Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

I am so excited about this recipe that, even though I have a few waiting in line still, I had to move that one right to the top of the pile.

I mean, I’ve tried making oven baked chicken fingers a few times in the past, but I’ve never been so extremely satisfied as I was with these babies.

Funny thing is, ever since Nora posted this recipe, I knew I had to give it a try. What I don’t understand, however, is what took me so long! Maybe I was afraid that I’d be disappointed. I mean, they look sooooo unbelievably good in her pictures. What if they didn’t turn out to be as good as they looked? Maybe I just wanted to keep living the fantasy…

Good thing I finally stepped into action and actually put these to the test.

These are seriously moist and flavorful, super crispy and not one bit mushy. For real, they are much better than a lot of the deep fried stuff that I’ve had in the past.

They are even better than they look… I swear!

Now, I had to make a few changes to Nora’s recipe, but they were very tiny little changes, really. Hardly noticeable. ;)

For one, I marinated my chicken in buttermilk. I love marinating chicken in buttermilk. It makes it really nice and juicy and also helps a lot with flavor, I find.

Secondly, I didn’t have the cereal that Nora’s recipe called for, so I used my beloved Heritage Flakes by Nature’s Path. They worked BEAUTIFULLY!

Thirdly, I only single coated my strips, whereas Nora double coated hers. I find double coats are often too thick for my taste.  That crust came out PERFECT, just how I like it. Nice and light and cripsy and downright delicious!

This is now my official go-to recipe for chicken tenders.

It’s that good!

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

Yield: Serves 3-4

Crispy Baked Chicken Fingers

INGREDIENTS

    For Marinade
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • For Chicken Tenders
  • 2 cups flaked cereal, finely crushed (I used Heritage Flakes by Nature’s Path)
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk from the marinade
  • 2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • For dipping sauce
  • ½ cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp hot Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove tenders from chicken breasts and cut the remaining meat in 3-4 strips.
  2. Transfer to mixing bowl, add buttermilk, salt and pepper and toss until chicken is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil or lightly grease.
  4. Remove chicken strips from marinade.
  5. In a shallow bowl, add crushed cereal, sesame seeds, garlic, paprika, salt, and cayenne and stir to combine.
  6. In a separate shallow bowl, add egg, egg white and buttermilk from marinade and whisk to combine.
  7. Dip each chicken strip in egg mixture then roll in cereal coating until nice and evenly coated on all sides and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken is used.
  8. Bake until crust is golden and chicken is cooked through and no longer pink, about 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your strips (mine took 20 minutes).
  9. While chicken is cooking, prepare the dipping sauce by combining yogurt, mustard and honey in a small bowl.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Natural Noshings

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/crispy-baked-chicken-fingers/

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Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the kind words and link love Sonia! Soooo happy you are as fond of these tenders as me! Your chicken fingers are looking quite irresistable and making me seriously crave a big plate right now!!!! I hope you dont mind if I invite myself over hehe! :)
    Your photos are spot on and gorgeous!!!! I especially love the ones that are being dipped – serious yum!!!

  2. says

    You know I have you RSS’d on my blog so I don’t miss when you come out with a new posts? Are you a real person or some kind of “blogbot”, those look too delicious! You’re like the hot Canadian Martha Stewart or something… ;-)

  3. says

    This looks great. My kids love chicken tenders. Where do you find black sesame seeds? I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

    • says

      Black sesame seeds are widely available here and I get them at my local grocery store… If you have no luck finding them at yours, try an Asian food market, or a natural food store, maybe. Or, you could always sub white sesame seeds… ;)

  4. says

    baked chicken fingers are an easy go to for me when i don’t know what else to make – and they’re so easy, I really don’t know why people buy the processed box ones. Mmmmmm – chicken fingers. ;) never tried marinading chicken in buttermilk though, i’ll giver a shot!

    • says

      So true! The boxed stuff doesn’t even taste good… and the texture lacks big time, too! Buttermilk is just the easiest chicken marinade ever. And my fave, by far. Mind you, yogurt isn’t bad either. I hope you end up giving it a try…

  5. says

    I was able to marinate the chicken for only about an hour, but they were still super tasty! When I took them out of the oven, I was really unsure about them, but they tasted a lot better than they looked. I put the chicken strips on a cooling rack and then on the baking sheet so that they don’t get soggy. The breading was just the right amount. I made only 1/2 of it to begin with but ended up making the full amount. Thanks for the recipe!

