I’ve made no bones about it: Mr. How Sweet likes things plain.

I can’t tell you how many times I have offered to make dinner, asked him what he wants, then made an extravagant version of the dish he originally requested. I just can’t help myself.

But sometimes he gets annoyed by that. I know. He is weird, right? I mean, who wouldn’t want their dish souped up in a fancy style that is obviously going to make it taste so much better?

So that is where these chicken fingers come in.

I’ve made healthier buffalo chicken fingers, honey-ginger chicken fingers, BBQ chicken fingers, and parmesan ranch chicken fingers. Is it too much to ask for me to make the man some plain chicken fingers? No matter how much is cuts me to my core.

These were inspired by the chicken fingers Mr. How Sweet ordered during happy hour while we were in DC. I had a bite and truly, they were probably the best chicken fingers I’ve ever tasted. The breading was clearly panko (and maybe something else?) and it was thick and very crunchy.

I tend to shy away from chicken fingers for the simple reason that I watched my brothers eat 4-5 frozen chicken patties a day during the summers of our youth. I was usually too busy watching Now and Then for the 18th time, but can still smell the chicken finger scent wafting through our house.

On a whim, I tasted one of these chicken fingers and was shocked – it was incredible. And crispy. And crunchy. And delightful.

Crunchy Chicken Fingers

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

3 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup corn flake crumbs

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon pepper

For 2-24 hours, soak chicken tenders in buttermilk. I do this in a 9 x 13 baking dish.

Preheat oven to 450.

Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray it with non-stick spray. In a separate bowl, mix flour, panko, corn flake crumbs, salt and pepper. Dip the chicken tender in the panko mix and coat thoroughly, then lay on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Spray each chicken piece lightly with cooking spray (it will help them crisp) and bake for 12 minutes. Flip and bake for 12 more. Let cool.

As usual, Mr How Sweet dipped these in gallon of ketchup. I’m waiting for the day when he dips his chocolate chip cookies in ketchup.

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97 Responses to “Crunchy Chicken Fingers.”

  1. #
    Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear — October 21, 2010 @ 11:42 am

    I need to make crispy chicken again, you recipe sounds very good. Maybe I’ll try your recipe next since I haven’t done chicken fingers in ages :)


  2. #
    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) — October 21, 2010 @ 12:04 pm

    Mr. How Sweet sounds a lot like my husband. I go through Costco size bottles of ketchup quite frequently! He likes to put it on his tacos….ick.


  3. #
    Dani @ Dani Does It — October 21, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    My boyfriend is the same way! I ask what he wants for dinner, buffalo chicken. I ask what he wants for dessert, chocolate chip cookies. He says he has “simple tastes”. It “cuts me to the core” as well, I feel your pain. In any case, I will have to make him some of your healthified buffalo chicken.


  4. #
    Rachel Wilkerson — October 21, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

    This looks delicious! Definitely bookmarking this one.


  5. #
    Jenny — October 21, 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    These look great! I’m not a huge fan of chicken fingers, but they do look awesome!


  6. #
    Megan (Braise The Roof) — October 21, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    I’m obsessed with panko. It’s just such a happy coating on just about anything. It’s especially good if you broil whatever you’re cooking just for the last minute or two so they get super crispy and golden brown…although since you baked these at 450, they look like they’re perfectly crispy and brown already!


  7. #
    Tracy — October 21, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

    I’m going to try to make these right away, but I have to know where in DC you had the best chicken fingers you’ve ever had in your live. I must get there immediately!


  8. #
    Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather — October 21, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

    Panko makes chicken so crunchy! I don’t know how I lived without it in my life.


  9. #
    Jamie @ Food in Real Life — October 21, 2010 @ 5:43 pm

    I like plain chicken fingers too- I really enjoy a variety of dipping sauces.
    Hot sauce, ketchup, honey mustard, bbq…you name it!


  10. #
    Leah @ Why Deprive? — October 21, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    I LOVE chicken fingers! They’re one of my favorite things. These look so good!
    But so you know, I would happily eat any of you fancified versions. :)


  11. #
    Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) — October 21, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

    gallon of ketchup is SO ME!! :)


  12. #
    Janiek @ abrandnewchange — October 21, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

    I love your lay-out! With the cute cupcakes. And your pictures are very nice!
    I don’t eat meat but it sure looks nice!


    • Jessica — October 22nd, 2010 @ 5:04 am

      Thank you!


  13. #
    Jane B — October 22, 2010 @ 5:58 am

    Made these for dinner tonight, with the plan to make enough for two of us and a few leftovers for lunch tomorrow. There were no leftovers…they’re going in the keep file. Thanks for the recipe and I can’t wait to try the flavoursome variations now!


  14. #
    Brooke — October 22, 2010 @ 9:26 am

    I think we married the same husband! Mine only likes chocolate chip cookies. I have all these wonderful cookie recipes, and he scrunches his nose at me when I want to make something else.

    Can’t wait to try these chicken fingers. I’m sure we’ll love them!


  15. #
    Erin — October 22, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

    ooohhh… I could definitely get my husband to eat these!! He’s a TERRIBLY picky eater when it comes to something remotely “good for you”…
    these sound amazing!


  16. #
    Nicole — October 23, 2010 @ 4:53 am

    Now that looks like chicken my husband would eat! YUM!


  17. #
    Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes — October 24, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

    Bookmarking! Love love love that these are baked.


  18. #
    Torrie @ a place to share... — November 15, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

    I’m trying to plan ahead for next week, and I’d like to make a batch of chicken fingers and freeze them. Would you recommend freezing yours?


    • Jessica — November 15th, 2010 @ 10:12 pm

      I’ve made them ahead of time and they’ve kept in the fridge for 3-4 days for my husbands lunches, but I’m not sure about freezing. I’d be afraid that some of the panko breading would come off? If you try, let me know!


  19. #
    kimz — January 25, 2011 @ 1:37 am

    Wow. Just … wow. These are amazing. They are super easy and they are monumentally delicious. I soaked them in the buttermilk for 48 hours (mostly because I didn’t have enough bread crumbs and it was too cold to go out!) but it turns out, the 48 hours made it almost … creamy. In a good way. Melt in my mouth good. Plus, I had no corn flakes so I just increased the panko. Delicious!


  20. #
    Amy — May 4, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    (i should be working) but let me say my husband is the same. he would rather eat velveeta from the box, pasta-roni from the box…and probably frozen fries that my “take” on all of the above. kinda ticks me off, because what fun is a boxed dinner?! i mean, yes, nice sometimes when you need a break…but so much more satisfying cooking it yourself. anyway, back to the chicken fingers – i love these. i usually toast the bread crumb or panko first for an extra crunch (but i stole that from the recipe @ annie’s eats, so i can’t take credit), but they are SO great, crispy, and don’t make me feel like a fatty for wanting tons of them (because, i always do).

    love your blog!


  21. #
    Ami — July 1, 2011 @ 9:08 pm

    I made these for dinner tonight and they were so delicious crispy and crunchy. Thanks so much for the recipe.


  22. #
    Elizabeth Burrell — July 6, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    I’m pretty sure that the more i’m reading about you and your husband the more i am loving you and your blog. Your husband is just like me. I am just like you. Yesss.


  23. #
    Melinda — December 31, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

    Yum!!! I added chicken seasoning to the buttermilk and garlic salt to the breadding and it was amazing. I love the crunch!!!



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