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Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers

Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers
"Finger" is a curious name for breaded chicken breast tenderloins. But that name has spawned a lucrative industry that turns out millions of frozen, packaged chicken fingers daily. Author Maria Sinskey said no to those frozen digits years ago and instead makes this tasty version at home using good-quality organic chicken, which adults and kids alike cannot seem to get enough of.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, each cut into 4 strips,
      or 1 1/4 lb. chicken tenders (about 12)

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 425°F. Pour the olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the flour, egg whites and bread crumbs into 3 separate shallow bowls or pie pans and line them up, in that order. Season each bowl with 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir the cheese, thyme and parsley into the bread crumbs.

One at a time, dip the chicken pieces into the flour and tap off the excess. Then dip into the egg whites and allow the excess to drip off. Finally, roll in the bread crumbs and place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the chicken pieces 1 to 2 inches apart. (At this point, the chicken can be refrigerated, uncovered, for a few hours. The coating will dry out a bit, so it will crisp better in the oven.)

Bake for 8 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over and continue to bake until golden and opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Get Creative: Dipping these tasty fingers into a delicious array of sauces makes them even more fun to eat, especially for the little ones. Spicy mustard and good-quality barbecue sauce are easy options.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Family Meals, by Maria Helm Sinskey (Oxmoor House, 2008).