If you fry one thing that’s not donuts or latkes, it’s this chicken.
A couple of years ago, I received a photo of a handwritten recipe and the sender called it, “Mike’s Chicken.”
Many of you know that Mikes Chicken Crunchers is a fried chicken takeout located in Lakewood, NJ. And it’s known to make simply the best chicken ever. Every flavor is good, especially when combined with those dips that come with every order. But it’s his Original Chicken Crunchers that were first to become popular and are still the signature item.
Over the years, many similar copycat schnitzel recipes have popped up. A lot of people have thought that they created something “just like Mike’s.” But they never really were as good, until now.
Mike’s Original Crunchers are described this way, “The sweet, savory and crunchy chicken that started it all. Battered and breaded chicken tenders in sweet and crunchy cornflakes.”
Yes, I tried the recipe as soon as I received it. And, yes, they tasted just like Mike’s Original Chicken Crunchers. But who did this recipe belong to? Now I needed to find out. (See more Kopy Kat kosher recipes here.)
I started with Mike directly! Looking at the recipe, he said that it was very close to what he does, but it’s not his recipe and so he’s flattered that someone tried to create a copycat of his Original Crunchers.
I reached out to the person who shared it with me and asked her to try and dig back to who originally sent it to her. She had no luck. We reached a dead end quickly.
Using the power of social media, I posted a screenshot of the recipe, the original handwritten version. Maybe someone would recognize their own handwriting? I wrote, “I like the recipe, it’s awesome, I would like to share it but don’t know who to credit! No one is getting into any trouble, so admit if it was you!”
Someone replied that she had the same screen shot with a phone number on top. Using my least stalkerish skills I messaged a complete stranger. She too replied that she got it from a chat, and looks like someone screenshoted her number when she posted it.
Got a few more leads, messaged more strangers, made some friends but it all came to a dead end.
You see, I worked hard! But I never did share the recipe.
Now, a few years have passed, years in which we’ve been enjoying this recipe. It’s had been passed around a bit, but was still not publicly available. Should we share it on BCP?
I called Mike again for this thoughts. I said, “I still don’t know who the recipe belongs to, but it’s definitely a copycat of yours. Do you mind if I share it on BCP?
Laughing, Mike said, “Sure, go ahead.”
If you are in Lakewood, go ahead and order Original Chicken Crunchers (or Hot Poppers) to go. The rest of you can make your own copycat version and enjoy it at home, wherever your home is!
Marinate the chicken ahead of time with orange juice
and teriyaki sauce.
You can freeze at this point, or continue on.
Add the dry ingredients
to the chicken
and mix well.
Coat in Frosted Flakes.
Now for frying…
Important Frying Tip:
We DO NOT recommend using a pot for frying these. It’s really hard to get consistent results and evenly fried chicken when you can’t control the temperature. For best results, we recommend using the FryDaddy, or the larger version, the Fry GranPappy. They are simple and easy to use and give great, even frying results every time.
We also use the FryDaddy in this post, for the best classic donut!
–If you prefer a more savory version, we’ve made this using Corn Flakes instead of Frosted Flakes as well.
–Victoria makes a sweeter “Waffle” version that does not include garlic/paprika and instead includes ½ maple syrup after adding the flour.
Make Ahead/Freezing Instructions:
–If freezing raw, thaw completely before frying.
–You can also freeze after frying if you don’t want to be busy frying on the day of serving. There are detailed freezing instructions in this post, but for quick reference, just bring them to room temperature on the counter or stovetop when the oven is on (i.e. warm spot). You don’t need to warm up! Just take them out far enough ahead.
UPDATE! Baking Instructions:
Thanks to our readers for sharing that they’ve had success baking this recipe instead of frying!
Reader AK shared she below that she sprays well with nonstick cooking spray, then bakes these @ 375F lightly covered for 20 minutes and then 10-15 minutes uncovered. We tried this method and it worked out well!
Reader YF shared below that she baked @ 425F for 20 minutes and it also worked out well.
Use a “real” (i.e. hard) baking sheet lined with parchment paper when baking.
- 3 lbs chicken tenders
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- Frosted Flakes, crushed
- In a bowl or Ziploc bag, marinate chicken with teriyaki sauce and orange juice for at least 1 hour.
- Add flour, baking powder, garlic, salt, and paprika. The batter may be thick and may need a bit of water. Dip in Frosted Flakes. When ready to fry, heat oil in a deep fryer. Fry until golden brown. Enjoy!
–If you prefer a more savory version, we’ve made this using Corn Flakes instead of Frosted Flakes as well. –Victoria makes a sweeter “Waffle” version that does not include garlic/paprika and instead includes ½ maple syrup after adding the flour.