chicken

These chicken fingers were the bright spot in a week that was full of otherwise uninspiring dinners at our house.  Actually, we ordered takeout on our anniversary and that was tasty too, but most other nights we did that thing where you dig through the pantry and fridge putting miscellaneous odds and ends together and calling it a meal.  Please tell me you do that at your house too…  On the plus side, I usually feel extra motivated to come up with fun, new dinner ideas the following week so we’ve got that to look forward to in the days ahead.

chicken

There’s almost nothing not to like about these chicken fingers.  They’re quick enough to put together on a weeknight – always a huge bonus in my book.  The coating is not only super crispy, but it doesn’t fall off, even when you cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.  You can serve them with lots of delicious dipping sauces too!  I made a simple one for myself, but honestly I didn’t love it so I’m not going to post the recipe.  If you have a favorite homemade dipping sauce, feel free to leave me a link in the comments.  I have a feeling we’re going to be making these chicken fingers a lot so I’ll have plenty of chances to try out everything you suggest :)

Baked Chicken Fingers
from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 lb chicken tenderloins (or boneless, skinless breasts cut into 3/4-inch strips)

Preheat oven to 475 F.  Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray.

Combine the breadcrumbs and canola oil in a 12-inch skillet, and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly, until golden brown. 

Transfer the breadcrumbs to a wide, shallow dish and set aside to cool.  Mix the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a second wide and shallow dish.  Add the egg whites, water, Dijon mustard and thyme to a third dish and whisk vigorously until the egg whites are broken up and the mixture is foamy.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture (shaking to remove excess) then dip in the egg whites coating both sides completely.  Finally, place in the toasted breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides.  Transfer to the wire rack and repeat with all chicken. 

Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.