My son loves Burger King’s Chicken Fries. However, they go on and off the menu like bell bottoms in the fashion world. To be fair: bell bottoms go by so many names: boot cut, flared, yoga pants, whatever it is called now, they are still bell bottoms in my opinion.. and yes, I love the yoga pants and boot cut. Just wish there was a length between tall and short. I am medium/average height (5′ 4″) (. So I am either rocking floods, or tripping over my pants. 😉 But this is a cooking blog, not a fashion blog.
So let us get back to Chicken Fries. Since they are my son’s favorite take out, I decided to figure out how to make them. I did some searching online and found the copy cat Burger King recipe that is all over the web. Of course I tried it.
I also tried to go all chefy on it and decided to brine my chicken first. Well, After a couple bites all I could tasted was salt. I could not tell if it was coming from the chicken or the coating. It was soo salty I choked.
So I ate some chocolate – surely chocolate will get the salt taste out of my mouth 🙂 I really wanted to figure out if it was the chicken or the coating. Technically, brining should not cause meat to become salty, but tender and juicy. I determined it was a combination of both and just threw the entire batch out. I dumped the remaining brine and then put the remaining raw chicken in just plain cold water over night to rid it of extra salt. It seemed to work, however, I figured I would just work from scratch. I cooked up the “bad” chicken and my dog was very happy.
Off to the store for a new batch of chicken tenders and back to the drawing board.
Chicken Fries are basically a kicked up version and different cut of chicken tenders = Fried Chicken. The easiest form of chicken to cut into french fri-strips? Chicken tenders. Remove the white tendon, and then just cut in half length-wise and voila chicken french fry shape. You can cut again in half width-wise to make two pieces for little kids, if you wish.
Instead of putting all my eggs in one basket like I did for the copy cat recipe (Why would it not work?) I fried a few samples until I got the flavors and texture I wanted. It turned out great and my son is very happy with the results! I have success!
1 10″ – 12″ cast iron skillet (or dutch oven for stove top)
2 baking sheets and 2 wire racks (if you don’t have them, ok)
1 package of Chicken Tenderloins (~7 – 8 per package), remove white tendon if sticking out, and cut in-half length-wise.
2 Cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 Pkg Extra Crispy Shake and Bake
1 cups all purpose flour (or Wonder)
1 tsp cayenne
2 TBS Old Bay
1 TBS Granulated Garlic
1 TBS Granulated Onion
2 TBS Chili powder
1 TBS Paprika
Fresh ground black pepper
Kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce amount by 1/3)
a couple drops hot sauce (Franks, Tabasco, other)
1/4 cup of cream/milk (whole or 2%)
Create the below all in separate shallow containers/dishes. This will be used in stations for coating the chicken.
RUB Mixture (keeps for weeks and this makes more than you will need)
Combine Cayenne pepper, Old Bay, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, Chili powder, Paprika, about a tsp of fresh ground black pepper and about 1 tsp of Kosher salt. Stir well. Put into an air proof container for unused portions.
Extra can be used on roasted chicken, fish, ground beef for tacos, shrimp, etc..
SEASONED FLOUR Mixture (you can only use once – you will have to throw extra away after dipping in raw chicken)
Combine Flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp fresh ground pepper, 2 pinches of rub mixture from above. Stir to combine.
SEASONED EGG Mixture (throw out any unused portions once you dip the raw chicken)
Whisk egg, cream, pinch of salt, pinch of black pepper and a few dashes of hot sauce (more if you like spicy, a few dashes will not make this spicy – more than a few will)
SEASONED COATING Mixture (throw out any unused portions once you dip the raw chicken)
Combine bread crumbs, Shake and Bake and 2-3 TBS of the Rub mixture. For stronger flavor, use more rub mixture. Stir to combine for even flavoring.
OFF TO THE RACES:
I recommend using latex gloves -anytime you handle raw chicken and poultry. You can pick up the powder free kind at any drug store in the first aid isle for cheap. I also use them when handling hot peppers or when I cut myself and need to keep on going. Great asset to have around the kitchen.
TV shows say use one had for dry and one for wet. I always end up with multiple trips to the kitchen as they always get mixed up and I end up with glue all over my fingers. I decided to try a new way today and it worked great. There is this new invention called FORKS. One for each bin. My fingers were glue free and I escaped the issue of the stuff on one hand taking off the stuff on the chicken.
At this point, you should have 4 containers:
1.) Chicken Fry Strips
2.) Seasoned Flour, with a fork
3.) Seasoned whisked egg, with a fork
4.) Seasoned Coating/breadcrumbs, with a fork
Set up on baking tray with metal rack on top (if you don’t have a rack, just skip it). Then set up your dipping order. Raw chicken, flour, egg, coating and baking tray. In that order.
Assembly line, with a gloved hand, remove one piece of chicken:
- Coat in flour mixture, turning with the fork, lift up with the fork and shake off extra, transfer to egg.
- Coat in Egg mixture, turning with the fork to cover all, shake off extra and transfer to the coating.
- Coat all sides completely in the coating mixture, using the fork to turn then place on the baking sheet.
Repeat for all pieces of chicken. Let stand for 20 minutes.
In the mean time, in your cast iron pan (or deep fryer if you have one), bring the oil to 350 – 360 degrees (med high heat – NEVER ON HIGH HEAT). The oil in a cast iron pan or Dutch oven should reach no more than 1/2 way up the pan. A deep frying has a built in temperature gauage.
You can purchase a Oil/Candy thermometer at any grocery store for a couple bucks. This is good to prevent burning of food, etc. Always good to have on hand.
Once you reach 350, you are ready to start frying.
Add no more than 4 – 5 pieces at a time. The reason for this as the temp of the oil will reduce too uch and you will end up with greasy and potentially under cooked soggy food.
Cook for about 2 minutes per side if using a pan/cast iron or 4 minutes for deep frying, or until golden brown. Because this is thin cut, it does not take long at all to cook. Keep in mind, food continues to cook once removed from the oil and will deepen in color.
Remove to a new clean baking tray with rack, or a baking tray lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.
Let the temp of the oil come back to 350 before starting the next batch.
Before you know it – your new tray is empty because either you are eating them or your family is walking by and taking them off the “done” tray before you even get to the sauces.
Sauces are easy. No recipe here.
Store bought BBQ Sauces, Hot Wing Sauce, Hot Sauce. I always mix and match. Take a sweet and sour and add hot sauce. Whatever your family likes.
Hope you enjoy this version of Chicken Fries you can do at home and are easy and delicious!