Y’all know I love pecans. They are the best nut out there in my opinion. They spruce up a salad and sweeten up the finest desserts, but they also have a special place in the very best entrees. One way to add another layer of scrumptiousness to your fried foods is to make a pecan crust. Pecans bring so much extra sweetness and crunch to a fried chicken meal, which is exactly what I made here. These pecan crusted chicken strips are fried, have a delicious chopped pecan coating and then are drizzled with honey. A sweet and savory chicken dinner recipe the whole family will enjoy.
The Best Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips Recipe
This chicken tenders recipe makes the absolute best pecan-crusted fried chicken. Using boneless skinless chicken breast, I cut the strips and then lavish them with a coat of this decadent fried chicken breading made with bread crumbs and chopped-up pecan pieces. This fried chicken has a little heat to it and an optional honey drizzle that will drive your dinner guests wild with excitement.
The Three-Step Breading Process
One of the things that makes this pecan-crusted fried chicken so good is the three steps I use. My breading procedure cuts back on mess and properly coats the chicken tenders in a lavish amount of breading. The copious pieces of pecan lend their unique buttery quality and nutty flavor to the crispy fried chicken. In short, it’s heavenly. My recipe has everything you look for in great fried chicken, from the crispy texture to the juicy tender white meat chicken. On top of everything, I add some kick with a mix of my favorite spice and a drizzle of honey for the absolute best sweet-spicy flavor combination you’ve ever had! The three-step process is as easy as ABC and it helps you make sure you perfectly coat the chicken without creating a sticky mess.
I find it helpful to have a three shallow dish technique to use just for prepping fried food. Something like this works just fine. You will have a wet container, a flour container, and a breading container which will include the chopped-up pieces of pecan and the seasonings. I like the seasonings right out where I can taste them. But you can also season the flour if you prefer.
Some fried chicken recipes will have you bathe the chicken in buttermilk as early as the night before. This is much simpler and just as delicious. Start with the flour using a designated dry hand to cover the chicken. Next, submerge the chicken into the buttermilk and egg mixture with your designated wet hand. Finally, with your dry hand carefully coat the chicken in your seasoned breading mixture. You can also do this with tongs, but I still recommend using two sets so you keep moisture away from the flour and breading.
Chopping pecans is completely unnecessary considering how easy It is to buy them already chopped. Nevertheless, you may find yourself with whole pecans for any number of reasons. If you have to chop them yourself, don’t make it a huge, time-consuming task. Chopping pecans can be really easy. All it takes is adding pecans to a bowl of a food processor. However, they are also super easy to chop with a knife compared to some harder nuts. If you don’t have a food processor, or just don’t want to dig it out, a sharpened chef knife will do the trick.
Don’t worry about precision when chopping nuts with a knife. It’s not like slicing and dicing. Simply scoop the pecans into a pile in the center of your cutting board. Then just chop them up roughly from right to left. Then, scoop the pile together again, turn the cutting board one-quarter turn and then chop again from left to right. That’s all it takes and it can be done very quickly. Lift the cutting board and use the knife to scrape the chopped pecan pieces into the breading mix for your pecan crusted chicken tenders.
Roasted and Candy Pecans
If you’d like your pecan crusted fried chicken recipes to have more of a candy element or more of a smoky flavor, you can alter your pecans to impart a more nuanced flavor profile. Using candied pecans is a great next step to upping the ante on a sweet and spicy flavor combo. You can also roast or toast them before incorporating into the bread crumb mix. This releases the oils and promotes even more nuttiness to the overall flavor profile. Try them in different ways and see which you like best.
Other Chicken Parts
Although this recipe is for fantastic chicken strips, you can of course incorporate this recipe into any fried chicken dish you want. You can do white meat, dark meat, wings, drumsticks, chicken nuggets, whatever you like most. The main difference will be the cooking time. If you are cooking different parts of the chicken, I strongly urge you to use a meat thermometer to judge whether each piece is cooked thoroughly. It’s always good to check the internal temperature of your meat anyway. Chicken breast should be at an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to be properly cooked.
Salads and Wraps
I love these chicken strips served on a pile of fries or a stack of waffles, but the beauty of cutting these tenders into strips means that you can repurpose them in a variety of other ways. That means you can double and triple down on this recipe in a given week! Making an Asian chicken salad or a BBQ chicken salad with these pecan-crusted chicken strips is the best thing you can do with your life. The strips also make delicious wraps which are a convenient way to enjoy this recipe for a quick lunch on the go.
Okay. I said honey was optional to spare your feelings, but if you don’t use honey with this recipe, you are missing out. That’s the best way to enjoy pecan-crusted fried chicken. It brings everything home and it will make you go back for bite after bite. If you are not a fan of honey, I still think you should try it, since that really is the way this recipe is intended. Just dip your fork in a little bit.
If you don’t have honey at home, shame on you. Next time you go out to eat breakfast or have food delivered, make sure you ask for extra honey packets, that way there is always some in a drawer.
What Dipping Sauces Can You Dip Chicken In?
- Ranch Dressing
- Honey Mustard
Ingredients For Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Vegetable oil/Olive oil
- All purpose flour
- Garlic salt
- Slap Ya Mama
How To Make Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips
Step 1 – Preparing the Dredging Station
Place flour in a shallow, medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk and eggs. In the last bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, pecans, and seasonings together.
Step 2 – Coating the Chicken
Coat chicken strips in flour then dip into the buttermilk and egg mixture. Next, dredge in the pecan mixture coating both sides.
Step 3 – Cooking the Chicken
Cook chicken 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees f and is thoroughly cooked and is no longer pink.
Step 4 – Serving the Chicken
Place on a plate lined with paper towels, a wire rack, or a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Serve with a side of honey or drizzle with honey mustard dipping sauce and garnish with parsley.
Looking For More Chicken Recipes?
- Butter Chicken
- Honey BBQ Chicken Wraps
- Buffalo Chicken Sliders
- Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- Crockpot Chicken Broccoli and Rice
- and, this delicious Malibu Chicken recipe, from Great Grub, Delicious Treats, you might enjoy as well.
Pecan Crusted Chicken Strips
- 3 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into strips
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup flour
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, plain
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama
- 1 cup pecans, finely chopped
- In a large skillet, over medium high heat, melt butter and oil.
- Place flour in a shallow container.
- Whisk buttermilk and eggs together in another shallow container.
- Combine breadcrumbs, pecans, and seasonings together in a third shallow container.
- Coat chicken strips in flour then dip into the buttermilk and egg mixture.
- Next, coat both sides in the crushed pecan mixture.
- Cook chicken 5-7 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees or is thoroughly cooked and is no longer pink.
- Place on a plate lined with paper towels then serve with a side of honey or drizzled with honey.
Here are a few photos to save to your favorite Pinterest boards.