Tips and tricks to make extra crispy baked chicken strips. An easy weeknight dinner idea.
Breaded chicken baked in the oven. It’s been one of my go-to favorites for years and years. It’s easy enough to make any night of the week and it goes with any side. (I’m especially partial to serving chicken with my pesto, roasted broccoli, or roasted snap peas, especially since the latter two are cooked at the same temperature.) Or, for the kids, pair with homemade smiley fries. But the white whale of breaded baked chicken is the soggy underside. So… want to know my never-fail secret to perfect, extra crispy baked chicken strips? Since I love you so much, here you go.
First, the baking tray. I don’t like to put the chicken directly on the baking tray, because even if you flip the chicken half way through cooking, it still sits in moisture. So instead, I line a tray with parchment paper, place a wire rack on top, and spray with cooking spray (preferably olive oil, but canola oil is fine too).
Second, cooking spray is your friend. After breading the chicken, right before it goes in the oven, I lightly spray the top of the chicken with cooking spray (once again, preferably olive oil, but canola oil is fine too). A little tip: I love the cooking sprays from Whole Foods because the spout sprays lightly and widely, so the breading doesn’t go flying.
This doesn’t affect the crispiness (or maybe it does?), but another tip when making breaded chicken: I add nothing to Panko bread crumbs. Instead, I add all the seasonings directly to the chicken. Why? Because wasting Panko irks me. Every time I’d mix up some Panko and dip all the chicken, I’d always have leftover, no matter how carefully I thought I measured. Chicken always has irregular surface area depending on how you slice it, so it’s not always easy to be precise with the measurements. As soon as you dip a piece of raw chicken in there, you can’t reuse the Panko, so I prefer instead to use as little as possible to start and then add additional as needed. This is just easier if I don’t have to worry about also adding seasoning to the Panko.
Enough of my jabbering, let’s get to this delicious, super-crispy breaded chicken!
How to make extra crispy baked chicken strips
You will need:
- 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- black pepper
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- cooking spray (olive oil or canola oil)
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and place a wire cooling rack on top. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cut the chicken into strips. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic powder, paprika, and black pepper. In a large bowl, melt the butter. Add the chicken and seasoning mixture and stir to coat.
Pour the Panko in a shallow dish. Dip each piece of chicken in the Panko, turning to coat, and place on the baking tray. Lightly spray the top of the chicken with the cooking spray.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.