No need to go out and spend money when you can enjoy these Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers Recipe in the comfort of your own home!
When I am feeling like I need a guilty meal (or a good margarita and some chips and salsa), my first choice is Chili's. I know, I know, but Chili's iconic chicken tenders are the perfect fried food. Every since I was little, this has been the one and only item that I have ever ordered from this place! Since we're on a budget and I had the craving last week, I made them at home. Honestly they were just as good as the restaurant's!
The recipe comes from Todd Wilbur's book, Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2: More Amazing Clones of Famous Dishes from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains. I actually bought the book just for this recipe. While I haven't tried anything else in the top secret recipe book yet, I would suggest buying it if you have some favorite chain restaurants meals. Since this Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers recipe was spot on, I would assume the other original recipes would be as well.
I know that the whole point of going out is to avoid dishes and be served. Making this recipe at home kind of defeats that purpose, I know. But if you're a single mom like me, you have to get creative. This recipe gives the chili's crispers experience for a fraction of the price. It's great when you have a group of hungry boys coming home from football practice! Plus, I get bonus mom points.
WHY WE LOVE THESE CHILI'S CHICKEN CRISPERS
- Tempura Texture- While these nuggets have a great crispy texture, the batter is still light like tempera. I know that the restaurant chain now uses a different batter, but this recipe is for the OG-original chicken crispers!
- Cheaper- I love a good copycat recipe because it saves me so much money not going out and the whole family loves it!
- No MSG- This recipe uses chicken broth in the batter to give the chicken the same flavor as the MSG provides.
- So much better than standard breaded chicken.
- Whole milk
- Chicken broth- beer also works well!
- Ground black pepper
- Self-rising flour- you can also use all-purpose flour as an alternative
- Shortening or vegetable oil- just make sure your oil is ok to reach a high temperature.
- Chicken Breast Tenderloins
Honey Mustard Dressing
- Dijon mustard
EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO MAKE THIS POPULAR COPYCAT RECIPE
- Large skillet, large enamel pot, or a deep fryer.
- Shallow bowl for dry breading and egg mixture
- Tongs or Steel Spider
- Paper Towels
HOW TO MAKE THESE CHILI'S CRISPERS
I put together a quick video to show you exactly how to make Copycat Chili's Chicken Crispers. Enjoy!
- Make honey mustard sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl and chill until needed.
- Heat shortening or oil in fryer to 350 degrees (*I used a heavy enamel pot to fry)
- Combine beaten egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk for about 30 seconds to dissolve salt.
- Whisk in 1 cup flour. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.
- When you are ready to fry your chicken tenderloins, coat each piece with dry flour mixture, then dunk the chicken into the batter.
- Let the batter drip off of the chicken and lower it into the hot oil and fry for 7 to 9 minutes or until it is golden brown, depending on size of fryer, you should be able to fry 3-4 pieces at a time. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Drain the cooked chicken strips on a rack or paper towels for a minute or so and serve with the honey mustard dressing on the side for dipping.
- Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2-3 as an entree.
SUBSTITUTIONS, ADDITIONS, AND CRISPY CHICKEN TIPS
Fry the chicken in small batches. If you over crowd the oil, this temperature will decrease and you will risk having a golden brown outside and a raw center.
If want to double check that the chicken is fully cooked, use a meat thermometer. The thickest part of the tenderloin is fully cooked at 165 degrees F.
Add a bit of garlic powder to your flour mixture for extra flavor.
Use the batter for fish, onion rings, or anything you would like to deep fry!
Make sure to pour yourself a large glass of beer or wine while you're cooking...because why not!?
Leftovers can tend to get a bit soggy the next day. To avoid this, bake them on a lined baking sheet at 425 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until they are hot.
OUR FAVORITE DIPPING SAUCE
While our absolute favorite dipping sauce is the honey mustard sauce, some other great dipping sauces include- honey-chipotle sauce, sweet chili sauce, hot sauce, and even ketchup. Although, this is a great recipe and no sauce is needed.
I usually make a double batch of the honey mustard dressing and will use it on everything because it's so good! If you have leftovers, slice up the pieces of chicken and put them on a salad. Drizzle the dressing over it and you have another delicious meal!
HOW TO SERVE COPYCAT CHILI'S CHICKEN CRISPERS
- Old school style with curly fries and corn on the cob of course!
- Pile them onto a sandwich like we show here with the honey mustard sauce, lettuce, and a fresh avocado. So freaking good!
No matter how you serve them, you will absolutely love your meal. And now that you have the recipe at home, you have no need to go out!
Other Chicken Recipes We Think You'll Love
Don’t Forget To Come Back And Let Us Know How Your Chili's Chicken Crispers Recipe Turned Out!
- 1 large egg , beaten
- ¼ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup self-rising flour
- 6-10 cups shortening or vegetable oil
- 10 chicken tenderloins
- ½ cup flour
- Honey Mustard Dressing
- ⅔ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of salt
Make honey mustard sauce by combining ingredients in a small bowl and chill until needed.
Heat shortening or oil in fryer to 350 degrees (*I used a heavy enamel pot to fry)
Combine beaten egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk for about 30 seconds to dissolve salt.
Whisk in 1 cup self-rising flour. Let batter sit for 5 minutes.
When you are ready to fry your chicken, coat each piece with dry flour, then dunk the chicken into the batter.
Let the batter drip off of the chicken and lower it into the hot oil and fry for 7 to 9 minutes or until it is golden brown (depending on size of fryer, you should be able to fry 3-4 pieces at a time.)
Drain fried chicken strips on a rack or paper towels for a minute or so and serve with the honey mustard dressing on the side for dipping.
Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2-3 as an entree.
Regular flour can be used as a substitute for the self-rising flour.
Peanut oil is also great for frying.