Spicy Asian Chicken Strips with Bang Bang Sauce

Spicy Asian Chicken Strips with Bang-Bang Sauce

Kids love chicken nuggets and strips!  I firmly believe that most of us are still kids at heart, and an occasional chicken strip satisfies our need for crunchy, fried goodness.  My version has an Asian flair, and the Bang-Bang Sauce is my take on a sauce that accompanies my favorite shrimp appetizer.  For dinner, I serve this with my Herbed Coconut Jasmine Rice and Crunchy Napa Slaw; for a "fast food" meal, serve it with french fries or Sweet Potato Strings and Healthy Veggie Slaw.  They would also be amazing on a Super Bowl Buffet and will satisfy anyone's inner child!  Serves 4

Vegetable oil, for frying

Bang-Bang Sauce:

1/2 cup best quality mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (available in the Asian section of the grocery store)

1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce

Honey, optional

For the chicken strips:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1 large egg

1 1/2 cups Panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs

Prep the Sauce:

Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together thoroughly.  Taste, add more hot sauce if you like it hotter, more honey if you want it sweeter.  Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.

Prepare the chicken:

Preheat the oven to 200-degrees and place a sheet pan on the middle shelf. (As the chicken is fried, place it on the sheet pan to keep hot.)

Place a large, deep skillet on the burner and add enough vegetable oil to come up 1-inch deep in the pan.  Heat over medium-high heat.

Combine the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Combine the buttermilk, egg, and Sriracha in a liquid measuring cup or small bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined.  Beat into the dry ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps.

Place the Panko in a pie plate or shallow baking dish. 

Set-up the prep area by staging the chicken, batter, and Panko in that order near the skillet.  Dip the chicken in the batter, allowing excess to drip off, then roll in the Panko, pressing lightly to coat.  Place each piece on a small sheet pan until there are enough to fill the bottom of the pan. 

Carefully place chicken in the skillet and cook until deep golden brown, then turn and cook the other side until golden. Drain on a piece of paper towel on a sheet pan, then transfer to the pan in the oven.  Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of the chicken is cooked.

Serve immediately.  Drizzle with the sauce or serve it on the side.

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