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These copycat KFC honey barbecue chicken strips are the best I’ve ever had. They’re even better than the best ones I’ve ever dreamed of. The batter is delicious, frying up crazy crunchy good. The chicken has that perfect bite, too. The batter doesn’t all come off with each bite. The meat is tender and juicy. And then there’s the sauce. Perfectly sweet with a hint of smokiness. The sauce is crazy good. This is one of the most finger-licking-ly good dishes ever.
I cut my chicken pieces pretty large when I made these copycat KFC honey barbecue chicken strips. You can cut yours smaller if you prefer. You can even cut them into nugget-sized pieces. But the smaller they are, the more batter you’ll need. Just something to keep in mind.
I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce to make the sauce. It has the perfect consistency and flavor to make the base for what ends up being one of the best BBQ sauces you’ll ever have. I can guarantee you that it’s also fantastic on wings and ribs. You can use your favorite store-bought sauce as the starter. If you don’t start with a smoky-flavored sauce you can always add more liquid smoke.
Copycat KFC Honey Barbecue Chicken Strips
- deep fryer
For the chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breast or chicken tenders, cut into small strips or bite-sized pieces
For the dredging (double if cutting your chicken into small pieces)
For the sauce (make first)
- Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add all of the sauce ingredients and stir.
- Bring to a low simmer and keep simmering for 20 minutes, stirring often, until the sauce is slightly thick.
- Reduce heat and keep sauce warm until ready to use.
For the chicken
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick spray.
- Heat 3-4" of oil to 350 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
- Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or pie plate.
- Pour the buttermilk into another shallow bowl or pie plate.
- Working in batches if needed, coat the chicken pieces in the flour mixture.
- Shake off any excess and then place into the buttermilk. Turn to coat.
- Shake off any excess and return the chicken to the flour to coat again.
- Shake off any excess and place in the hot oil. Fry 8-12 minutes until golden brown. Small pieces take less time. Thicker, larger pieces will take the full 12 minutes.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
- When all of the chicken pieces are fried, brush them with the BBQ sauce and place on the foil-lined baking pan.
- Bake for 10 minutes to set the sauce.
- Remove and serve.
Nutritional values are approximate.