Chicken Planks (Like Chicken Fingers, Only Better)

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Tender chicken coated in crispy Saltine crackers – this quick and easy chicken planks recipe is sure to become a new family favorite. It’s like chicken fingers, only better!

Plate of Chicken Planks.

This chicken planks recipe 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. Yep, you only need 4 ingredients to make my chicken planks: chicken, oil, eggs, and Saltine crackers. We coat each chicken piece in the egg and Saltine crackers before frying them in the oil. It doesn’t take long for your plate of chicken planks to be ready to eat! I love serving them with my favorite dipping sauce, but you can serve them however you like.

Tender on the inside and crunchy on the outside, one bite and you’ll understand why these chicken planks are so popular! I think you will also be surprised at how much better they taste than any other chicken finger you’ve had. Let’s get fryin’!

chicken planks ingredients

Recipe Ingredients

  • Saltine crackers (please don’t get low salt or no salt crackers, just trust me on this).
  • Oil
  • Eggs
  • Chicken

How to Make Chicken Planks

crush half of the crackers in a bowl.

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

pouring oil into skillet

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

While this is heating, place the 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.

beat eggs in bowl.

Crack eggs into a bowl and beat them well.

chicken plank ingredients

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

Dip each side of chicken into egg.

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

Then press chicken strips into cracker mixture.

Then press each side into the cracker mixture.

Breaded chicken planks

Here are our breaded chicken fingers, all ready to go.

Fair warning that after you do several pieces, your cracker crumbs will start to get gunky. That is when you add in your reserved crumbs.

Cook breaded chicken in hot oil until golden brown on both sides.

Drop them into the hot oil. I cook mine on medium to medium-high heat. I like to use a heavy skillet for this, like my cast-iron skillet. Turn after they brown on one side and continue cooking.

When they get nice and golden brown on both sides they are done.
Chicken planks on a paper towel-lined plate.

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

Chicken Planks

These chicken planks are wonderful with any dipping sauce, or on their own.

Dipping chicken plank into sauce.

Personally, I’m a ketchup gal. My husband likes honey mustard. Sara Jane (our bonus daughter) likes ranch, and Katy likes ’em plain.

Chicken Planks

I hope you make these soon, friends!


  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. It’s best to reheat them in the oven or air fryer.
  • You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before following the above reheating instructions.

Recipe Notes

  • The best cooking oil is vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil.
  • Substitute the crackers for breadcrumbs if you prefer.

Recipe FAQs

What do you serve with chicken planks?

First, pick your dipping sauce and serve it as an appetizer. Here are some homemade sauce recipes you might like: Alabama white barbecue sauce, Comeback sauce, and chipotle ranch dressing.

Secondly, you can serve your fried chicken as a main dish with your favorite side dishes. This might include coleslaw, potato salad, mac and cheese, parmesan oven fries, pasta salad, or cornbread.

Finally, you may also like to serve them in a tortilla wrap with your preferred salad toppings, like cheese, avocado, and fresh tomato. Add your sauce of choice and you have an unbeatable lunch right there!

Check out these other quick and easy chicken dishes:

Grilled Chicken Tender Recipe (No Grill Needed)

Easy Ranch Fried Chicken Tenders

Baked Chicken Tenders With Zesty Seasoning

Crunchy Chicken Recipe

Southern Fried Chicken (Fuss-Free)


Chicken Planks

Tender chicken coated in crispy Saltine crackers - this quick and easy chicken planks recipe is sure to become a new family favorite.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken
Servings: 4
Calories: 216kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 -3 sleeves Saltine crackers
  • 2 eggs
  • cooking oil


  • Pour the oil into a large skillet to a depth of 1/4-inch. Heat on medium while you prepare the chicken.
    cooking oil
  • Place chicken in a gallon ziplock bag and beat out until 1/4-inch thick. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork. Crush saltines and put them in a separate bowl.
    2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 -3 sleeves Saltine crackers, 2 eggs
  • Cut each chicken breast into three strips and dip each piece first into the egg bowl, then in the cracker crumbs; being careful to coat completely. Drop each piece into oil and cook, turning once, on medium to medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.


Calories: 216kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

removeI originally published this recipe in 2008 and updated the photos and this post in 2020.

This post is featured on Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck.

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  1. 5 stars
    These are off the chain delicious! I did brine my chicken breasts in salt water for about 3 hours but other than that followed the recipe exactly. These will be made often.

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve recently received an instant pot/air fryer 9-in-1 machine and I’ve tried a couple of things so far. I was cautioned by some that there’s a learning curve! Well for me it’s more like a learning spiral lol!!
    Anyway, Christy I’m wondering if you have any suggestions for me as to taking several of your different chicken recipes and turning into air fryer recipes? I’ve briefly looked through your website menu and cannot find anything. I’ve been a follower of yours for several years now but must’ve unknowingly unsubscribed from your newsletters because I went for awhile w/o getting anything…then realized it was my own fault! duh!
    My sister is one of your front porch friends and is on her 2nd yr reading the complete Bible & loves it!
    Back to my original question, I’m on the lookout for your recipes converted to air fryer and for instant pot equivalent. Thanks & God Bless You! Kari

  3. 5 stars
    I tried this recipe. For my chicken parmesan. I added grated parmesan cheese to the crackers. I covered what was left of the chicken planks with spaghetti sauce. So good

  4. 5 stars
    The heavens opened no joke!! I wish I’d grown up next door to you, although I might be your mother’s age! Simply a 15 out of 10! Gonna make these for my granddaughter’s who have very discerning palates! They will be crazy for these!

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