ModernHostess: Finger-Lickin’ Chicken
As most of us probably are, I’m a real sucker for chicken fingers. What’s not to love?? It’s crispy, delicious comfort food, and the dipping sauce variety is just delightful. Crunchy chicken definitely brings me back to my childhood, when chicken nuggets were one of the only things I was willing to eat.
Nowadays, my palette is considerably more open and sophisticated (or at least I’d like to think so). But that doesn’t mean I turn up my nose at crunchy chicken! I still love it. However, I do prefer to eat a more healthy version in my adult years. So I make baked chicken fingers (see recipe below), ditching the deep-fried method as well as all the fat that comes with it. And I must say, they are pretty tasty!
A key component in ensuring a crisp chicken finger is using Panko, a Japanese style breadcrumb that won’t burn in your oven. Also, bake the fingers on a wire rack set inside a cookie sheet… that way, the entire outside will be exposed to the heat and will thus crisp up. Plus, you won’t have to worry about flipping them.
These fingers are best enjoyed with a variety of dipping sauces. Some of my favourites are honey, BBQ sauce, spicy mayo, and Asian-style sauces like sweet and sour, plum or hoisin. For something really special, try combining equal parts of Dijon mustard and fruit jam (like apricot or peach). Tangy! Enjoy!!
Crispy Chicken Fingers
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, diluted with a few tbsp water or milk
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs (seasoned with anything you like, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and of course salt and pepper, to taste)
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 4 small or 2 large breasts), cut into strips.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Create an “assembly line” for dredging: place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate bowls or plates and line up next to each other, in that order. Prepare a baking sheet fitted with a wire rack and place at the end of the “line”, after the bread crumbs. Spray rack with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Dip each strip of chicken in flour, and shake off the excess. Dip into egg, then breadcrumbs, then place on wire rack. Repeat until all strips are covered.
- Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with dipping sauces of your choice.