Chicken Planks ( Kinda like Chicken Fingers, ONLY BETTER)


I think my husband married me because of these chicken planks, seriously. They are a hit with kids, teenagers, and grown ups alike so I thought I’d bring it to you today since our Southern Plate family has grown so much since I first posted it. This was back in the day of my little point and shoot camera so I took a new final photo last week to put in here but the other photos are the original ones. Have a great day and I you get to make these soon! Gratefully, Christy

Click here to get my recipe for Comeback Sauce to serve with these! 

chicken planks

This was one of my mom’s weekly dishes growing up. They are so good! Our friends would hear we were having chicken planks and conspicuously hang around our house until Mama called us in for supper so they could secure an invite.

After all, aren’t Southerners known for their fried chicken?

The taste and texture of this dish are so amazing, you’d never know the ingredients were so few and so simple.

We were eating these in our family long before chicken fingers made it onto the menu at restaurants and before chicken nuggets were even thought of (Happy Meals were hamburger or cheeseburger back in “the day”). I remember we went to a restaurant once and my dad actually asked the waitress what a chicken finger was. He said “I didn’t know chickens had fingers!”. We were all very young and thought our dad was hilarious.

Give these a try, I guarantee they will knock your socks off and blow other chicken fingers out of the water!

Ingredients are simple: Saltine crackers, oil, eggs, and chicken.
Please don’t get low salt or no salt crackers, just trust me on this.

Crush a sleeve of crackers and put half of them in the bowl, reserving the other half.

Pour about 1/4 inch of oil in the bottom of a skillet and let it heat up over medium heat.

Place chicken breasts inside two ziplock bags and beat out thin with the blunt end of a meat tenderizer or mallet. I use two ziplock bags because one usually ends up splitting open in the course of my beating. I guess I have a lot of untapped aggression :).

They will be nice and flat and thin, about 1/4 of an inch. I wonder if I can use that measurement one more time in this tutorial…keep your eyes open, I am setting it up as a personal challenge.

Crack eggs into bowl and beat them well.
I swear I sing Michael Jackson in my head every time I beat eggs.

Cut each chicken breast into three strips. Set up an assembly line of the three ingredients: Chicken, eggs, cracker crumbs.

Dip each strip into your egg mixture, on both sides.

Then press each side into cracker mixture.

Drop into hot oil. I cook mine on a medium to medium high heat. I like to use a heavy skillet for this. The thickness of my skillet isn’t quite 1/4 of an inch though (snickers). After you do several pieces, your cracker crumbs will start to get gunky.

Gunky” is a highly technical culinary term which I learned whilst acquiring my $40,000 degree in home economics. You may not have used that term until now because you were not properly educated on its meaning. However, as a reader of Southern Plate, you are now qualified to incorporate it into your daily vocabulary. Your friends will be impressed, so you must make chicken planks A.S.A.P. in order to have your first opportunity to utilize this colorful term. Can you tell I’m tired?

Okay, so your cracker crumbs will start to get gunky after you use them a bit, this is where you will take the crumbs you had set aside and dump them into your bowl. Just put them right on top of your old crumbs if you like, then continue breading your chicken and putting it in the oil.

Now lets start a trend. Use gunky in your conversation this week.
If enough of us do it, I bet they’ll start using it on the Food Network!

Turn after they brown on one side and continue cooking

When they get nice and browned on both sides they are done.

Remove from the pan and place on paper towel lined plate.




If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend! I’d love to have you subscribe by email, too, if you like. I send out an email each time I post a new recipe!

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Christy's email list and receive all her new posts directly in your inbox


  1. says

    These are so great…but…use the same receipe for pork chops sometime! My families favorite. I love to make some milk gravy with the drippings to go with the meal. Mashed potatoes…or buscuits. When I have all the chops cooking I dump the left over crackers into the left over eggs and make my own “gunkys”, just spoon into the oil just for me.

  2. Rita Davis says

    Hi Christy-just wanted you to know I make something very similar to your recipe (and will try yours because it looks so good!) What I do is use crushed potato chips (plain or sour cream and onion) and add a little parmesan cheese to it. I make a dipping sauce of honey and dijon mustard or barbeque sauce works well too. Love your website here in Arkansas! Stop by Mena sometime- would love to meet you!

