Best Crispy Fried Chicken Strips

by Alli

This shop was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. 

Crispy Fried Chicken Strips are crispy-crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. These delicious chicken strips are a family favorite!

When it comes to dinnertime, the family often requests my Crispy Fried Chicken Strips. I always make sure I have the ingredients on hand to make this quick and easy main dish. It’s a favorite with the grandkids.

Once it’s time to eat, we gather around the dining table to eat and catch up on the latest. We talk about our day, grades at school (excellent), sports (pretty good), and everything in between.

We even talk about how crispy and yummy the chicken strips are.

I’m a southern girl, and I’ve been frying chicken for a long time. Over the years, I’ve discovered the best secrets for cooking the crispiest chicken.

You’re in luck because I’m giving away all my secrets today, including the number one secret of all. Here goes!

#1 Secret for Frying The Crispiest Chicken Strips

My number one secret for getting the crispiest chicken with an airy texture is Argo® Corn Starch!

When I fry chicken, I use one-half Argo® Corn Starch and one-half all-purpose flour in the breading. This combination produces the crispiest result.

Breading for Chicken Strips

I always have Argo® Corn Starch in my pantry because it’s the leading corn starch brand and has been trusted for over 100 years.

When I was growing up, my mom always had Argo® Corn Starch in her pantry. So did my grandma. Multiple generations have trusted Argo® Corn Starch, and now my grown daughter is carrying on the family tradition.

There are so many ways you can use cornstarch when cooking. It can be used to thicken gravies and is often used to quickly crisp meats and vegetables in Asian recipes.

My homemade lemon sauce is always smooth and velvety thanks to Argo® Corn Starch.

When you use corn starch in your batter to coat the chicken strips before frying, you’ll notice a beautiful golden brown, crispy exterior. The chicken will be tender and juicy on the inside.

Chicken Strips and Argo

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Crispy Fried Chicken

  •  Argo® Corn Starch
  • all-purpose flour
  • chicken tenders (chicken tenders refer to chicken prepared from the more tender part of a chicken, which is the part underneath the chicken breast)
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • buttermilk
  • Oil for frying

Heat the Oil To The Proper Temperature

Heat the oil to 350ºF. As soon as you place the first batch of chicken into the skillet, the temperature of the oil will drop a little. That’s fine because you want to keep the oil at 325º while the chicken is frying.

If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will be greasy. If it’s too hot, the outside of the chicken will get done and the inside will be undercooked.

It pays to have a candy or deep-fry thermometer on hand. Chicken is perfectly cooked at 165ºF. Use an instant-read or meat thermometer to make sure your chicken is done.

Helpful Hint: Peanut Oil is my favorite oil for frying chicken because of the high smoke point. You can also use canola oil or vegetable shortening like Crisco. 

Don’t Overcrowd the Skillet

Fry in batches and leave room around each piece of chicken. If you overcrowd the skillet, the chicken will steam instead of fry. We want crispy chicken, not steamed chicken.

Cool On A Rack

Skip the paper-towel-lined platter. Drain chicken on a wire cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.

When you allow the crispy chicken to drain on paper towels, it can create steam and cause the chicken to be soggy.

Chicken Strips Cooling on Rack

Crispy Fried Chicken Strips

I like to use chicken strips (tenders) when I’m frying chicken for the boys because they fry up in a hurry.

After soaking in buttermilk for 15-30 minutes, I pat the chicken strips almost dry with paper towels.

You’ll have crispier chicken if you make sure the chicken pieces are not too wet before dredging.

Combine Argo® Corn Starch, all-purpose flour, and seasonings in a shallow dish while the oil is heating.

Dredging Mixture for Chicken

Once the oil is at the right temperature, dredge 4-5 chicken strips and place them in the skillet. Cook for 8-10 minutes (4-5 on each side) or until golden brown and cooked through.

