Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken Recipe

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Fans of the infamous Cracker Barrel fried chicken tenders are going to love this easy copycat recipe! These Sunday homestyle chicken tenders are golden brown, crispy, and crunchy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside.

Post includes Weight Watchers points.

the completed cracker barrel fried chicken recipe on a plate with two forks and a side dish of sauce

Cracker Barrel is known for its down-home cooking, featuring classic menu items like chicken and dumplings, fried apples, buttermilk biscuits, cornbread, and of course, the infamous Cracker Barrel fried chicken.

But what if you don’t live near a Cracker Barrel? Or are looking for ways to save money while still enjoying restaurant style meals? The answer is making copycat Cracker Barrel recipes like this southern fried chicken recipe!

Buttermilk and seasoned flour are the secrets to making this copycat version of Cracker Barrel fried chicken taste just like the real thing. Dredge the chicken, then let it rest before deep frying it in a cast iron skillet. The results are so delicious, you’ll want to make this recipe again and again.

Want more awesome chicken recipes? Then try my Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders and this classic Southern Smothered Chicken. #sooooogood

a plate of cracker barrel fried chicken with one piece cut in half

Yeap, you don’t have to leave the house for this Sunday homestyle chicken Cracker Barrel style. This simple southern fried chicken recipe is easy to prepare and affordable. The chicken is perfectly crispy, golden brown, and the taste is spot on, so you can enjoy your favorite restaurant treat at home.

Why Make This Recipe

  • Everyone Loves It – Chicken strips are always a hit, thanks to the crispy coating and flavorful meat.  
  • It’s Authentic – This copycat recipe is spot on. Your family will think you picked up Cracker Barrel takeout.  
  • It’s Versatile – Serve as an appetizer, a snack, or a main dish. It’s also perfect for picnics and parties.  
cracker barrel fried chicken strips on a green plate

Ingredient Notes

  • Chicken – Cut chicken breast fillets into 3-4″ long strips. You can also use chicken tenderloins or boneless, skinless chicken thighs. 
  • Buttermilk – Buttermilk is the secret to flavor and moisture. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, add ½ a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to ½ a cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes. 
  • Flour – All-purpose flour gives the chicken a crispy coating. 
  • Oil – Use your favorite vegetable oil for frying.
  • Water – For adding to the buttermilk.
  • Seasoning – Season with kosher salt, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning.
the ingredients for making this cracker barrel fried chicken recipe

Ready to learn how to make Cracker Barrel Copycat Chicken? Gather your ingredients, and I will show you…

Handy Tip: Use Good Kitchen Tools!

For the best tools to help make your recipe even easier and more successful, check out my collection of the Best Kitchen Tools on Amazon.

How To Make Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken

Get the complete ingredients list and instructions from the recipe card below.

  1. Combine buttermilk and water in a shallow dish. 
  2. In a separate dish, combine flour with salt, spices, and herbs.
  3. Coat the chicken in flour and shake off the excess. Dip the chicken strips in the buttermilk until they are completely covered, then dip into the flour again.
  4. Place the coated chicken onto a wire rack and rest for 10-15 minutes. 
  5. While the chicken rests, pour oil into the pan and heat it to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  6. Next, transfer the dredged chicken to the hot oil for frying. Deep fry for 6-7 minutes, turning the chicken as needed to cook evenly.  
  7. Place the cooked chicken pieces on paper towels or a wire rack to drain the excess oil.
  8. Make sure to serve your Sunday Homestyle Chicken Cracker Barrel recipe will it’s still hot.
image collage showing the steps for making copycat cracker barrel fried chicken

Note: Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

Expert Tips

  • Cut the chicken strips into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. 
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, follow these instructions to learn How To Make Buttermilk
  • Resting the chicken after dredging helps prevent the flour from falling off during frying.
  • Don’t add too many chicken pieces to the pan all at once, as this will affect the oil temperature and cause the coating to fall off.
  • To prevent the chicken from burning, keep a consistent oil temperature and turn the chicken as needed to cook evenly. Reduce the temperature if it browns too quickly.
  • Use a thermometer to help maintain a constant oil temperature of 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. 
  • Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
top down view of the completed cracker barrel chicken recipe

Delicious Variations

  • Gluten Free – Swap the flour for a one-to-one gluten free blend if needed. 
  • Make It Spicy – Add a few dashes of hot sauce to the buttermilk mixture and add cayenne pepper to the flour mixture for a spicy version of these chicken strips. 
  • Swap The Spices – Customize the spice blend with your favorite herbs and spices. 

