Oven-Fried Chicken Fingers

03bChickenFingersbfLOCrispity crunchy, but still moist.

Tasty, but not too, too spicy.

Chicken fingers made from actual, honest-to-da-Google chicken! In this case, breast tenderloins, but if you prefer to substitute boneless, skinless thighs, you will no doubt be rewarded with a fine bit of chicken finger-ishness as well.

And, they’re baked, not fried – what, exactly, is NOT to love about these treats?

•1-1/2 lb chicken breast tenderloins
•1 cup mayonnaise
•2 tbsp honey mustard*
•3 tbsp water
•1/2 tsp celery salt
•1/2 tsp black pepper**
•1/2 tsp garlic powder
•2 cups panko01aMarinadebfLO

*My home made honey mustard is a snap to toss together, and hard to beat, taste-wise, but by all means use your own favorite bottled brand if you prefer.02bChickenMarinadebfLO

**As always, when I call for black pepper, I mean Tellicherry, which I firmly believe will spoil you for any other black pepper. Fortunately, it is easily available in a variety of grinds or as whole peppercorns from the nice folk at Penzeys or, my personal faves, The Spice House, tho’ Penzeys has this kinda cool looking Special Extra Bold® version that I believe I will need to try, soon.Whisk the mayonnaise together with the honey mustard and the water in a two cup measure or other bowl, then stir in the celery salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.03aChicienBreadedbfLO

Cut the chicken into strips, then place in a gallon-sized zipper bag.

Pour the mayonnaise mixture over the chicken in the bag, give it all a good toss and squeeze to cover all parts of the chicken, then place in a rimmed bowl (in case of leaks) in the fridge for an hour or three, flipping the bag when you think of it.

Heat oven to 425º and apply cooking spray to a rack fitted into a foil-lined baking pan.

Place the panko in a wide, shallow bowl, then remove the chicken, piece by piece, from the marinade (using your fingers or tongs, either will work, and you’re gonna get a bit messy anyway, so just go ahead and use your fingers), roll in the panko to coat, and arrange on the rack. Discard the marinade.

04bChickenFingersPlatebfLOBake for 15 or 20 minutes, until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through.

We had ours with bit more of the honey mustard, some sour cream cucumber salad, and oven ‘fried’ cheese with a dab o’ marinara.

I baked the cheese a touch too long and some of it melted, but it was still a nice addition to this not-so-junky junk food dinner.

All those cheese-y details, tomorrow.

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