Crispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

07.24.2016

Crispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce | Cooking Classy

For the first time in years I ordered chicken strips and fries at a restaurant for myself (not for my kids this time). They were the classic dipped and fried kind and while they tasted good I was left with that not so great after feeling – you know when you eat a lot of fried food at once and your stomach just feels heavy after. So of course later that week I decided to make a healthier baked alternative that would be just as crispy and taste just as good as any fried version. It took several attempts (four batches) but I finally figured out all the tips and tricks to getting perfectly crispy oven baked chicken.

The first few times I tried a buttermilk soaking then proceeded to dip in eggs and cornflakes. While the flavor was good the crisp factor was lacking and the coating kept falling off the chicken while we were eating it. There wasn’t a way around not getting the excess buttermilk to soak into the cornflakes and the binding just wasn’t strong enough. So I nixed the buttermilk and went with a typical dredging of flour, eggs and cornflakes. It worked far better and was a lot more convenient nixing it too which left out the 30 – 60 minute soak time. Another thing I tested was to spray and not spray with olive oil spray and cooking directly on the pan or on a wire cooling rack on a pan. The olive oil spray is a must and of course the wire rack works best as it allows the hot air to circulate around the chicken (so you don’t end with a soggy bottom side). I also tested with different coatings – cornflakes or Panko bread crumbs. I thought there’d be haters of the cornflake coating thinking it was so 80’s so I tested Panko. But believe it or not I liked the cornflake version better. It has more flavor, but both are good if Panko is what you have on hand. Then lastly I tested differences between the honey mustard sauce adding more and less mustard, honey, Greek yogurt and light mayo until I got the flavor right where I wanted. I also tested with different brands of Greek yogurt because of course they definitely aren’t all created equal. Store brands aren’t great in my opinion (they are soupy once stirred) and while I typically live on Chobani’s plain yogurt adding it to smoothies, baking with it and everything in between it just doesn’t work as well as Fage when you are trying to get a thicker dipping sauce like so (that pictured is actually the Chobani version I just decided to thicken it up after I took pictures). It made more of a dressing consistency so I switched to Fage and voila.

You may be thinking what a waste testing 4 batches of chicken strips but I want you guys to get the best result the first time. So, I hope you love these as much as we did! And FYI If you aren’t a fan of honey mustard you may still love this sauce. Those that aren’t typically a fan were loving it. But if you hate honey mustard so much that you don’t even want to try it I’d definitely recommend serving it with a sauce of some kind because most of the flavor here comes from the sauce. The chicken itself isn’t super flavorful. So you favorite bbq sauce or a light ranch would do well here. 

Crispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce | Cooking ClassyCrispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce | Cooking Classy

Crispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Yield: About 5 servings

Crispy Baked Chicken Strips with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

    Chicken
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced on a bias into even strips
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder*
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups cornflakes, finely crushed or 2 cups plain Panko breadcrumbs**
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Light olive oil cooking spray
  • Honey Mustard Sauce
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I highly recommend Fage***)
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Directions

    For the chicken:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large oven safe cooling rack with olive oil spray and set on a large rimmed baking sheet, set aside.
  • In a shallow dish whisk together flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper. In a separate shallow dish whisk together eggs until well blended. To a last separate dish add crushed cornflakes or panko, stir in parsley. Working with one chicken strip at a time, dredge well in flour then flip to opposite side and dredge well. Transfer to eggs, dip and soak, then flip and soak opposite side. Transfer to cornflake mixture and press into cornflakes, flip and coat opposite side while pressing well to get them to stick well. Transfer to wire cooling rack on baking sheet, repeat process with remaining chicken (leave space between each piece so it cooks even). Spray each piece lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Bake in preheated until center registers 165 on thickest piece, about 15 - 20 minutes (I'd say a thermometer is a must so you don't over-bake it which will leave you with dry chicken. I just use a $10 Weber one I have). Cool several minutes (coating will crisp it up even more as it rests a few minutes), season with more salt if needed, serve warm with Creamy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Serve with Apple Cranberry and Almond Coleslaw if desired.
  • For the dipping sauce:
  • Stir together all ingredients in a small mixing bowl while seasoning lightly with salt to taste. Cover and store refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • *I know this seems like a lot of garlic powder but in the end you really only use about half of the flour/garlic mixture so only about 1/2 of this is what will be in the end result, same with the salt. It just works better to be working with a little excess of the flour mixture so it's coating everything evenly and well.
  • **I liked both versions but preferred the cornflake one more. If using cornflakes crush into tiny pieces in a gallon size resealable bag using a rolling pin or your hands.
  • ***I tested with other brands and the dressing wasn't as creamy or as thick. Fage brand works best here.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy
http://www.cookingclassy.com/crispy-baked-chicken-strips-creamy-honey-mustard-dipping-sauce/

