Fried Chicken Breast Strips
One of my first jobs was as a fry cook at Grandy's, so I know how to fry chicken.
As with most things in life, preparation is the key to success. Fresh ingredients, clean oil, and precise temperature + cooking time are necessary to create the best fried chicken.
For the chicken, I use boneless skinless fillets and remove the fat, cutting each fillet into the desired sized pieces (or leave whole if you prefer). I like to rub on a little Grub Rub and marinate the strips in the refrigerator, but this is optional.
For the batter, make a solution of 3 whole eggs (or egg whites if your diet insists) and equal amount of milk, stirring well in a bowl. Dump all the breast pieces in this and allow to soak.
The breading is made with a mixture of breadcrumbs and cornmeal, mixed in a bowl. You can vary the proportions of each, but I usually use about a 2:1 ratio (primarily breadcrumbs). The cornmeal makes the breading a little crunchier. Use one hand to take the chicken strips out of the egg bath, and the other hand to coat the chicken in the breading. This keeps your hands from getting gunky. Place the breaded pieces onto a plate, and you can fry them immediately or refrigerate until you are ready. If you want a thicker crust, dip the pieces back in the egg and crumbs again.
I prefer to use a deep fryer; although excellent results can be obtained with a cast iron skillet, it just takes more caution. With a deep fryer, it's easier to get better consistency with a large batch, and the built-in temperature gauge and timer makes it simple. Any oil will do, but I use Mazola corn oil. Preheat the oil to 350-355 degrees, use small batches in a single layer, and set the timer for 5 minutes per batch. Remove the finished pieces to dry on paper towels, and sprinkle with a little cajun spice if desired. Allow the oil to reheat to 350 before starting the next batch. The light will go off on the deep fryer when the oil is at the proper temperature.
My preferred side dishes are macaroni and cheese and corn on the cob.
Cook plenty, because they make really good snacks the next few days as well. These strips are perfect to take along on a picnic or fishing trip. The same technique also makes really great fried shrimp too, but reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes.