‘The Pioneer Woman’: Ree Drummond’s Crispy Chicken Strips are ‘Easy and Yummy’

Ree Drummond’s homemade crispy chicken strips are so good, you’ll never want to make the frozen kind again. The Pioneer Woman star shared that the chicken is a Drummond family favorite and it’s an easy recipe to make at home.

Ree Drummond smiles in a bright colored top on the set of the 'Today' show in 2021
Ree Drummond | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ree Drummond’s chicken strips are better than the frozen variety

Drummond wrote about her homemade chicken strips in a 2009 blog post on The Pioneer Woman website. “Now you’ll know how to make much better chicken strips than you can buy in the freezer section,” she noted. “They’re easy and yummy — who can argue with that?”

In the blog post, Drummond shared a story about sitting in church and passing her husband a note to find out what he wanted to eat. “Question: What happens when Pioneer Woman and Marlboro Man’s four kids leave the house for the weekend to stay at their grandfather’s house and Pioneer Woman passes Marlboro Man a note in church asking, ‘I’ll cook you anything you want for lunch … what’ll it be?’ and she’s expecting he’ll say something fun like Chicken and Noodles or Rib Eye Steak with Whiskey Sauce or My Favorite Hamburger Ever or some kind of Italian treat like pizza or lasagna?”

She continued, “Answer: He passes her a note that reads, ‘Chicken strips.’”

The suggestion floored her but Drummond gathered herself and headed to the store to buy boneless, skinless chicken strips. She explained they are sometimes referred to as “Chicken for Fajitas” or “Chicken Tenders.”

How to make Ree Drummond’s crispy chicken strips

Drummond demonstrated how to make her chicken strips on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. “It can be tempting just to buy the frozen ones and throw them in the oven but I made the mistake once of making homemade chicken strips and my family went absolutely crazy for them,” the Food Network host explained. “I’ve been making them ever since.”

She placed chicken tenders in a bowl, topped them with buttermilk, and soaked them for 15 to 20 minutes. “This is a really nice start to the chicken strips because it gives them a nice moisture, a little bit of tang,” she explained.

Drummond combined flour, seasoned salt, salt, and pepper in a dish, then slowly drizzled in buttermilk. “This is a really cool way to make the chicken strips a little bit crispier,” she explained. “The flour mixture is a little tacky. It has little clumps — little moist clumps — and as it fries, the clumps get really, really crispy.”

The Pioneer Woman star removed the chicken from the buttermilk then coated it completely with the flour mixture. Once all the chicken was breaded, Drummond cooked it in batches in hot oil. She placed the cooked chicken on a paper towel-lined plate.

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.

Drummond makes a pretzel-crusted option

Drummond also has an easy pretzel-crusted chicken strips recipe. She combines brown mustard, mayonnaise, and honey in a small bowl. Then she seasons chicken tenders with salt, coats the chicken in flour, then dips the meat in the honey-mustard mixture, then coats it in pretzel crumbs.

The Pioneer Woman star heats olive oil and butter in a skillet and cooks half of the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side, then places it on a rack set over a sheet pan and repeats the cooking process for the remaining pieces.

You can find the full recipe on the Food Network site.

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