It was hubby’s birthday on Saturday, and it was easy to figure out what he wanted to dinner. Hubby is always begging me to make my chicken fingers recipe, but I don’t like to do so often because 1) frying is intense and sometimes painful, and 2) hubby eats a lot of chicken when I make this, so it’s not very economical. But it’s his birthday, so I made up a huge batch and he was ecstatic.
Scrumptious Chicken Fingers
at least 4 hours
Approximate Cooking Time:
4 chicken breasts, cut into strips or nuggets about 1/2 inch wide
1 cup of buttermilk, which can be made by mixing milk with lemon juice or white vinegar (see directions)
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 c. flour
1 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
vegetable oil for frying
Cut the chicken breasts and put them in a baggie. If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of either lemon juice or white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup. Add milk to the cup until there is one cup of liquid. Add that (or the 1 cup buttermilk) to a separate bowl. Then add the egg and the garlic powder and mix. Pour the egg mixture into the baggie. Close the baggie and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
When you are ready to cook, retrieve the chicken from the refrigerator and drain the marinade. Add the flour, bread crumbs, salt and baking powder to a clean plastic baggie. Heat the oil for frying on medium-high on the stovetop. Prepare a plate with a paper towel on it for the done chicken.
Add some pieces of the marinated chicken to the flour mixture. Close the bag and shake until the chicken is covered. Then add the chicken pieces to the oil. Fry until both sides are golden-brown, then place on plate with paper towel. Repeat until the chicken is cooked. Serve immediately.
I served this recipe with only some baby carrots. I figured that the breaded added some carbs, and hubby was getting more than enough protein!
Some notes on this recipe: I suggested cutting the chicken tenders a bit thicker (about 1/2 inch) rather than super thin because I have found that the super thin pieces dry out and turn crunchy.
When I used to make this recipe for 4-5 people, I would make 8 chicken breasts’ worth and it would not be enough. When I made this for hubby’s birthday I did not expect him to finish it all (about 3 chicken breasts’ worth after I ate my fill), but he did. There must be something about fresh chicken tenders that just makes people go crazy! They can’t seem to get enough!
Also of note, frying these chicken pieces can be extremely difficult. I usually fry on medium-high and then turn it down to medium or even medium-low if the chicken starts to burn. If you’re feeling adventurous or you’re making a larger batch I would suggest changing out the oil once it gets lot of burned black pieces in it. This recipe does not require a huge amount of oil, unlike what the original recipe that I adapted suggests (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/breaded-chicken-fingers/), but it does require enough to make sure the chicken pieces don’t stick. I usually add about 1/2 inch of oil to my pan and use that for this entire recipe.
Finally, please be very careful that the chicken is done when you take it out. I always cut open the thickest piece of every batch to make sure that the chicken is done all the way through. My whole family got campylobacter poisoning once when I was a child, and it was so awful that I remember it vividly even though I was very young. I vow to never let that happen to me again. These chicken pieces may look a little over-done when they finally come out of the oil, but believe me, they taste delicious and do not taste burnt at all.
I have not yet tried frying this recipe in lard, so please let me know if you try that!