Finger foods are awesome, especially chicken fingers. They are great for everything from a game party to a wedding reception. You can eat them for dinner, you can eat them enjoying the big game, or you can watch them disappear into even the pickiest kids. Chicken fingers rule!
My thing is that I don’t want to eat fried chicken fingers. Well, at least not this time. So how can I bake them and they still taste as great as the fried kind? Meet these tasty baked chicken fingers. They are moist on the inside and mad crispy on the outside.
Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers Recipe
(About 4 servings)
- cooking spray
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt and pepper (to season the chicken)
- 1 and 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon mustard (I used Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil and place a wire rack (i.e. metal cooling rack) on top.
- Spray the wire rack with cooking spray and set it aside.
- Season the chicken breast tenderloins with salt and pepper and set them aside in bowl #1. (You can also just leave them in the tray they come in, but we’ll still call it bowl #1 below.)
- In a large skillet, heat the oil on Medium heat. Add the panko bread crumbs and cook until the crumbs are gold brown, stirring constantly.
- In bowl #2, whisk together the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
- In bowl #3, whisk together the eggs, water, mustard, and thyme.
- Once the panko bread crumbs have been toasted, transfer them to bowl #4. (You are building an assembly line here in case that wasn’t obvious.)
- Cover each seasoned piece of chicken (from bowl #1) in the flour mixture (in bowl #2).
- Then dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture (in bowl #3).
- Finally coat each piece of chicken in the panko crumbs (in bowl #4).
- Transfer the chicken pieces to the prepared wire rack.
- Spray the chicken pieces with cooking spray and cook them for about 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Source: Elly Says Opa
It’s a bit of a process to make chicken fingers at home, but it’s so much fun! I’m all about being neat and orderly so I set up an assembly line.
Cooking Tip #1 to Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers: Use panko bread crumbs instead of regular bread crumbs. They are bigger crumbs and they create more crunch. I used white panko bread crumbs, but you could also use whole wheat too.
Cooking Tip #2: Lay the breaded raw chicken fingers on top of a wire rack (i.e. cooking rack). As the chicken cooks, the juices will fall away from the chicken onto the baking pan. Since the chicken fingers will not be sitting in the juice, they will not get soggy.
The spices going on here are awesome. There is only a hint of cayenne pepper in them so they are not spicy at all. (AKA, these are totally kid friendly.) You could increase the amount of cayenne if you did want a bit of extra kick, but do so at your own risk. 😉 If you don’t like mustard, don’t worry because neither do I. It adds some great flavor with the rest of the spices and you can’t even taste it in the final product.
These are the crispiest chicken fingers I’ve ever baked, and maybe even the crispiest I’ve ever eaten. If I closed my eyes while I was eating them, I would have sworn they were fresh out of the frialator at a fast food joint, except I don’t have the guilt that goes along with eating them. Hooray for a baked version! I’m all for less fat and calories in my food, especially when it doesn’t make them taste any less awesome.
Pair these chicken fingers with some crispy baked Spicy Sweet Potato Fries and you’ve got a relatively healthy, and totally delicious, meal. Just saying. 😉 To be super healthy, you can also add these chicken fingers to a salad. I love how these are so versatile!
I think these are ideal for the big game day coming up this weekend. What’s your must-have food for a game party?