Chili’s Chicken Crispers copycat with the delicious shatteringly crispy crust that Chili’s crispers famously have, but made at home! So easy to make and also a great batter for fish too!
Chili’s Chicken Crispers
Back to Chili’s today for one of my kids’ favorite chicken tenders of all time. The original Chicken Crispers with that sort of fish and chips texture that’s super different from most chicken tender recipes.
Most chicken tenders have a crispier, more texture, but these are more of a cross between a tempura texture and a fish and chips texture, smoother, lighter batter and the edges, with the super crispy just batter that fried up is so light in texture you’ll find yourself sneaking pieces of it while cooking.
Does Chili’s use MSG?
Yes, the original recipe does call for MSG, but the copycat recipe swaps out the Accent Seasoning for chicken broth, per Todd Wilbur. In this swap it works well to emulate the same flavors.
What to serve with Chili’s Chicken Crispers?
Classic chicken tenders are best served with KFC Potato Wedges, KFC Coleslaw, Crispy Sweet Potato Fries or even your favorite potato salads.
Let’s discuss the dipping sauces! There’s two that are our absolute favorites at Chili’s and they’re both so EASY to make.
Chili’s Honey Chipotle Sauce Recipe
- 2/3 cup honey
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons ground chipotle powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Add the ingredients to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook, whisking, for two minutes before turning off the heat.
- Cool the sauce before serving as a dip or toss the chicken crisper in the warm sauce if serving fully dipped.
Chili’s Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe
- ¼ cup dijon mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup honey
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving.
Tools Used In This Recipe:
Deep Fryer: Easy for keeping temperature on point and kind of fun to use!
Chicken Base: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
Pigtail Flipper: I LOVE this tool for frying. I am able to drop and pick up pieces without removing any breading at all thanks to this awesome tool.
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup self rising flour
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins
- canola oil for frying
- Heat oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl whisk together the egg, milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Add in the self rising flour.
- In a second bowl add 1 cup of flour.
- Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, then into the flour.
- Add the chicken to the oil in small batches and fry for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
Omgosh this recipe is fabulous. I followed as written and spiced up both wet and dry mixes with garlic/onion powders. Using the chicken stock is what makes this a game changer! Thanks
I love all your recipes. I gladly share with my daughters.
Incredible!! It’s important to note that this recipe is for the CLASSIC chicken crispers, not the “extra crispy” kind. After seeing comments we experimented with battering techniques, unfortunately I can’t post pictures but if you follow her recipe, dry flour then wet batter, you get that fluffy soft awesome batter-y chicken like the classic crispers. If you do wet then dry, you will get the crispy version, but the seasoning is not right for that version, it will be more bland. I’d advise sticking with this recipe if you want fluffy classic tenders, and googling a different recipe for the “crispy” crispers if you want those. Perfect for us!!
Her recipe calls for wet then dry. You said to dip dry then wet batter, which was the fluffy original tenders. Which one do I go with? Yours and hers both say differently. I understand you experimented with the batter. Can you help clarify, please? Thanks
This recipe is just unfortunately not at all like chilis honey chipotle chicken fingers. The batter is all wrong. I should have realized by how theirs looked in the picture.
I reversed it too; dry then wet dredge and they tasted just like Chili’s version – delicious! My whole family loves them and I’ve made them several times now. Thanks for sharing – chicken broth and self rising flour are the key additions to this recipe!
Batter first! I try to make tenders now and then and they are hit or miss – these were amazing! Added some garlic powder, was hesitant about the salt but added all of it and they were perfect! Can’t wait to try the recipe with a fish fry! Thank you so much!
Sorry I’m confussed.Do you add self rising flour to cup of flour?
No, you add the self-rising to the wet ingredients and the plain flour in a separate bowl alone. That’s how I read it.
Can I use something other than egg in the batter? I’ve made this recipe dozens of times and it turns out perfect every time. People rave about them! I have someone with an egg allergy and wondered about a replacement.
I don’t know what I did so wrong but batter did not fry up crunchy. And really no flavor to the chicken! I’m going back to my beer batter shrimp!
