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Cook It Light: Buffalo chicken strips

By Jeanne Jones

Dear Jeanne,
I found this recipe because my kids love boneless Buffalo strips, but I would like to make it healthier for them. That’s where you come in. What’s the secret to making this good without all the fat? Thank you for your help. —Katherine, Riverside, Calif.

BUFFALO CHICKEN STRIPS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup hot sauce
Oil, for frying
Mix together the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the eggs, then coat each breast evenly with the flour mixture. In a pan, melt the butter with the hot sauce. In a separate pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Fry the chicken in the oil for 10 minutes, or until done. Remove from the oil and drain. Add to the hot sauce mixture and coat.
Makes 6 servings.

Dear Katherine,
This is a simple recipe that you can make as Buffalo strips or, if you have family members who are not fond of hot and spicy foods, you can leave out the extra sauce at the end and just have a crispy chicken strip. The difference in the nutrition if you do that actually will be in the sodium content, as there are no calories or fat in the sauce.

Also, I have omitted dipping the chicken in egg and have replaced it with buttermilk, which is better nutritionally and far less messy to prepare.

BAKED BUFFALO
CHICKEN STRIPS
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch-by-3-or 4-inch strips
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot sauce, divided use
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the chicken and buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of the hot sauce.

3. In a large, deep plate or bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt. Place the chicken strips in the breadcrumbs, one at a time, and cover evenly. Place on the prepared pan.

4. Spray the top of each strip with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 12 minutes. Turn, spray again and bake for 5 more minutes. Place the strips in a large bowl and coat with the remaining hot sauce, flipping the strips gently and making sure not to disturb the crust too much. Or, if preferred, leave the sauce out entirely.
Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 441 calories; 23 gm fat; 157 mg cholesterol; 958 mg sodium; 25 gm carbohydrates; 32 gm protein; 1 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 214 calories; 2 gm fat; 67 mg cholesterol; 470 mg sodium; 18 gm carbohydrates; 30 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.


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