Close Up of Fried Chicken Strips

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Yield: 5 servings

Crispy Fried Chicken Strips

Crispy Fried Chicken Strips

Crispy Chicken Strips are crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 3/4 cup Argo® Corn Starch
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lbs. chicken tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Oil for frying


  1. Pour buttermilk into a large bowl. Add the chicken strips and let sit at room temperature while the oil is heating.
  2. Fill a 9-inch regular or cast-iron skillet with two inches of oil. Heat to 350ºF.
  3. Prepare the breading by combining the Argo® Corn Starch, flour, and seasonings in a shallow dish.
  4. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and pat almost dry with paper towels. Dredge the chicken in the cornstarch/flour mixture.
  5. Carefully place the breaded chicken strips into the hot oil, cooking about 5 strips at a time. Cook for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown and chicken is no longer pink.
  6. Drain chicken on a wire cooling rack placed over a cookie sheet.

Did you make this recipe?

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Make sure you use my #1 secret for frying the crispiest chicken strips! You’ll notice the difference and have the crispiest chicken in town.


Tammy October 10, 2019 - 9:36 am

I’m an Argo user from way back. And being a southern girl myself, I LOVE fried chicken tenders. Thanks for the recipe. I love your spices.

Tee October 10, 2019 - 9:49 am

Corn starch is an ingredient that we use often in our food. It’s a staple of Asian dishes. Who knew this was a key ingredient in making chicken extra crispy. I have to try this next time!

Jeanette October 10, 2019 - 10:54 am

That looks absolutely delicious! There’s so many things you can do with fried chicken. I think I would make some Asian dinner with these crispy chicken strips! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Amber Myers October 10, 2019 - 10:55 am

Ooo these would be perfect for dinner one night. I know my kids will be excited! I will be saving this recipe for sure.

Ali Rost October 10, 2019 - 2:00 pm

Oh, I haven’t eaten fried chicken in such a long time (actually, maybe only 1 month since I started dieting, but for me, that’s an eternity). Yours looks fantastic! I would spike my coating with a big handful of freshly ground black pepper 🙂

[email protected] October 10, 2019 - 2:35 pm

I’ve never fried chicken before, but the way you made these strips looks pretty easy. They came out looking so crunchy and delicious.

Ash October 10, 2019 - 3:12 pm

YUM! I do love my fried chicken extra crispy. This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing!! I want to this recipe.

Tami October 10, 2019 - 4:49 pm

Mine never come out right. I think I might be overcrowding my skillet, so I will try to make less next time.

Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers October 10, 2019 - 5:31 pm

Chicken strips are one of our favorite dinner recipe. They are super easy to make and my kids will eat chicken without begging them to. I don’t like the frozen ones because they seem to have more batter than chicken sometimes. Thank you, we will be trying these soon.

Pam October 10, 2019 - 7:47 pm

Corn starch is the key to a lot of perfect fried foods! These chicken strips look great.

Tasheena October 10, 2019 - 8:29 pm

I can’t remember the last time I tried making homemade chicken strips. Looking forward to giving this recipe a try.

Ruth I October 11, 2019 - 6:36 am

I can remember seeing this thru bars. It makes a great comfort food. Chicken strips are legendary.

Beth October 11, 2019 - 9:55 am

This looks so good! We used to eat fried chicken when our kids were younger. I’ll have to see if this works well for tofu.

Rena October 11, 2019 - 11:12 am

This is great! I don’t often make fried chicken because I could never get it as crispy as I like. I can’t wait to try this awesome tip.

Terri Steffes October 11, 2019 - 8:52 pm

I love the tip about cornstarch. We are practicing making chicken wings in the air fryer and the skin comes out soggy. I am going to try that tip this weekend.

Alma February 3, 2022 - 2:10 pm

Can you use regular milk if I don’t have butter milk?

Alli February 3, 2022 - 2:19 pm

Buttermilk is slightly acidic and helps tenderize the chicken by breaking down some of the proteins in the meat. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can use regular milk and add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice OR vinegar per cup of milk. Stir together and let sit for 5-10 minutes before using. This is a great substitute for buttermilk.


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