Your oil was most likely not hot enough you should use Candy thermometer clip on side of pan.I make these all the time Love them they also crisp back up the next day if you put in oven at 375for 12-15 minutes.
SOOOO GOOD! Very easy to make!
Do you mix flour with self rising flour. Or do you use just self rising flour. I usually don’t get confused with recipes sorry. Please help
The self rising flour is part of the wet mix “dredge” and the all purpose flour is used as the final dip after the chicken has been dipped in the wet mix.
I wanted more of a beer batter style so I switched the dipping.. dry them wet..to me they were exactly the same as chilis using that method.. delicious and now a family favorite!
I did that also! It made it so yummy!
I made these on Sunday and they were exactly as described! They were so crispy and delicious, and the batter stayed on. They could have used more seasoning in the batter, I believe. One note: I had to dump the flour halfway thru and get fresh as there was so many clumps of batter from rolling the tenders, it was unusable. They were worth it!
These look so delicious! I look forward to making them. I want to double check before I start, so the chicken goes in the batter and then in the flour? I know usually it’s flour first and then the batter. Thank you!
I made these today and felt there was a mistake on that part as well. I still followed the recipe but it came out more of a crispy/crunchy batter rather than fluffy. It was still amazing but I will be trying the other way next time.
This recipe was awesome and a big hit with my family. The only thing I did extra was that I also seasoned the second round of flour; the outside coating; with salt, pepper and garlic powder. They were delicious! One other note…I also made the copycat Honey Chipotle sauce. The recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of Chipotle powder, but it seemed like a lot to me, so I only added 1 teaspoon, and I thought it was still plenty spicy for me. I also made cream gravy as an alternative and they were good with it as well. I served it with coleslaw and corn on the cob.
I have a dairy allergy but still want to try this recipe. Have you found a good substitute for the milk that still creates the same effect? Thank you!
Hi! I am sorry I have not!
What is the original recipe with MSG?
Those look soo yummy!
Can you sir fry them?
I haven’t tried it that way so I am not sure how it would turn out!
So awesome! I have made a copycat recipe for the chicken crispers before, but it had the flour first then the batter. It made SUCH a mess, but since I am about to throw out my oil I thought I’d make them tonight. To my surprise, your instructions reversed them, which made a huge difference! Thank you! These are wonderful! I look forward to trying them again – now I don’t have to wait until the oil is about to be thrown out!!
I’m so glad you found this recipe! Thanks for the 5 stars, Evie.
Evie So? Is this right
Dip into flour then
Dip into batter then oil
Made these last night and they are REALLY good. I feel like they are less greasy than the Chili’s ones, which is a good thing. Will definitely make these again and probably play around with adding some additional spices to the batter.
Really excited to try these! How much oil do you recommend putting in the Dutch Oven?
You’ll want about 1-2 inches of oil for frying. Enjoy!
Can I use peanut oil to fry these?
I found this recipe, and I found the exact same recipe on a different website, except it says to dip in the flour and then batter (like some other commenters questioned). I decided to try both ways.
The other way (flour then batter) definitely looks more like the Chili’s Crispers.
However, this way (batter then flour) does taste better! It’s not exactly like the Chili’s ones, but it is close and definitely sates the craving! Keeping this recipe for sure!
I’m confused, which is correct:
first dip in batter then flour or
first dip in flour then batter
You’ll be dipping the chicken in the batter first and then the flour. Enjoy!
So glad to have found this, I live this batter and I really love Chilli’s honey mustard, I hope this recipe is close to that
I just finished making these and they were a huge hit with my family! The only thing I changed was that I used seasoned salt instead of regular salt. We will be making these a lot! Thank you!!
That’s a great idea! Thanks, Mary.
Wow! Just wow. This recipe is amazing! Tastes just like the crispers. I’m a plain Jane so I like mine with no sauces, however, my husband only eats these with the honey chipotle sauce. He made this for his & he’s blown away. His first statement was “we never have to go back to chili’s!” which of course we will (I can’t get enough of their chili or that chicken bacon ranch quesadilla). We love this recipe & I’m sure it will become a frequent of ours. Thanks so much for sharing this!
I’m glad to hear it was such a hit, Nikki. Thanks for the 5 stars.