  3. Linda B. says

    Thanks for this recipe , it really was the best I eve made, and I have tried a lot! It will be the only way I make them from now on. I used Krogers Wheat saltines and fried them in grape seed oil even my son loved them and when I told him I was making them with saltines he wasn’t happy, but when he tried them .he said I should always make them like this . I WILL NEVER MAKE THEM ANY OTHER WAY !! I served them with honey mustard sauce. Your mother knew what she was doing , must have been a great cook . Thanks again for the great recipe !!

  4. jerrica says

    I found your website this morning and I am so glad i did! hehe i already have drop biscuits in the oven! Now i cant decide whether to make these or the cracker barrel chicken tenders tonight! And ive already asked my hubby for your cookbook for christmas=) It is all stuff like my MeMe used to cook!!! Thank you so much!

  5. Heidi says

    These are so easy to make and they are wonderful! I love the crunch on the outside and the soft juicy chicken on the inside. I had wanted to make these for a while but I never remembered to pick up saltines. I finally bought some the other day after I saw your recipe to make homemade butter. My daughter made it so I had to have that yummy butter on some saltines. Thank you Christy!

  6. Heather says

    Made these for the first time, for lunch for my kids – I asked if they liked the chicken – said I had read good reviews of the recipe – and my 10-year-old son said “well you can stick up another good review ’cause they are AWESOME!”

    Happy New Year to you and yours!

    • Stephanie says

      Yes =)

      I coat mine with the crushed crackers, season salt, garlic salt and pepper (with a little flour) then I fry them for only a minute of two on each side. put them in a cooking dish and cover with foil. bake at 400ish for 15 minutes, then uncovered for 15 minutes. they come out crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside. GREAT flavor!!!

      if your chicken pieces are a bit bigger then I would cook them longer, I use the chicken strips, not chicken breast

  7. Sandra says

    These were so good and so easy. I don’t own a meat pounding thing, so I used a frying pan:/ Well, it did something, but not what it should. So I cut the three strips in half since they were so thick. They did not make it to dinner. As I began cooking them while my daughter whipped up the sauce. We ate them as soon as one got cooked (we broke it in half and shared it while we waited for the next one!!) Then she wanted fries, which go great with the sauce as well!! So i sliced a potato and dropped it in after the chicken was done. We literally ate as we stood at the stove, what a shame. Two of my favorite foods–crackers and chicken, absolutely wonderful.

  8. Stephanie says

    hmmm, these look great but I think you stole my recipe LOL. actually mines a bit different. I crush up the saltines and then I add some pepper, season salt, garlic salt and flour. I don’t use the egg either. but i cut up the chicken breast and place them in the coating then put them in the frying pan until they are brown on both sides, only a minute or 2 on each side. I then bake them at 400ish for about 15 minutes covered, then 15 minutes uncovered and that browns the crust and makes the outside crunchy.
    SOOOOOO yummi. See I thought I made this recipe up though, maybe i’m a midwestern girl who’s just a southerner at heart.

  9. Sharon Holmquist says

    These have become an all-time family favorite in my house! My normally picky 8 yr old will eat them until I tell her she has to save some for the rest of the family. The platter is cleaned every single time that I cook them. I’ve shared the recipe with several friends, and they love them as well. Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  10. Ebony says

    OMG so i just came across your blog a couple days ago and have became obsessed with it…I have made the red velvet cake….i used your cupcake recipe for that…it was such a hit my family only left me one slice (still trying to figure that out). Today I made the breakfast pizza which my two year old loved. For lunch i made the chicken planks….I ate 5 big planks and no i am not embarrassed lol. Thank you so much for this site. I love the fact that your recipes are simple and the ingredients are more than likely already in my fridge and pantry. I also want to say thank you for the bacon grease post…I just started my jar today and am super excited to fill it up to the top (I used an old Moonshine jar) lol. THank you so much!

  11. Holly says

    OMG!! These were SO good that my very picky 7 year old son not only gave me a thumbs up, but a hug and a kiss after the first bite! We loved them. My only regret was waiting so long to make them after I had printed the recipe. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  12. Clay says

    Hey, Christy. I’ve tried this but have trouble regulating the oil temperature on my gas stove. Can this be easily adapted to your “no fuss” oven frying method? I”m not sure what I’d need to do to adapt it! Maybe I need a basic “how to fry” lesson!