Prep And Storage

  • Prep Ahead – If using frozen chicken, thaw completely before continuing with the recipe. 
  • Store – Store leftover chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days. 
  • Freeze – Freeze cooked chicken strips for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. 
  • Reheat – Bring the chicken to room temperature for 30 minutes, then reheat in a 400 degrees F / 200 degrees C oven for 10-12 minutes until the chicken is warm and the coating is crispy. Reheated chicken will not be as crisp. 
the finished cracker barrel fried chicken on a green plate

FAQs

What’s The Secret To Great Fried Chicken?

Buttermilk is the secret to tender, flavorful chicken. Buttermilk tenderizes the meat. You can soak the chicken in buttermilk for up to 8 hours before preparing the recipe. 

What’s The Best Oil For Frying?

When selecting a vegetable oil for frying, choose one with a high smoke point for the best results. Peanut oil, corn oil and canola oil are the most popular for frying. You can also use avocado oil or a vegetable oil blend. 

How Long Does It Take To Fry Chicken Strips?

These chicken strips will be cooked in about 6-7 minutes. The time can vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces, so always test with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

top down view of the finished cracker barrel fried chicken on a green plate

More Recipes You May Like

Serving Suggestions

Pair your Sunday homestyle chicken Cracker Barrel recipe with these delectable sides;

Weight Watchers Points

There are 4 Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

side view of a plate filled with cracker barrel fried chicken

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the completed cracker barrel fried chicken recipe on a plate with two forks and a side dish of sauce
Print Recipe
4.67 from 3 votes

Cracker Barrel Fried Chicken

Crispy southern fried chicken strips just like you'd get at Cracker Barrel.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main, Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Bintu Hardy

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds (680g) boneless chicken cut into even-sized strips
  • ½ cup (118ml) buttermilk
  • 1 cup (120g) flour
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • ¼ cup (59ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon chili powder
  • teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  • Pour buttermilk and water into a shallow dish.
  • In a separate dish, combine flour, salt, Italian seasoning, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  • Coat the chicken strips in the flour mixture and shake off the excess. Dip the chicken strips in the buttermilk until they are completely covered, then dip into the flour again.
  • Place the coated chicken onto a wire rack and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • While the chicken rests, pour 2-3 inches of frying oil into the pan and heat to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.
  • When the oil has reached temperature, transfer the dredged chicken to the hot oil for frying. Cook for 6-7 minutes, turning the chicken as needed to cook evenly.
  • Place the fried chicken pieces on paper towels or a clean wire rack to drain off excess oil before serving.
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Notes

  • Cut the chicken strips into similar-sized pieces for even cooking. 
  • If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, add ½ a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice to ½ a cup of milk and let it sit for a few minutes. 
  • Resting the chicken after dredging helps prevent the flour from falling off during frying.
  • Don’t add too many chicken pieces to the pan all at once, as this will affect the oil temperature and cause the coating to fall off.
  • To prevent the chicken from burning, keep a consistent oil temperature and turn the chicken as needed to cook evenly. Reduce the temperature if it browns too quickly.
  • Use a thermometer to help maintain a constant oil temperature of 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C. 
  • Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken pieces. 
  • Always check for doneness with a meat thermometer. The temperature should be 165 degrees F / 74 degrees C when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.
  • Storage – keep leftovers in an airtight container inside the fridge for 4 days.
  • There are 4 WW Blue Plan SmartPoints in one serving of this.

Nutrition

Calories: 329kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 40g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 524mg | Potassium: 718mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg

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3 Comments

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