These were fantastic! It past my toughest critic of homemade chicken tenders, my son! This will be my only go to recipe! Thank you!
Yay!! Glad it passed the taste test. 🙂
Really GREAT Recipe?!!!!?
Super delicious! My whole family loved it! Both sauces were also great! We even had fun making it together with the kids! Highly recommended! The dish brought back memories of Chili’s, Friday’s and Bennigan’s!
So glad it was a hit!
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it yesterday for my family, it was so good finished before I could even try it myself! I am about to make it again in a bit, just thought I’d thank you all the way from Kuwait 😉
You’re very welcome! I’m glad everyone enjoyed it…make sure you get some next time too, haha!
I was looking for some dinner ideas and ran across this recipe, it was very easy.
I didn’t have Chicken Tenders, so i sliced up a couple boneless breasts.
This recipe came out really good. Light and flakey. Had it with a side order of stuffing.
Can’t wait to make these…. Also the KFC potato wedges – found out they just
discontinued those – My sister’s FAVORITE!! So I’ll have to make those
for her when I make the Chicken Crispers – she will be so tickled!! Thanks so
much for your receipes – they all look AMAZING!!!
You’re welcome, Mianne.
Can you tell me how a pigtail flipper works? Looked it up on amazon but no instructions. Looks like a tool I could definitely use!
By the way, I have added many of your recipes to my keepers list after trying and I am a seasoned cook!
You just pierce a little edge of the food and then flip your wrist. It’s so easy to use! We have one in our store on the site if you’re looking to get one. So glad you’re loving the recipes.
I’m hoping to make these tonight! These might be silly questions but I’m hoping to avoid running out to the grocery store so I was wondering about a few substitutions:
1. Can I use chicken stock instead of broth?
2. Can I use 2% milk instead of whole milk?
3. Can I use Olive or Vegetable Oil instead of Canola Oil?
Yes to all three 🙂
I have made this several times. It is fantastic. I just use boneless skinless chicken breast and then cut them in 3/4 inch wide strips. (I also like to brine my chicken breast in some cold salt water for around a half an hour – it makes it more tender and juicy. Just make sure that you dry off the chicken breasts before you dip them into the batter.) And just cook it until it’s done. Are use a meat thermometer in to make sure I get to 165°-175 in the center of the widest part of the strips. It is seriously excellent. I never have self rising flour but it is easy to make your own. It’s a cup of all purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and a half a teaspoon of salt.
Thanks for all of your feedback.
I’ve made these twice for my family. With all of the positive feedback I had to give them 5 stars. I followed the recipe exactly. Even made sure there grease was the correct temperature. The crispers come out with a perfect crunch but not hard. The chicken was also juicy. Would definitely recommend.
So glad it’s become a family favorite.
I’m wondering if you could adapt this recipe for the air fryer oven to eliminate the oil?
I haven’t tested it yet but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
“Dip each piece of chicken into the batter, then into the flour.“
Surely that’s backwards!
Nope, it’s correct. It creates a lighter breading, more like a tempura. You’ve got to try it!
Greetings! I love chili’s chicken crispers. However, they have one version that the the chicken comes out Not crispy but soft and tender. Can you advise how I can prepare the batter that will make the chicken NOT CRISP BUT TENDER! ??
What’s the name of the menu item so I can add it to my research list?
I know what she’s talking about, I used to work at chili’s, she’s referring to the battered crispers, it’s a fish n chips type batter just on the chicken
i imagine i can just cut up bite size peices using chicken breasts?.not sure what chicken tenderloins are..lol..ty huggzz
Chicken breasts are going to take slightly longer to cook. Most stores have chicken tenderloins (they are usually cheaper), they are just a different part of the chicken.
It is backwards. Dip into the flour then into the batter if you want them to come out like the picture. 4 and 5 should be reversed if you want a crunch.
You Are SPOT On!!!
I’ve been using “Better than bullion” for quite some time now. Love it. According to the jar instructions it appears you would use a little less than a teaspoon for 3/4 cup of broth. Does that sound correct?
Thanks in advance for your help.
That’s correct. 🙂
These are delicious and my kids constantly ask for me to make them again and again!
Just one question, ive recently started counting calories. It says 17 servings and 149 calories per serving but not how many chicken pieces in each serving. Is it 1 piece of chicken that’s 149?
I’m glad your kids love them, mine are big fans too! Using standard size tenderloins, the serving size is 2 pcs of chicken and the recipe should make 12 servings.
YES! I’ve been looking for a recipe that’s just like Chili’s for my son’s chicken finger obsession. This one is great!
Is there any way to copy your recipe for Chili’s copycat chicken crispers? I hit print but then a copy comes up with nowhere to print. I’m using google chrome.
The print button on the recipe card is working for me, not sure if it was a glitch when you tried. You can also go the the top left of your screen and under file is a print option. I just checked and both are working. Hope this helps!
I can’t wait to make this recipe tomorrow night for dinner ?. This looks and sounds sooo good ?. I will make sure to hashtag my photos on my Instagram account ??. Thank you for sharing ?
Hope you love it!
So if I own MSG does that replace the chicken broth all together or how would that work? Looks amazing, thanks!
I’ve never cooked with MSG so I haven’t been able to test it but I would err on the side of caution and start with 1/2 teaspoon and adjust from there. Hope this helps!
I have made these a couple of times and they are really good!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Can I make this in an air fryer instead of deep frying? Would you modify the recipe or simply put in the air fryer instead of deep fryer?
I’ve never tried it so I can’t say. If you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
I tried itbin an air fryer and all the batter came off. Im trying it in a frying pan tonight
Thanks for posting this recipe, it was a big hit last night, even for our picky teen-ager. We will be making this again!
You’re welcome, Kelly! Thanks for the 5 stars!
How may I substitute AP flour for self rising? I don’t ever buy that ingredient.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to 1 cup of AP flour as a substitute for self rising flour.
thx for the question and the answer..as i never have SR in the house
We really enjoyed our chicken strips, they were delicious. We will be using this recipe over and over again!
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
I don’t have any whole milk so can i use buttermilk instead?
It will change the flavor a bit with buttermilk having some acidity to it but will still work in a pinch.
Hi Sabrina ….I am a bit confused …..in direction number 5 u have written dip chicken in flour and then the batter ….however in one of the comments u have agreeed that chicken to be dipped in flour and then batter
Sorry, didn’t mean to confuse you. You’ll want to dip the chicken into the batter first then into the flour before placing into the oil to fry.
Hey you have mentioned self raising flour in the batter and the other being just flour to coat….which is this plain flour( whole wheat or Cornflour)?
It’s All Purpose Flour 🙂
These look really good! I can’t wait to give this a try!
These look really tasty! I can’t wait to give this a try!
Looks delicious. One question. In direction number five, do you mean to dip the chicken into the flour first and then the batter?
I know it sounds backwards but dipping in this order creates that wonderful crispy batter. I hope you enjoy it!
Oh boy… these look DELICIOUS!!!
I just LOVE copycat recipes!
Me too! Saves me from having to go out!
Everyone needs a Chili’s Chicken Crispers recipe like this!
OMG! I used to love Chili’s chicken tenders, but sadly seven years ago we moved far away from any locations and I haven’t had them since ?. I’m definitely going to try your recipe out and see if it satisfies the odd craving I get whenever I see a commercial for Chili’s. Thank you!
You’re welcome! Enjoy!!
Love these from Chili’s. I know I am going to love these even more.
They’re so good!
Can these stay crispy to take to an evening event?
It’s going to be tough but I suggest if you want to try, place the chicken in a ventilated box that’s lined with paper towels or on a rack to help keep them as crispy as possible. Good luck!
I love ordering these! I love the light and airy batter! Excited to make them at home!
The crisp on those looks absolutely perfect!
Thank you Michelle!
What kind of recipe specification is that, with all those question marks?
Thank you so much for catching that! Sometimes when the recipe card gets pulled it, it’s glitchy. I just corrected it.
How deep should the oil be in the Dutch oven?
I would recommend about 3 inches of oil. I hope you enjoy them!
What if I don’t have a Dutch.. oven?
You’ll just want to make sure you have something with high enough sides that you can fry them without in splattering everywhere.