Crispy Ranch Chicken

What is it about crispy, fried chicken that is so dang good?

Crunchy on the outside, tender and juicy in the middle.

If you want to make your husband or boyfriend or parents or roommate happy, make some crispy chicken for them.

I don’t think people make this kind of meal for themselves very much – but we should! Crispy chicken doesn’t have to be deep fried.

One secret?

Buttermilk.

It’s tangy. It’s thick. The chicken sits in this spicy buttermilk bath, soaking up the flavor. The tart buttermilk helps break down any tough parts of the chicken. The hot sauce is just a good idea.

Confession: I used to eat a Chik-fil-A a lot. Like…a lot, a lot. I loved their nuggets and sandwiches. They had the best coating on their chicken and it was always super juicy and tender – never tough or overcooked.

My favorite way to eat their nuggets was either dipped in ranch dressing or barbeque sauce mixed with mayonnaise. I know how gross that sounds but don’t judge me until you’ve tried it! I don’t know if I’d still eat that mix today, but it was super tasty on those crispy nuggets and waffle fries.

Instead of just dipping these in ranch dressing, I coated them in a ranch-flavored flour and cornmeal mix.

And then….I dipped them in more ranch dressing, kicked up with some hot sauce.

You can have crispy chicken any day of the week – no deep fryer needed.

Golden and delicious. Do it today!

 

Crispy Ranch Chicken

Makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 and 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2  tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 tsp hot sauce

Directions:

  1. Put your diced chicken in a large bowl or baking dish and mix together with the buttermilk, salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Let the chicken sit in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes – the longer, the better. You can let it sit in the fridge overnight for even more flavor.
  2. Once you’re ready to cook, add the flour, cornmeal, salt, pepper, and spices into a large plastic zip top bag.
  3. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, to the bag and shake to coat them with the flour mixture.
  4. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and add half of your coated chicken. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side, letting the chicken brown before flipping. Once the chicken is browned on all sides and cooked through, take them out of the pan and put them on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the oil and chicken until all of your chicken is cooked.
  6. Mix the ranch dressing with the hot sauce and serve with the crispy chicken bites.

 

13 comments

  1. I love crispy chicken too but I’m always a bit wary of the meat that’s used – I love the idea of being able to make it myself especially without have to venture near a deep fat fryer!

  2. YUM! What a great, lighter option. Chickfila is delicious

  3. My mom use to make this for us ALL the time when we were growing up. Such a childhood classic. :)

  4. Love it! I have always wanted to try to make something like this :)

  5. OH yum. I could eat this every day, fried or not! :)

  6. I love baking chicken tenders too. And I haven’t done that in a while so thanks for the inspiration!

  7. I use to like to dip my chicken mcnuggets in honey.

  8. ranch dressing is fabulous. as is buttermilk. totally underused in my kitchen. when i get back to it, i’ll try to keep buttermilk hanging around :)

  9. I’m a certified Chick-fil-a addict – I joke it’s one of the reasons I moved to Atlanta (the other being my husband). :) So this may help me break that addiction!

  10. That is some AMAZING chicken!! Kevin would love this! :)

  11. This sounds so good. Something I might try switching is the cornmeal for corn starch. We make orange chicken and the corn starch seems to make the chicken crunchier.

    I’m with you on Chik Fil A though. So. Stinking. Good. And those little chicken minis with the nugget on a mini biscuit/roll = heaven.

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