26 comments

  • Barbara tobins: Would this work as well with fish?? July 25, 2016 at 5:38am Reply

  • Laura Clougherty: Looks delicious — great for a summer night dinner! What cole slaw did you make as a side? July 25, 2016 at 5:48am Reply

  • Paula: The dipping sauce is really delicious! But I tried the crumbs….half corn flakes and half salty crackers….and it turned out really good too. Love your recipes. Try them all so my family are getting quite spoiled. Luckily you make all the recipes so easy to follow it’s a pleasure to cook!!!! July 25, 2016 at 6:34am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed this recipe and others! Thanks for your comment Paula :)! July 25, 2016 at 9:46am Reply

  • Jennifer: Do you have cookbooks that you have written with this recipe and others from this blog that I could buy. Thanks! July 25, 2016 at 8:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’ve thought about it. :) Once I can find the time! September 2, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

  • Mary holmes: What do you mean by a cooling rack for the chicken fingers. I understand the baking pan. Do you mean a cookie rack. Or a rack that is in the ovens? July 25, 2016 at 3:35pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes it’s a cookie cooling rack that you use here. I hope you try them and love them! July 25, 2016 at 7:23pm Reply

  • Mary: Just had dinner trying the chicken strips. Figured the rack out.
    They were wonderful as well. (Did the oven fajitas yesterday) Made the dipping sauce and it was good as well. Going to try honey mustard baked chicken next. You have some great new recipes! I am a young 70 and got back into good old fashion cooking. No short cuts no more, now that it’s the hubby and I only.
    Thanks July 25, 2016 at 8:45pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you liked this recipe too Mary :)! Thanks for leaving another review! July 26, 2016 at 9:25pm Reply

  • Francesca: When I was little my sister and I loved the chicken fingers with honey mustard sauce from Applebees — this looks like a much healthier, homemade version of that nostalgic dish — going to bookmark this. Thank you! July 26, 2016 at 4:42am Reply

  • Bettianne Smith: I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. My daughter doesn’t like baked “crispy” chicken because one side is crispy and one side is soggy. I like using corn flakes and I appreciate the directions. I’ll let you know how the family likes it! July 27, 2016 at 7:24pm Reply

  • Susie Preston: I have a gluten intolerance so I adapted your recipe a little. Instead of corn flakes, I used Corn Chex(crushed), which are gluten free, and instead of flour, I used corn starch. I works great, and was very tasty! July 28, 2016 at 3:01pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you were able to adapt it to make them gluten free! Thanks for your tips Susie! July 28, 2016 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Beverley Press: fantastic and so delicious everyone will look forward to this meal tonight, thank you xoxo July 30, 2016 at 2:35am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Beverley! August 1, 2016 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Anon Emus: How stupid are you… “most of the flavor here comes from the sauce”… wtf is the point of making and eating BLAND chicken strips?!. Shame on you and your shitty recipe. August 1, 2016 at 4:43am Reply

    • Kelly: Chicken tenders are traditionally served with sauce for a reason – they need it! And did you actually try the recipe? If not, maybe keep your insults and baseless opinions to yourself. August 1, 2016 at 4:34pm Reply

  • Patrick: Looks great! Thanks for the notes on all the versions you tried. Will try the cornflakes next time. Cheers :) August 1, 2016 at 6:04pm Reply

  • K: Jaclyn, should I spray both sides of the chicken with the olive oil before placing on the wire rack? Or just the top portion? Thanks! Looking forward to trying this! August 9, 2016 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I just sprayed the tops but if you can spray the bottom as well without the coating falling off that would probably be even better :). I hope you love these! August 9, 2016 at 11:37pm Reply

  • Steph: Fage is a brand of what? Didn’t you make the make your own sauce? Recipe sounds and look delish. Thanks August 10, 2016 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Fage is the brand of Greek yogurt I like to use for this recipe. I hope you try it and love it! August 10, 2016 at 11:54pm Reply

  • Jocelyn: These are the crispiest baked chicken tenders I have ever made. My kids loved them! The technique is perfect. Of note, I used Corn Chex because I didn’t have Corn Flakes on hand. Thanks for a terrific recipe. August 14, 2016 at 8:22pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad to hear they worked well with the chex for you too! Thanks for your comment! August 15, 2016 at 2:40pm Reply

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