These are the world’s best extra crispy chicken fingers. Seriously.
This is one where I take photos in the dark, I expound upon the virtues of a beer-less beer-batter, I do the happy dance, and I give you my secret fried-chicken food truck franchise starting recipe. For free. Because I’m dumb.
I can’t even believe I am sharing this recipe for free. I may pull it. It’s just too good. In fact, my son as decided he wants to start a food truck business to sell these and only these. Our truck shall be called The Cluck Truck. And we shall franchise. And it will be the start of my fried chicken empire. Oh my heavenly fried chicken! Who doesn’t love fried chicken? I probably make fried chicken fingers more often than I should admit, but it is THE most requested dinner in the Foodie*ish house. And to be honest, I was never really a fan of fried chicken in general until recently. I know, right? I was one of those people. But I realize it was because I had never had really, really, super-duper-awesome fried chicken before. And I am fairly humble when it comes to recipes that I create (I think… maybe… a little humble… usually…) but this I can safely say is THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN FINGER RECIPE YOU WILL EVER FIND (if you like your chicken extra crispy, which I do, so… Best. Ever).
But before we get to the recipe… let me take you on a tangential adventure.
Yesterday I decided to experiment a little with some fancy photo lighting. Well, it’s not really fancy. It’s actually a big plastic box wrapped in tin foil with a giant light bulb in the middle of it. See, I have been terribly frustrated by the fact that I can only photograph food during the day, and even then it’s a crap shoot (hahaha… see what I did there? Crap shoot… like photo shoot that’s crappy… never mind). And I make a lot of yummy dinners that I can’t share because indoor lighting isn’t exactly ideal for food photography. So, I schlepped the kids to Menards, and got some stuff to make a couple softbox lights. And ya know what? They work pretty alright! I’ll be posting a tutorial how to DIY your own softboxes for food or product photography, but for now I mention it because the photos in this post were taken in complete darkness except for my fancy new DIY softboxes! Not too shabby, eh 😉 They won’t make it on Foodgawker, like my oven-fried mac and cheese balls, but I think once I get the hang of using artificial light, I’ll be unstoppable.
Did I mention my mac and cheese balls were plastered all over Foodgawker? Oh yeah, oh yeah! Happy dance!!
So back to the best part… the chicken fingers!!!
These are super crunchy, just how I like ’em. And they are actually deep-fried. It is one of the only things I ever actually deep-fry. But you can not mess with perfection, and let’s be honest, you can oven-fry some pretty yummy chicken (like my crispy oven-fried chicken fingers with homemade panko), but it doesn’t compete with actual crispity crunchity deep-fried chicken.
These chicken fingers get their out-of-this-world crunch by a triple-dip process using a modified beer-batter and a flour dredge. I say modified, because I really don’t care for beer batter unless it is on cod. I’m particular about my battered deep-fried foods. Instead, this batter uses 7-up. It adds all the carbonation of a beer, but without the sometimes-overpowering malt flavor. Trust me… try it once and you’ll convert. So yum.
The flour dredge is seasoned with 10 herbs and spices. I have no idea if they are the same herbs and spices used in the famous fried chicken that hails from Kentucky, but I do know that my version does not contain MSG. So, there is that. And my spice blend has been tinkered with and tweaked over the course of many moons, and what we’ve got right here is damn delicious.
This fried chicken finger recipe, like my crispy baked chicken finger recipe, makes enough to feed a baseball team. My kids love it so much that I make sure to make plenty for left-overs. They grab them straight out of the fridge for breakfast — even the 2 year old. I’ll be in the middle of making pancakes and they run straight for the cold fried chicken. They love it packed in lunches. They eat it as after-school snacks. They can’t get enough. I use roughly 4 pounds of chicken to make roughly 25-30 chicken fingers, so if you don’t want to have enough fingers to last the next week, reduce the amount of chicken you use accordingly.
I’m so excited to share this! You are gonna LOVE it! Yay!
[recipe title= “World’s Best Extra Crispy Chicken Fingers” servings= “30 fingers” time=”1hr 45min” difficulty=”easy”]
- boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips 4 pounds
- vegetable oil for frying 1 quart
- all-purpose flour 4 1/2 cups
- 1 3/4 tsp ground pepper 1 3/4 tsp
- salt 4 tsp
- garlic powder 1 1/2 tbsp
- rubbed sage 2 tsp
- dried parsley 1 tbsp
- dried thyme 1 1/2 tsp
- paprika 2 tsp
- cayenne 1/2 tsp (or more if you like it spicy)
- crushed rosemary 1/2 tsp
- marjoram 2 tsp
- lemon-lime soda 2 cups
- large egg yolks 2
- Prepare chicken by slicing breasts into strips on a diagonal.
- Pour oil in a large high-walled sauce pan and heat on medium heat until oil reaches a temperature of roughly 350 degrees. It is ready when a small piece of batter dipped flour sizzles and fries quickly. You can also use a deep fryer.
- Create a batter by combining 2 cups lemon-lime soda, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground pepper, and egg yolks in a medium-sized bowl.
- Create a flour dredge by combining all remaining dry ingredients in a 9 x 13 baking pan.
- Prepare your chicken fingers by coating it in the flour dredge. Then dip it in the batter, shaking any excess off. Dredge in flour again, and set on a cooling rack to set. Repeat with remaining chicken strips.
- Once your oil is hot, add 4-5 chicken fingers at a time and fry for 10 minutes per batch, turning the fingers after about 5 minutes. Place cooked chicken fingers on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
The cooking process takes me about 75 minutes. I cook 4 at a time.
Your flour dredge will begin to get flaky chunks of flour due to the batter coming into contact with the dredge. That is good! They add extra crispy crunchy bits to your chicken fingers.
This is an original recipe by Glory Thorpe of Foodie*ish and was originally published on Foodieish.com. All content and photos ©2015 Foodie*ish. All Rights Reserved.