Aside

Home Made Baked Chicken Fingers

Here’s a recipe that I created using fresh chicken breast. I love chicken, and love breaded chicken even more, so I experimented, and this is the result.

Home Made Chicken Fingers

Home Made Chicken Fingers

Since there are just the two of us, I usually make enough to last for two complete dinners and two leftover dinners, so there are about 4 servings in this recipe. These chicken fingers are so tasty, however, that we sometimes snacks on an extra piece or two before the night is over.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1 1/4 pound of fresh or thawed chicken (I got the “strips” on sale for 1.99/lb, so mine were already shaped like “fingers”)
  • Roasting pan (I use a 13×9 glass pan)
  • Pam or similar cooking spray
  • Olive Oil (I use extra-virgin Olive Oil, the lightest tasting and looking)
  • 2 large eggs, open and whisked
  • 1 cup Flour
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Butter – optional
  • Tabasco Sauce – optional
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • Seasonings* to taste (see below)

You will need the following kitchen supplies:

  • 13 x 9 x 2 Glass pan
  • 4 forks
  • 3 shallow bowls

*FLAVOR OPTIONS

For Italian-flavored chicken:

  • Italian-flavored breadcrumbs (I prefer Progresso) mixed with:
  • Oregano
  • Minced Onions
  • Garlic Powder
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

For Mexican-flavored chicken, mix these into plain breadcrumbs:

  • Cilantro
  • Celery Flakes (not Celery Salt!)
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic Powder
  • Powdered Chili Pepper
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste

For BBQ, Buffalo, or “American” style chicken, mix these into plain breadcrumbs:

  • Parsley flakes
  • Minced Onion
  • Garlic Powder
  • Salt – to taste
  • Pepper – to taste
  • Once battered, a few dots of BBQ sauce on the top of each piece of chicken, and again when you flip them over

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PREPARATION

1. Prepare three shallow mixing bowls and forks for each: Flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Put them in this order.

2. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.

3. Spray non-stick cooking spray on the bottom of the pan. Make sure to get the sides in case the chicken touches it. This will help keep the yummy breading from being pulled off the chicken when flipping over.

4. Drizzle Olive Oil on the bottom of the pan. I make a very thin layer, both to provide an additional non-stick layer, and to give my chicken some Italian Flavor.

Glass pan with drizzles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Glass pan with drizzles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

5. Pour about a cup of flour into the first bowl. Open the eggs and whisk together in the second bowl. Pour about a cup of bread crumbs into the third bowl. I use individual forks in each bowl so that they don’t get all globbed up, and an additional fork to bring the breaded chicken into the cooking pan.

NOTE: Here, you might want to add spices to your bread crumbs. I add Oregano, Minced Onions, Garlic Powder (not salt!), Crushed Red Peppers, Salt and Pepper. I mix it with a fork so that the mixture is well-dispersed. See above for other recipe ideas.

Add your own spice mixture to plain or seasoned bread crumbs.

Add your own spice mixture to plain or seasoned bread crumbs.

6. Cut your chicken into similarly-sized finger-shapes.

7. Take each one separately and dip in flour, covering completely. Next, dip it into the whisked eggs, covering completely. Holding the egg-covered chicken by the end (with a fork), drain the excess fluid, and dip the chicken into the bread crumb mixture. Cover completely, and lay flat in your cooking dish.

Step 1

Example of how to dip chicken

First dip in flour, then into whisked eggs, then into bread crumbs to create batter.

Make sure there is enough room around every piece.

Make sure there is enough room around every piece to cook.

8. Repeat this step, laying each piece next to each other, until you’ve battered all of the chicken.

————————————————————————–

COOK TIME!

9. I recently added another step – cutting up small pieces of butter and sporadically placing them on the pieces of chicken. You don’t have to do this, but I do love the flavor of butter.

NOTE: Once all your chicken is battered and put in baking a dish, you can add more flavors:

  • Tobasco sauce – drip Tabasco sauce (one drop at a time!) on the chicken – maybe 2 or 3 drops per piece – only on the top. Less is more, so go easy!
  • BBQ sauce, dot on some BBQ sauce on the top, then again when flipped over, on that side.
  • Lemon or lime juice – drizzle lightly over the tops of the pieces. Don’t saturate!
Preheat the oven fully before putting the breaded chicken inside to bake.

Pre-heat the oven fully before putting the breaded chicken inside to bake.

10. Pop the dish into the oven at 350 degrees. Set timer for 30 minutes.

These are half-done. When flipped over, the top is crispy and a nice brown color.

These are half-done. When flipped over, the top is crispy and a nice brown color.

11. At the 30 minute mark, the edges should be a little crispy, and the oil in the bottom sizzling. Carefully flip each one over, trying to avoid pulling the breading off. I usually sweep a fork underneath to loosen, then flip it over. If some of the breading comes off, just scrape it up and put it on top of the piece when you flip it over.

Cook for another 25-30 minutes, based on the amount of chicken and desired crispiness.

Delicately crispy, but not overdone.

This is what they should look like when done – delicately crispy, but not overdone.

12. Check at the 25 minute mark, because you may not need the full 30 minutes.

————————————————————————–

RING THE DINNER BELL!

13. Take the pan out of the oven and cut open one of the pieces to check for done-ness.

14. Serve hot and enjoy! When serving, you may choose to add toppings (see below).

NOTE: You may have excess oil in the bottom of the pan, so feel free to drain that out, or to set your cooked chicken on a paper-towel-covered dish to soak it up. (I’m Italian and use Olive Oil in most of my recipes, so we don’t mind a little extra, but everyone’s tastes and dietary styles are different!)

NOTE: Tobasco sauce and Butter are optional ingredients that I just recently started to use. The recipe tastes fine without them. Feel free to add some drops of BBQ Sauce, squirts of lemon or lime juice, or other flavors to enhance your chicken fingers. You may also opt to add toppings when the chicken is done, such as fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce with mozzarella, salsa and cheddar or taco cheese, etc.

————————————————————————–

These chicken fingers make excellent leftovers (that’s if you didn’t eat them all!). Just pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. We just eat them as is, but leftovers taste great as a sandwich, or chopped up over salad or even in an omelet.

Let me know if you try my recipe, and how you liked it. I will be sharing more recipes in the future.

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