Pretzel Crusted Chicken Strips + Whole Grain Honey Mustard Aioli

Welcome back to QCK!

I’m pretty much an adult child. In the sense that if I didn’t run this blog and if I had a better metabolism, I would gladly survive on chicken strips, Mac and cheese, and French fries. Okay, that’s not entirely true. The point is I would eat junk food dipped in ranch everyday if I could. So, today I’m sharing a recipe that makes my inner child very, very happy.

You might be thinking to yourself, “didn’t she JUST post a pretzel crust pie last week?”. The answer is yes, I did and yes, I do have a giant bag of pretzels that I need to use. But are you really mad about it? How can you be mad at delicious?

I’m not a big mustard person, but in this recipe it just really works. The salty, yeasty, malt flavor pairs so perfectly with the sweet honey and tangy, peppery mustard. The flavors are bold but the mayo tames it just enough and you end up with this creamy, sweet and tangy dip. The aioli is also a perfect accompaniment to my Soft Pretzels.

The truly beautiful part of this recipe is that the strips are oven baked. If you’re new to Quarter Cup Kitchen, the number one rule is we don’t deep fry! I have zero ventilation in my tiny kitchen so deep frying leaves a film of grease splatter on everything and the smell lingers for a day or two. Drives. Me. Nuts. But on a positive note, baking is a healthier option and I have yet to come across a recipe that I feel would be better deep fried.

Substitutions

  • You can easily make this recipe gluten free by simply substituting AP flour and pretzels for gluten free flour and pretzels.
  • If you can’t get chicken strips, you can just cut thighs or breats into strip sized pieces.
  • Whole Grain Mustard can be substitued with dijon if necesarry.
  • Plain Pretzels can be substituted for any flavor you like, cheddar, honey mustard, sour cream and onion, or Dots would all be great choices. You could also make this recipe with any kind of chip. Potato, Dorito, dare I say… Flamin’ Hot Cheetos? Probably switch up the sauce if you’re going to use Doritos or Cheetos.

Tips and Tricks

  • If you don’t have a food processor, just put the pretzels in a ziplock bag and use a rolling pin, tenderizing mallet, or mug to smash them.
  • You can crush the pretzels up to a really fine powder if you like a more bread-crumb-like coating, or you can leave them slightly chunkier like I did. I like them chunkier because you get more of the pretzel flavor/texture.
  • Personally, I think Inglehoffer is the best mustard for anything, in this recipe I use their whole grain mustard.
  • This is a great way to serve hot dogs. Inglehoffer Whole Grain Mustard, sour kraut and crushed pretzels. Just trust me. It’s so good.
  • The best way to do any sort of breading is to work with a “dry hand” and a “wet hand. Meaning one hand is used only for the flour and pretzels and one hand is used only in the egg and raw chicken. For example, if your left hand is dry and right hand is wet, the process goes as follows: Right hand places raw chicken in flour. Left hand coats the strips in flour, then places floured strips into egg. Right hand coats strips in egg, then places the strips into the pretzel. Left hand coats strips in pretzel and places the strips onto the sheet tray.

Recipe

Prep: 20 MinsCook: 30 MinsDifficulty: MediumServings: 3

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Chicken Strips
  • 1 C All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 2 C Pretzels, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/2 C Mayonaise
  • 2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Non-stick Cooking Spray

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • In a food processor, pulse pretzels until they reach a breadcrumb-like consistency. Pour into a small bowl.
  • In one small bowl, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
  • In another small bowl, whisk two eggs with honey and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • Bread the chicken strips by placing them into the bowl of flour. Make sure each strip is evenly coated in a thin layer of flour.
  • Next coat the strips in an even layer of egg, be sure to drip off any excess.
  • Place the strips into the pretzel bowl and evenly coat.
  • Place the strips onto the sheet tray, making sure none are touching.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and spray the top of each stip with cooking oil and flip them over.
  • Bake another 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through to 165°F at the thickest part of the strip. Cool slightly before serving.
  • While the strips are in the oven, make the aioli by combining mayo, mustard, honey, salt and pepper to taste. Leave refrigerated until ready to serve.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you tried it out let me know in the comments. For more recipes check out my homepage and follow along on Instagram. Don’t forget to like, follow, comment and share. Thanks for reading! 

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