chicken fingers and honey mustard (certain types of honey mustard, at least) are two of my absolute favorite foods. i’m sort of picky about batter vs. breadcrumbs, sweet honey mustard vs. sauce with actual mustard seeds, etc. but at the end of the day, this has been a staple for me since i was a kid.
i’m not even kidding when i say that these chicken fingers are better than any fried chicken you’ve had. well… my tastebuds aren’t kidding, but i guess it depends on your preference. these aren’t greasy, the chicken is fresh and they’re so crunchy. the best part is they’re not made with any fat other than what’s already in the chicken, so you can enjoy the finger food without any greasy food coma after!
when i was in college, my roommate amanda and i used to concoct crazy homemade chicken finger recipes on what seemed like a weekly basis. i never thought to double dip them like this recipe calls for, so our breading tended to fall off. but nevertheless, we were creative! we used captain crunch, corn flakes, cool ranch doritos, classic breadcrumbs and more. i have to say the doritos were the most inventive - talk about well-seasoned! the captain crunch ones are awesome with a hint of sweetness, too.
3 cups of cornflakes
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup skim milk
1 pound of boneless, skinless, chicken breast tenders (or chicken breasts, cut into strips)
pretty simple collecting, eh? let’s start doing.
preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
in a large bowl, pour the corn flakes and mash them up into tiny flakes. you don’t want to turn them into dust, but the smaller the flakes, the more likely they’ll stick to the chicken and stay there. mash just enough to get some frustration out.
in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder. if you’re looking for more of an italian seasoning, you could always add basil and oregano or if you want a buffalo-esque chicken finger, go for some cajun seasoning and hot sauce! for this classic version, i stuck with the basics.
mix together the milk and egg and then combine with the flour mixture. mix together until everything is well-blended and a batter is formed.
now, start a production line that starts with the raw chicken, cleaned, dried and trimmed to your satisfaction (i’m super picky about chicken, so about 1/5 of this package got chopped off because i was too particular). next, dip the chicken til it’s covered in the batter and then coat it completely in the crushed cornflakes. lay them flat on the parchment-lined baking tin and bake in your 400-degree oven for 30 minutes.
the outer coating should be golden brown, crisp and if you cut one open, the chicken should be cooked all the way through, no pink.
ken’s light honey mustard is top notch, so i enjoyed that immensely with the chicken fingers. i decided to stick with finger foods and had some baby carrots, while i figured cornbread was a perfect pair for (non) “fried” chicken. really, i was just trying to clean out my freezer, though, and had some homemade cornbread leftover from when i made chili back in the fall.
what are your favorite childhood foods?
click here for a printable version of the recipe!