy the anguished tummy ache they give me after I’ve eaten one (okay, a few) too many. Not to mention the feelings of guilt and the regretful “I wish I hadn’t eaten so much”. It just so happens that I’m also very clumsy when it comes to anything hot or sharp in the kitchen, so a pot of spitting oil makes me nervous. But worry not, because this recipe is the perfect deep-fry alternative. Soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside – it’s exactly what you want from a crumbed chicken strip.
If you would prefer to deep-fry your chicken strips, then skip steps 4 and 10, and let me know how they come out. On the other hand, if you you prefer to stay away from the oil then you’ll be surprised at how delicious these oven-baked crumbed chicken strips come out.
Baked Crumbed Chicken Strips
- ½ cup plain yoghurt
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 whisked egg
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 chicken fillets cut into thin strips
- 2 slices bread
- ½ cup Cornflake crumbs
- 1½ tsp garlic flakes
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
In a bowl, mix together yoghurt, mayonnaise, egg and cayenne pepper. Add chicken strips to the mixture and ensure each strip is well-coated. Cover the bowl with cling-wrap and set aside for 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 220°C and line a baking sheet with wax paper or a silicone baking mat
Using a blender on low speed, pulse the bread until it resembles fine crumbs. Spread crumbs over baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes
Turn oven down to 180°C. In a bowl, combine bread crumbs, Cornflake crumbs, garlic, salt and paprika
Coat each chicken strip in a thick layer of crumbs by placing them in the bowl, one at a time, and covering them with the crumb mixture
Line chicken strips on baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and crispy