    • says

      Oh Erin, I’m really surprised that you would say they didn’t look good. This is what first struck me with these tenders: they LOOK amazingly good. And I didn’t need to cool them on a rack either for them to be (and remain) crispy. I’d be curious to know what made yours turnout ugly and soggy… I hate when recipes don’t work out as good as they should! :(

  6. says

    What? No! My comment was supposed to sound nice! I at least tried to make it sound nice because I was really happy with the result!

    Your chicken looks amazing. Mine did not look so amazing but that was my fault and had nothing to do with the recipe. I just didn’t crush my cereal well enough, and so the breading didn’t stay on very well and it just came out looking not so pretty. I didn’t cool them on the rack. I put the rack on the cookie pan and then baked them on the rack on the cookie pan. That way they can’t get soggy. It had nothing to do with the recipe, it’s just how I always make chicken fingers because they often get soggy. I’m sorry if my comment made it sound like I had problems; I definitely didn’t! They were super and your chicken fingers are very pretty. :)

    • says

      Oh, yay! I am so relieved! Maybe I should mention in the instructions to crush the cereal really fine? Not to a powder, but pretty fine still… would that have helped you? So you’re saying your fingers didn’t come out soggy, right? Just checkin’ to make sure! ;)

  7. says

    I guess that would be good. I just tried to make mine look like yours, but I guess I didn’t do it finely enough. My chicken fingers were probably the crunchiest baked fingers yet! So sorry to cause you worry. Now I feel bad. I’ll try to be more clear in the future that *mine* were ugly and not yours. Can you delete all our comments and I’ll leave a new one? :)

    • says

      No way! It’s not like your comment was rude or anything. I happen to love your comments and absolutely refuse to delete even one! ;) Besides, I never delete comments, unless there’s spam, of course. And please, don’t feel bad, you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about! I love it when people give me their insight and share their experience after trying my recipes. The insight that you have given me here is extremely valuable, and I never percieved it as being negative, far from there! Oh, and thank you for saying that my chicken fingers were prettier than yours! ;) I’ve never been too good at making decent looking chicken fingers, so I take that as a major compliment. :D You rock, girlfriend, you are absolutely awesome! Don’t feel bad, alright? Don’t! :)

  8. says

    You’re great. :)

    To be honest, I wrote that first comment really quickly and didn’t analyze it first like I normally do before hitting send so I’ll be more careful in the future. Thanks for understanding. And tomorrow is Sonia-pizza day. Hooray! Now I have two reasons to be happy. :)

    • says

      You will have nothing but cheese or pepperoni on your pizza for real? OMG! You HAVE to try other toppings. I think pizza is my favorite thing to play with. There are so many different things that go well on a pizza. I just had a sweet potato spinach this week-end, with tons of poppy seeds on the crust. It was amazing!

    • says

      No, no, no, no, no, no… you just don’t understand, Erin… you just can’t give them a choice, see? So, what you want to do, really, is sit them down and have a good talk with them. You go: “TASTE BUDS! There’s something you guys aren’t quite getting here. See, you might not like the taste of veggies but the thing is, they happen to be very good for my body, and if my body isn’t doing well, well… you guys aren’t going to do well either. So from this day on, I want to see a little effort from you all, and I mean EACH AND EVERY single one of you! Is that understood? Now, repeat after me: Zucchini tastes AWESOME! Now, that’s the spirit. And we are going to repeat this little exercise until you all learn to appreciate veggies!”

      Just don’t do it out loud… keep that all in your head, else, your boyfriend might look at you funny! ;)

  9. Donna says

    Superlative offering all the way around…photography…texture…colour..This one is a keeper..obviously!!…Could I use nigella instead of the black sesame seeds?..I brought these back from a trip to Tunisia..and was told they go in breads…but could they be used for the gorgeous colour contrast in your coating? I know I gush about your blog (to anyone who will listen!)..but I must say it is consistently fabulous.

    • Donna says

      OOPS…Forgot to ask..any way to make the recipe along a Paleo or gluten-free bent?…Could one possibly sub coconut flakes..ground flax (other seed or nut?)or could one use quinoa flakes..toasted & ground…or even a buckwheat flake or?!…Thanks for your inspiration, always!

    • says

      Thank you Donna, that is very nice of you to say! I think you could very well use the Nigella instead of sesame seeds. They sure would add an interesting flavor! As for making other substitutions in an effort to make these gluten free or paleo friendly, I say go ahead! Let your imagination run wild! Love the idea of using buckwheat flakes… I might have to try that one myself!

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