What was meant to be a meal of spice marinated kebabs ended up garbed and coated to become these golden brown chicken strips.
I had marinated the chicken tenderloins to make the Murgh Malai Tikka Kebab. But the daughter woke up on this Saturday morning and expressed that she wanted chicken strips for lunch. This is how the the “Indian Spiced” chicken strips came into existence.
Our weeknight dinners are wholesome and nutritious. I give them deep thoughts making sure they are well balanced and healthy. Lunch bags are packed, after school snacks for two are thought after and prepared. Dinner table is set with fresh salads and sides of vegetables. The meals are not necessarily elaborate. They are rather to provide, invigorate and restore.
The rules change once we approach the weekend. The mood is relaxed and stretched out. I try not to spend too much time in the kitchen (if that is possible!). We indulge a bit, eat out at least once and then settle for easy snack style food.
Crispy chicken strips sprinkled with Chaat Masala were served for the kids on an uneventful Saturday afternoon, with baby carrots on the side.
Indian Spiced Chicken Strips
Ingredients: ( serves 2-4)
- 8 chicken breast tenderloins or breast cut in tenderloin sized strips, each about 4-inches long and about 1/2 inch in thickness
- oil to fry (deep or shallow fry, whatever you would want to do)
- chaat masala (homemade or store bought/available in Indian groceries) + fresh lemon/lime
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons red chili powder/cayenne or paprika (choose based on how spicy you want them)
- 4 tablespoons thick strained/or Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 teaspoons kasuri methi, lightly toasted and crushed
- a generous grind of black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon ajwain, lightly toasted and crushed/powdered
For the crust: (this proportions are approximate; use as much as you need keeping the same ratio)
- 2 tablespoon corn flour/corn starch (not cornmeal)
- 8 tablespoon bread crumbs
- 4 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoon quick oats, lightly toasted, cooled and crushed or coarsely ground
- freshly ground black pepper
- garlic salt to taste (or garlic powder and salt)
- 3/4 tablespoon kasuri methi, lightly toasted and crushed
Wash the chicken and pat dry. Toss the chicken with salt, lemon juice and red chilli/cayenne powder. Allow them to marinate for about 15 minutes.
Whisk the rest of the ingredients for the marinade ( number: 4-11) until smooth. In a bowl or a ziploc bag add this to the already marinating chicken and rub the marinade in well into the pieces. Allow the chicken to sit in the marinade for 4-5 hour; longer won’t hurt. Longer marination makes the meat tender and it cooks faster.
When ready to dredge, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade. Combine the corn flour/starch with the marinade. Whisk until it is smooth and lump free.
Prepare the coating; combine bread crumbs, all purpose flour, crushed and toasted oats, pepper, garlic salt and crushed kasuri methi. Set aside.
Dip the chicken pieces in the mix of corn flour/starch and the marinade and roll them in the flour mix. Repeat for each strip of chicken. Place them on a sheet of baking paper or foil.
You should still have some marinade combined with corn flour left. If not then combine some corn flour with water to a thick consistency. You will be dipping the strips again in this to double coat.
Remove the chicken strips from the fridge, dip them in the corn flour marinade, and then roll them in the dry and spiced flour mix. Place them flat in a single layer on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for about thirty minutes. Remove chicken from refrigerator and let it sit outside for about 20 minutes as it comes back to the room temperature.
Heat oil in a pan/cast iron pan. You will not need to immerse the chicken completely in the oil; use just enough oil so your chicken is a little over half submerged. Carefully add the strips to the oil and cook at medium heat. Turn it over and cook until done, about 3-6 minutes each side. The inside temperature of the chicken should be 185 F or more once done. The time it takes to cook will vary. The inside should not be pink. The outside needs to be golden brown. So control the heat while cooking.
Once done, remove with a slotted spoon and drain in paper towels. Finish off with a sprinkle of chaat masala. Serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you wish, with thinly sliced onions sprinkled with chaat masala and lime/lemon on the side.
(may be served with the Red Chilli Sauce)
Preparation Time: 20 minutes – 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 50 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
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