Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 strips. The amount will depend on how large your chicken breasts are to begin with. Place the chicken in a large glass bowl. Add the buttermilk, salt and thyme. Stir to ensure each strip is coated in the buttermilk. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for at least six hours or up to overnight.
When ready to cook the chicken, place the frying oil in a wide, heavy bottomed and high-rimmed pot. Cast iron works well. Using a candy thermometer for help, heat the oil to 350˚F. Using tongs, lift each strip out of the brine and allow the excess liquid to drip off. Cover the strip in panko crumbs and fry until you have a deep brown color and crisp outside. Flip and cook the other side. Once cooked through, transfer the chicken strips to a wire rack set over a baking tray. Repeat until all strips are cooked. Enjoy while warm.
If you can’t find buttermilk (like me) you can make it easily. Take one cup of milk and add the juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon). Stir together and after a few minutes, voilà, you have buttermilk.