  13. Margaret says

    When I read your term “gunky” and you thought maybe Food Network would maybe start using it….we.. it reminded me of how on Chopped the judges use the term “clunky”…I never think of food of any kind as clunky! I have a necklace that is clunky…it has big chunky rock looking things on it and it makes a little noise when I walk and the rocky-things hit together…you know… chunky/clangy= clunky! Right? now how does that equal food? and sometimes the judges even use the term to discribe a creamy sauce!
    Now, on the other hand, I understand your term “gunky” completely! I use that term in cooking quite frequently myself!

  14. Tracy says

    In the hilarious words of my dear friend, Karen, “Lawd, Lawd, tastes s’good I hate to swaller it!” Talk about a love/hate relationship! These chicken planks and I are gonna have to come to an understanding! It won’t be fair if I make them all the time…the other chicken recipes might get their feelings hurt! Thanks for ANOTHER great one…you are just the best!

  15. says

    Love these – this is how my mom always did it at our house and how I make chicken fried steak, too. Made CFS like this just last night for my 20-year-old’s birthday dinner. Only slight variation is we put a little milk in with the eggs.

    We also make “bites” – little balls of nothing but the coating. Not very healthy but pure deliciousness and crunch!

  16. dianne says

    when I was growing up, my Mama cut round steak into “fingers” (about the width of two fingers) and dipped in eggs and rolled in cracker crumbs! we ate them faster than she could cook them:) gotta be the crackers. soooo happy to see you up on your walker! keep the faith!

  17. Karen F. says

    I have been looking at this recipe now for the last year or so when I visit your site and finally made them tonight.

    I just want to say that I’m fairly well kicking myself in the butt right now that it has taken me so long ;). Some quotes from the kids in my kitchen (who loved pitching in) “AWESOME!” “Amazing!”, “Please make those AGAIN!”

    Thank you!!!!!! :)

  18. Kristalee Miller says

    I just tried these for the first time tonight! Thanks for the recipe. I was told it is a definite make again meal! I paired it with some red skin mash potatoes. I’m one who like seasonings, so it took me awhile to make these. Boy am I sorry I waited! These don’t need it! Just dip them in your favorite sauce if you choose. Thanks again!

  19. Katie says

    Hi Christy,
    This is my first comment, but I have been loving your site for a while now! Once I found it, I immediately started cooking! You have made me a hero with my husband :) When we met I couldn’t cook anything unless it was in a box, we’ve been married 13 years and I have gotten better but still couldn’t get things down his momma makes! She is an amazing cook! Well thanks to you I have made many dishes he is in love with! One dish I made when I asked him what he thought he said well, there’s only one thing wrong. I felt disappointed and asked, what’s that? He said, you should have made more, its all gone! Last night I made these chicken planks and he whispered to me over the table, this is better than cracker barrel, this is the best chicken you have ever made! Thank you so much Christy! God bless you!!

  20. Carrie Sheffield says

    This was supper last nite OMG!OMG!OMG!!!! Iam going to have to make this almost every week said my sweet husband!! He loved it as much as I did! We are in love with this one!!! Very GOOD!!!

  21. Betty819 says

    Hey, Christy, this type breading is what I used to use for fried oysters. Don’t do it anymore, leave it to the seafood restaurants and theirs are probably bought breaded and frosen already. Will have to buy some fresh,chicken tenderloins the next grocery day and make these..Better add saltines to the grocery list along with the chicken tenderloins. You posted a cheese ball one day this week using Buddig sliced meats. I have a great recipe using these products that I’ve been using probably 20 plus years that was posted in a Sunday issue of the newspaper right before Superbowl season..Everybody loves it and ask for the calls for a pinch of bottle horseradish in it. that gives it just “the right kick” to it. Would you be interested in the recipe to try?

  22. Elizabeth says

    I am so glad to see you using the walker,I had to use one when I had my hip done and I still have it. Now about these chicken planks,got me a hug and a kiss from my husband who want me to make these weekly.Thanks for another good recipe,we love these planks. Smiles–


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *