Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Zip on these Strips - Chili's Chicken and Waffles strips

So... Lets talk Turkey Chili's
...
Again.

If you remember from my last review on Chili's, I was blinded by my nostalgic love for chicken strips to finally realize that they just... weren't as good as I remembered, especially leftover. There would be a waxy residue and the chicken would be rubbery. 

However, Chili's has come out with a new thing nowadays - these chicken and waffle bites. Each one is topped with a honey chipotle chicken strip over a waffle made with cake batter. 

Just look at these - 


topped with Jalapenos and some cream that I don't remember what it is made out of. 

So here's the skinny on these:

LOOK:

I mean... come on. Look at those strips. They're glossy and just the perfect size for these waffles. Absolutely delicious to look at. The presentation is really cool too. I love the small bits of breading that are around the edges (and I loved eating them too!) I mean really, the look is a 10/10. (read: denouddaden)

TASTE:

Where to begin, where to begin... 
First of all - Honey Chipotle is the way to go when ordering these from Chili's. I mean its the perfect amount of sweet and spicy (A combination that if you've never tried WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING JUST TRY IT) the chicken was warm and well cooked, no waxy taste at all. These are also breaded differently. You can tell from the look but also the taste that its less heavy on the batter - something that you will either love or hate depending on your preference. 

But there is one downfall of this item - The Waffle
The waffle is made with cake batter, but it is a poor terrible mix. It tastes sweet all right, but boy is it grainy. I mean you could rub the grains in between your teeth. I had to take a drink after every bite and could only manage to eat about 1 1/2 waffles before just eating the strip on top. It just wasn't mixed well.

Overall this experience has taught me a few things - 1. Chili's can make a great strip, its just not their classic and 2. Chili's doesn't know how to mix batter. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Zip on These Strips - Church's Chicken

When I said that no strips would be omitted from a review, I meant it. So now we are moving on to something new - Fast Food Chicken Strips.



Aaaah yes, Church's Chicken. If you cannot tell I took this picture of strips that I got at a gas station that was a Subway/Church's/Deli/Bait Shop/Normal gas station stuff (I mean, what more can you ask for) al wrapped in one. However, I've had Church's many times before from the actual shops as well, so no discredit here. 

LOOK:

The thing that always bugs me about Church's chicken strips is that they don't ever look the same. That might just be a thing with fast food strips, but normally they all have the same long shape, same thickness, stuff like that. BUT looking at these strips you can see that one looks pretty normal, one curls into itself like it's on defense from being eaten (still ate it though) and one that is just GIANT and T H I C C. The mind can only wonder why they wouldn't be all the same. They also are breaded differently than most chicken strips making the color lighter than most. 

TASTE:

Despite what vibe Church's gives you with the always sticky floors and wobbly tables and all the employees having stains on their shirts constantly (I've been to about 4 different establishments, trust me, they're all the same.) they have THE juiciest chicken strips I ever have eaten. Like the chicken breaks apart well and retains moisture and the breading while no very crunchy adds a great flavor to the chicken. At some places (Chili's comes to mind) their chicken strips leave a less than desirable aftertaste in your mouth. Church's does not do that. It makes you crave more and more and more. They never taste differently regardless of where you get them from. 


THE ZIP:


Overall I love these strips and they're relatively cheap compared to other places (*COUGH* KFC, RAISIN CANES *COUGH*) but I would MUCH prefer to pay more if I didn't have to wait 20 minutes in a drive-through or have to go into a facility where I am questioning the last time the floors were mopped. If I have to question that then I can only imagine what the kitchen looks like. 

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Zip on these Strips - Fat Tuesdays


First thing I need to say is that don't go to some tropical location (Like Mahogany Bay in Honduras) and order chicken strips. You will get many looks and a variety of people saying "You can't get those here!" 

But nonetheless they were the cheaper option and dang it, I have a blog to run. 

So while I was on vacation (a 7-day cruise to Honduras, Cozumel, and Belize) I found some chicken strips in Mahogany Bay, Honduras. It was beautiful outside, so we ate them on the patio of the restaurant. Now I cannot be sure that these are authentic since we did not venture too far into the city and this was still on the port, but they were much different than other strips I've had in the Americas. 

THE LOOK:


I made sure to get a nice and close picture so you can see that these aren't breaded like normal chicken strips you see, they are much darker in color. I believe they used Panko breadcrumbs - or something similar for a coating. They are also much MUCH smaller than strips back in the states. It might have something to do with the chickens not being as fat, (which is purely a guess. I just like strips, I'm not a scientist.) so the tender isn't as thick. 

THE TASTE:


You know how Chick-fil-a nuggets are really good and they hold together so well and they're very juicy? Imagine that in a strip, but very crunchy. I mean, I'm not sure what I was expecting for chicken strips from Honduras, but it was not that tasty. It was so unique and the honey mustard (which I never dip my strips, keep that in mind.) just complimented it so well, but the strip could still stand fine all on its own. Juicy, crunchy, hot, and delicious. 

The only issue with these strips is the fries that came with them. Very much a bland potato taste.



If I could find the address of the Fat Tuesdays I would put it here, but alas I cannot. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Zip on these Strips - Special K Chicken Strips


First off, I need everyone to know who made these strips. They are homemade from a very special person in my life, my Granddad! I swear he makes the best food. You won't have to look far for a good meal when he's around. There's always bread and asparagus to compliment anything. 

But now that that is out of the way, let's take a look at these strips. 

THE LOOK:

As you can see from the strips, the Special K cereal coating does not surround the chicken fully. In most cases, I would believe that whoever made them just didn't use enough egg before putting their stripes in the coating, BUT in this case, it works out since if the whole chicken was coated I feel like you wouldn't have enough chicken flavor to overcome the cereal. They are lovingly cooked and have a nice lightly toasted look. 

THE TASTE:

I seriously don't know how my Granddad does it, but he always has the best chicken strips. They are so tender and juicy and easy to pull apart. He swears he just uses Tyson, but next time I visit I might do some snooping. The cereal adds a different kind of sweetness than with my previous entry for Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, so it is definitely worth trying if you're looking for something different. Its a more subtle sweetness that sticks with you. There might have been some other seasonings thrown in but I just couldn't distinguish them from the overall delicious taste. I think I ended up having four of them.

Overall, next time I come for a visit I am definitely asking for a recipe! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Potato Bacon Chicken Strips - Homemade Strips



You ever have someone coming over that you haven't seen in a while and you get so excited you want to throw a million ingredients together to cook dinner for them?

Well I have. 

This is exactly what happened when my sister came up from Oklahoma for a visit and I was SO excited to cook her a home-cooked meal that I made this:


"Haha, wOW Ellen that just looks like a mess!"
"Yes, but a delicious mess."

As you can tell from the picture, it is a bit hard to make out just what in the world is in this pan, but all will become clear as you continue reading. 


And I PROMISE you, it will be delicious. 


The very first ingredient, a staple in my opinion, are the chicken strips. They were cooked in olive oil and a bit of melted butter and chicken broth in a skillet. Seasonings include: Tarragon, 21 Seasoning Salute (from Trader Joe's), and salt and pepper. 

Half are flipped, the other half are not. Put a lid over the chicken to help cook it faster and seal in moisture. 


So while the chicken was cooking, I went "What would go good with this...?" Because I went into this with no real plan. And I thought of two things.

Bacon
- and -
Potatoes

Now it was just getting those two things to work together. 

I knew I didn't want to mash the potatoes for various reasons, the main one being I was lazy. So instead I kept the skin on, and sliced them into pieces and threw them in with the chicken and a bit more butter and chicken broth. Put the lid on and let it cook until I could mash the potatoes with a fork.
If you zoom in you can see the delicious (and my feet/oil that is on the stove)
And then there was bacon. I figured that a bacon sauce would go great over both the chicken strips and potatoes. I grabbed what I thought would make a sauce and got to work. 

First thing is first, put some half and half or heavy whipping cream in a pot, just enough to get a shallow pool going, and add some cut up bacon. 

NOTE: If you prefer crispy bacon (I know you're out there) cook the bacon separately first, then add it to the pot.)

This is just Great Value bacon - I'm not THAT fancy.
"Oh but Ellen, you need more liquid if its going to be a sauce!"
Calm down, I'm getting there.

The secret, I have found, to any sauce is Cream Cheese. 

I mean, I put it in soups to thicken it, I make lemon pepper sauce with it all the time that goes GREAT in some green bean casserole, I used it trying to make a joke version of lasagna using lettuce instead of pasta (I am not kidding, it was a 6/10 - room for improvements) It's a staple in my fridge for about a year now. 

Anyway, melt some cream cheese in there. 

This was 16 oz of cream cheese, melted together on medium heat.
And honestly, once it is melted all you do is mix them together and that was it. You have Potato Bacon Chicken Strips ready to go.

If you have leftover sauce but not leftover chicken, you can always put it over rice and have deliciousness 2.0 in your mouth the next night. 

The taste is very much bacon until you get into the Chicken Strips. Once you are in the strips there is a slight tang from the cream cheese but a juicy strip that blends everything together so well. 

Overall - a den outta den.


 But of course, food is much better when enjoyed with the people you love <3



Ingredients used:
Chicken Strips
Cuts of Bacon
Good Ole' Russet Potatoes
Cream Cheese 
Half and Half
Butter
Chicken Broth
Tarragon
21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joe's)
Salt and Pepper

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Zip on these Strips - The Drum Room




As you can probably tell from the picture above, The Drum Room in Oklahoma City serves two of the best things ever to be combined: Chicken and Waffles. 

The Drum Room has a great atmosphere with various different drums as decoration like snare drums, piccolo snare drums, and bongos - as well as symbols -  and having a hot sauce that is named "The Flaming Lips", paying homage to the band that started in Oklahoma, the place really ties together its theme very well. What is its theme? Drums and Drumsticks just work. 



But enough about the stuff that isn't chicken strips, we need to talk about the stuff that IS chicken strips.  


LOOK: 

I mean, you can see just from the picture how delicious these bad boys look. They aren't like a lot of chicken strips that have that floury super crunchy look to them, but instead the breading is almost inseparable from the chicken in a golden brown beautiful color. (I'd never thought I would call a chicken strip beautiful, but it's 2017.)

TASTE: 

Man, these truly have a unique taste. Yes they are juicy, yes they are nice and hot - the way they should be served - but they are very peppery as well. I couldn't find a single pepper flake on them, so I can only assume it's a part of the batter the chicken is coated in, and it makes for such a different experience because you just simply are not expecting it. 

To conclude, if you are ever in the OKC area these strips are definitely worth checking out. Even if you don't care for chicken strips (why are you on this blog?), their fried chicken and waffles are amazing. Of course, you can always go for the mashed potatoes too. 

The Drum Room is located at 4309 N Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73118

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Honey Bunches of Chicken - Homemade Strips

So these chicken strips are the first of its kind, at least for me. These are some that I actually made and they were so good that I just had to share, not only them but the recipe too!

First off, here is a picture of the finished product! I paired them with green beans, and while they were great beans they came from a can so I'm not going into detail about them.
Nice and hot <3
 I bet you're wondering "Wow Ellen, those look so unique and delicious how did you make those???"

WELL.

Cereal.

I'm a firm believer that breading will make or break a chicken strip. It also brings the most flavor to the table and so many places just use flour and egg. For this recipe though, our breading is

Drum roll, please...


Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds! 



All you have to do is preheat your oven to 425. 
Then take some of the cereal and put it in a ziplock bag. Since I was making 8 strips I used about a cup and a half of cereal.
Seal the bag and lay it out flat.
Then take a rolling pin (or a can of Pam because you just moved and have nothing else to work with) and crush the cereal into delicious small breading for your chicken.

Now for the chicken strips (Mine were 'Once frozen now thawed' Great Value chicken strips, nothing fancy), you want to dip them in 2 whipped egg, making sure to really get all the crevices.
Throw them into your ziplock back 2 or 3 at a time and seal the bag- or scrunch up the top in your fist if you're really brave- and shake the devil out of that bag.
Take the strips out and put them on a cookie sheet or whatever will go in your oven. I used a cookie sheet with aluminum foil on it sprayed with non-stick spray.

They should come out looking like this!!
How delicious do those look??? 


Side Note: You could also fry these but I would recommend adding some flour to the chicken before putting it in the egg.

And let those cook for 20 minutes in the oven and you will have a great, healthy, honey sweet meal that will make you want more (and I definitely wanted more)

Cereal is my favorite coating to work with so you'll probably see some more reviews of cereal chicken coming your way.