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People always love this recipe because they don't usually think of using the skin this way when cooking a piece of chicken. It adds a perfect, crunchy texture, and you won't want to eat a chicken wrap any other way without it. Kids also have a lot of fun shaking the bag when seasoning the chicken.
For more recipes and tips from David, visit his website and his Facebook page.
- 1 boneless chicken breast, skin on
- 1 Tablespoon chile powder
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Pepper, to taste
Calories Per Serving287
Folate equivalent (total)9µg2%
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 whole chicken, cut into 6 pieces
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Stir mayonnaise, garlic, rosemary, salt, and black pepper together in a bowl. Place chicken pieces into a 9x13-inch baking dish, spread mayonnaise mixture over chicken, and top with Parmesan cheese.
Bake until the juices run clear, chicken is no longer pink in the middle, and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest chicken piece reads at least 160 degrees F (70 degrees C), about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
After getting cut into strips, the chicken thighs are marinated in a buttermilk brine for 24 hours. "We tested various brines and even tried a salt-cured chicken," recalls Kent, "But this is the best way to make sure the meat's tender."
The buttermilk lends a subtle tang to the final product that's hard to achieve with anything else. Plus, it's classic: "We wanted to keep a foundational element like this that people have been using for years and years."
10 of Our Favorite Chicken Tender Recipes
Whether you call them tenders, fingers, nuggets, or strips (it turns out there are subtle differences), no one can deny that breaded boneless chicken makes for a delicious and comforting finger food. What's less well known, however, is that they're not just dinner ideas for kids. Chicken tenders are easy to make at home, cook quickly, and can be paired with all kinds of grown-up flavor profiles for a satisfying meal that is both easy to eat and incredibly happy-making.
Looking for chicken recipes to make at home? Forget the deep fryer. With a light breading and a baking rack to let air circulate (or use our air fryer tips), you can make tenders that are just as crispy and, well, tender as what you'd find in a restaurant, but that are a lot less greasy, and without the mess that comes from having to deal with all that oil.
But the real reason to go homemade is because you get to spice them any way you want. If restaurant chicken tenders all tend to be rather bland, homemade tenders can sing with all kinds of flavor. Looking for tropical flavor? Use coconut flakes and whip up a fruit salsa. Rather go Tex-Mex? Roll your chicken in tortilla chips and chili powder. Looking for something a little more Pan-Asian? Try 5-spice powder and sesame seeds. Below, find recipes for all those, plus more. Once you see how easy (and delicious) homemade chicken tenders can be, you may never want to order them at a restaurant again.
Breading the chicken
You can cut the chicken into whatever size you like, but keep in mind that smaller pieces will cook faster and seem to go over better with kids.
In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and milk. In a large bowl mix the flour, panko, salt, pepper, and seasoned salt.
Go ahead and preheat the deep fryer to 360 degrees. (Make sure you are careful and follow deep frying safety guidelines!)
Bread the chicken tenders, first dipping them into the egg/ milk mixture, then tossing them in the flour/ panko blend. You can do this in batches but not too many at once or they will stick to each other.
When the chicken is breaded, its time to fry them up! Make sure the oil is ready. Lay the tenders in a single layer in the deep fryer basket, lower it down, and deep fry for five minutes. As long as they are submerged in the oil, there is no need to flip or toss them. They will cook evenly and perfectly.
When the time is up, lift the basket and remove them to a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels.
Since my children have been able to eat solid food, I have given them the same meals that I have prepared for my husband and myself. Somehow, it has worked out well, and for the most part, they each eat and enjoy a wide range of foods.
Every once in a while they’ll go to a friend’s house or we’ll go out to eat, and they’ll have something like mac and cheese or chicken nuggets. They are instantly upset we don’t have these types of ‘kid foods’ more often. So, I try to compromise and make these types of food, homemade, as I can.
When I make homemade chicken fingers for them, it’s generally a win for the whole family.
Ingredients of Chicken Fingers
- 500 gm chicken boneless
- 2 tablespoon virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- salt as required
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoon garlic
- black pepper as required
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
How to make Chicken Fingers
Step 1 Preheat oven to 200°C
Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly grease a baking tray with cooking oil. Set aside.
Step 2 Make egg mixture
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
Step 3 Marinate chicken in egg mixture
Using tongs, dip chicken tenders into the egg mixture and let sit for 5 minutes while preparing crumb mixture. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes.
Step 4 Make breadcrumbs mixture and coat the chicken in it
In another bowl, combine panko and regular breadcrumbs, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and parmesan cheese. Pick the chicken tenders with a pair of tongs and put it in the breadcrumbs mixture. Coat the chicken properly.
Step 5 Bake the chicken fingers and serve hot
Arrange the chicken tenders on baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken tenders and bake again for 8 minutes or until it is cooked. Serve hot with sauces.
- 1 lb. Kosher boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch strips or any other shapes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg beaten with a little water
- 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, seasoned
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- non-stick baking
…The Backstory continues: Best of all, you can use delicious cuts of fresh chicken, control the salt and fat content, fry or bake them, and feel good about what you’re giving to your children.This recipe calls for baking the chicken fingers but you can just as easily fry them in vegetable oil if you prefer. I try to keep a watch over fat content, so I opted to bake them.
When I make these for my grandchildren, I always prepare some extras and freeze them in a plastic storage bag. This way, I’m always prepared for when they arrive.
Merrill’s Chicken Fingers
- Author: Alexandra Stafford
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6
Adapted from Food52’s latest cookbook A New Way to Dinner, which has already being put to great use: I’ve made the shaved Brussels sprouts salad with anchovy dressing, Tad’s roasted potatoes (seriously irresistible), spicy roasted cauliflower, and I have the ricotta gnocchi shaped and ready to be boiled then browned with Brussels sprouts, sage, and pine nuts. I’ll keep you posted!
Note: The original recipe calls for the traditional flour-egg-breadcrumb assembly, but I’ve combined the flour and the eggs with a little water — my friend Holly taught me this trick, and I use it often when breading to save time. I’ve also adjusted the quantities of panko and parmesan to account for using 2 lbs. of chicken thighs, but know that you can’t really go wrong here. If you want to follow the recipe exactly, it’s here on Food52.
Also, if you want to make the chicken fingers ahead of time, you can. Store them in the fridge, then reheat on a baking sheet at 300ºF uncovered until heated through. This book, if you are unfamiliar, is all about preparing ahead — making lots of things over the weekend to use in various meals throughout the week — so it’s filled with lots of good information in this regard. One of the suggested uses for these chicken fingers are a sandwich with pickles and a special sauce, which sounds incredibly delicious.
Oven Baked Chicken Tenders (Healthy Chicken Tenders)
- After the buttermilk marinade add the spices to panko crumbs or breadcrumbs instead of flour.
- Dredge the chicken from the buttermilk into the breadcrumbs then add to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.
- Brush with just 2 tablespoons of melted butter or spray with cooking spray (melted butter will give better flavor).
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Looking for some more fun fried chicken and sides?
Tools Used In This Recipe:
Deep Fryer: Easy for keeping temperature on point and kind of fun to use!
Accent Seasoning: The x factor in the original KFC copycat recipe (use 1/2 teaspoon) (this is MSG, so use at your discretion).