Oven-Baked Ranch Chicken Strips
CRISPY, DELICIOUS, FRIED CHICKEN STRIPS...I mean what more is there to life?? I personally love the ones from Chili's that seem to be deep fried in some sort of angel batter. I love them, my guy loves them, my child loves them. They're seriously one of the ultimate comfort foods for us. Pair them with some delicious honey mustard dipping sauce or some ranch, and I could basically live off of them for months at a time. The hard part seems to be that deep frying requires some unusual tools and a lot of expensive oil if you're trying to keep it remotely "clean", and then trying to get that crispy breading without the deep frying when you're using paleo-friendly ingredients can be difficult! Cassy Joy over at Fed & Fit first introduced me to the concept of using, get this, PORK RINDS, as a paleo-friendly way to get that crispy outer coating that we so love that is usually accomplished by something like panko bread crumbs. I am seriously obsessed and don't think I'll EVER go back to using regular breading like almond or coconut flour solo.
Sidenote, I know by the time this blog post goes live, Game of Thrones entire season 6 will most likely be over, but can I just vent for one small second?! So we try and watch GoT every Sunday night, but first of all, it comes on at 8 which is like bed-time central here at our house. Right when we're trying to get the kiddo down, I'm so preoccupied with thoughts of the episode I'm missing, I can't even focus. Which is terrible! But I seriously look forward to this show as my once a week indulgence...I've almost read all of the books that are out too, and I'm just a huge nerd. This past weekend though, we weren't able to sit down to watch it on our ipad (directv app) until after 9 and guess what...you apparently can't watch it unless it's live TV until after a certain amount of days. WHAT. THE. CRAP. I can't tell you how disappointed we were! I mean we seriously made sure the whole house was clean, laundry folded and put away, made sure we were showered and in our comfy pjs with teeth brushed all for the sole purpose of being able to snuggle up on a Sunday night with our favorite fictional bada$$es. Super big letdown. But ok, no problem, we'll just watch it Monday night. Well, same thing happens...we're hustlin', trying to get the kiddo down and all set up and get this, A) It's not on demand yet and B) clock just strikes 9:01, so the live showing of the last episode JUST ended. So again, we can't watch ittttttttt. Let me tell you this. Tuesday night will be different. I swear this to you on Jon Snow's second life. WE WILL WATCH THIS EPISODE. We've got a game plan in place. We've got systems in motion to make sure this happens. I'm nothing, if not stubbornly persistent!
Anywayyyyys, back to this strips. Back in the day we used to make a ton of food with those little ranch flavor packets, and although the ingredients aren't HORRID, they definitely leave a little something to be desired. So of course I came up with just the right amount and type of spices for a ranch-like strip experience. I've also paired these strips with my amazingly good Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce--this is totally optional to you, but I love the salty and sweet combo that this pairing give you. Make them together, you won't regret it!
1.5-2 lbs chicken thighs, cut into strips
4 tbsp coconut milk
3 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
4 tsp dried dill
4 tsp dried parsley
3 tsp dried chives
2 large bags of unseasoned pork rinds
1/2 cup tapioca starch
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce (recipe found here)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a medium bowl whisk eggs, and add coconut milk and spices. Mix well to fully incorporate.
- Place pork rinds into a large freezer bag with a seal, and crush until the consistency of bread crumbs.
- In a large bowl, mix pork rinds and tapioca starch until incorporated well.
- Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Dip each chickens strip in the egg mixture, then in the rind mixture to coat well.
- Place strips on parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with dipping sauce and ENJOY!