Once upon a time I did not cook chicken every.single.day.

Once upon a time I was also single.

I don’t even remember what that was like. That can’t be promising three years in, right?

 

This is only the oh, I don’t know, sixth chicken finger recipe I’ve shared? I have a premonition that once children enter this picture, I won’t have a difficult time adjusting to the culinary palate of a toddler.

Just a hunch.

 

Would you liked a snippet into my everyday life? Probably not… but I’m going to tell you anyway.

A few weeks ago when I made those snickerchipdoodle cookies? Mr. How Sweet curiously took a bite and asked what was inside.

“Toffee,” I responded.

“I hate coffee!” And with that he spit out the cookie into the trash.

“No… TOFFEE. Not coffee. What the heck is wrong with you?!”

“Isn’t toffee coffee?” he asked.

“Um, no. It’s not coffee. Why would you think it is coffee? And I seriously can’t believe you just spit out that cookie. You should eat it out of the trash.” With that, I walked into the family room and turned on the only show to make his ears bleed: The Kardashians. But then I was confused. So, I ran back into the kitchen, where he was perched above the sink with his Diet Coke. I’m shocked he hasn’t figured out a way to permanently glue a full can to his hand.

“Wait… so you liked the cookie… you thought it tasted good… but the minute you “thought” there was coffee inside, you spit it out – EVEN THOUGH YOU LIKED THE TASTE?! God forbid you step or, ahem, stumble outside the box. You have issues! Aren’t you almost forty years old?!”

“Uh. Mmmgh Hhhmmgh,” he managed to murmur in between bites.

 

Ugh. Hopeless. This culinary situation is seriously hopeless.

So, the next day I caved. I made him chicken fingers, but added cheese since I can’t let anything be. Well, that… and because I wanted to make sure he knew I was no longer catering to his “only-give-me-plain-crap!” demands. I know when my stuff is good.

 

I did win a small battle on Sunday though with the green chili cheeseburgers we ate. He would have never tried something like that before, but I made them look pa-retty darn irresistible.

Oh well.

You win some, you lose some, eh?

Cheddar Crusted Chicken Fingers

[from all those other crazy chicken fingers]

serves 2-3

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders

2 cups low-fat buttermilk

3 cups panko bread crumbs

1 cup seasoned regular bread crumbs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

4 ounces of cheddar, freshly & finely grated

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

2-4 hours before serving (or even overnight), add chicken to a baking dish and cover with buttermilk. Let soak.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, flour, salt (quantity should be adjusted to taste given the amount of salty cheese), pepper, mustard and paprika and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk (it should have a think layer of milk around it), and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and repeat. Before baking, hit each chicken tender with a spray of non-stick spray or mist of olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with dips of choice. the dip above is nothing special – just a bacon ranch dressing that I spiced up with chili powder.

Note: many of you has asked where I get my wire/cooling racks that fit on my baking sheets. I use these Calphalon ones that happen to fit perfectly on the jellyroll pans. Love them!

Uh, totally unrelated, but did I hear a rumor that Boyz II Men are back?! Don’t even toy with me, world. The only thing more heart wrenching would be if you told me that Felicity is coming back on the air.

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145 Responses to “Cheddar Crusted Chicken Fingers.”

  1. #
    1
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — October 26, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    we need to get margaritas together. I’m sure we could swap many many marriage stories. Our husbands sound one in the same.

    Reply

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    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — October 26, 2011 @ 7:02 am

    I love the coffee/toffee story. That’s classic.

    And thanks for the reminder on those snickerdoodlewonderful cookies that I want to make.

    And the dipping sauce, ranch makes everything taste even that much better :)

    Reply

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    Kathryn — October 26, 2011 @ 7:03 am

    My mum used to make chicken fingers like this and I haven’t had them for years. I want to have children just so I have an excuse to eat kid friendly food again.

    Reply

  4. #
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    Ami @ parsnips and pears — October 26, 2011 @ 7:04 am

    I swear we have the same husband. Also, Boys II Men ARE back… they were on the new Rosie show last week!!!

    Reply

  5. #
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    Lys — October 26, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    Felicity is kind of dead to me ever since that episode she cut off all her hair. I mean hello, all your powers are gone now. Take a lesson from Sampson: never cut off your hair.

    ….I have hair cut issues. Obviously.

    But I’m excited to see that these are baked and not fried. I am absolutely tired of Roo thanking me for dinner by hugging me with his greasy fingers. Again, what’s wrong with me, he’s saying thank you, why am I judging his dislike for using napkins.

    That’s right, he is insanely lucky for having all. of. this. (crazy).

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 7:23 am

      Hahaha, oh yes he is!

      Reply

  6. #
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    Jennifer@Peanut Butter and Peppers — October 26, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    I love these!!!! When I marinate my chicken in butter milk, I add a couple drops of hot sauce, it adds a little bit of a spicy kick! I have to tell you, you have the most unique recipes, I love it!!

    Reply

  7. #
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    Saba @ Less is (More) Fun — October 26, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    I love the toffee/coffee story, and I had to chime in because it sounds like something that could maybe, quite possibly, ever so slightly happen in our parts. However, after 5 1/2 years, I have to say that my husband is a lot braver in the food trying department and usually lets himself like a surprising number of things. (sometimes I just have to remember not to tell him what’s inside first)

    Reply

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    LaureeOhohoh — October 26, 2011 @ 7:33 am

    Too flippin’ funny, my boyfriend is the same way!!

    Reply

  9. #
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    Heather (Heather's Dish) — October 26, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    um, i want this. and i think mr. how sweet it pretty much a standard guy…sometimes i don’t tell nate what i’m putting in stuff because then he’ll find a way to not like it!

    Reply

  10. #
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    Amy @ A Stool at the Counter — October 26, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    OMG I totally slowed down and pondered the Boys II Men sign at Walmart this week. What is going on there?? Soooo excited! And the part about Mr. How Sweet spitting his cookie in the trash totally made me laugh out loud. Nice way to start the day. Thanks for that. :)

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    Debbie — October 26, 2011 @ 7:37 am

    My hubby makes em crazy with his food particularness. Is that even a word? So for the safety of our marriage, we decided early on that he can just cook. Or if I cook, he is on his own with a bowl of ramen. It has been working for 10 years, so I have hope for you & Mr How Sweet!

    Reply

  12. #
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    Blog is the New Black — October 26, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    Brilliant. That is you.

    Reply

  13. #
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    Megan in Erie, PA — October 26, 2011 @ 7:44 am

    OMG! That is my husband exactly!!! Add in a daughter who’s whole diet consists of bread, cheese, and sugar (plus three other kids under the age of 3) and you have my culinary life story. LOVE your blog!

    Reply

  14. #
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    Jenn from Much to My Delight — October 26, 2011 @ 7:46 am

    You’re hilarious and you’re my favorite. I would read this blog even if there weren’t gratuitous pictures of insanely delicious food on it. The writing (much like the cheese) stands alone.

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:15 am

      Thanks Jenn!

      Reply

  15. #
    15
    Kim in MD — October 26, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    The toffe/coffee story is hysterical, Jessica! These chicken fingers look incredible! I’m so lucky- my husband will eat anything I cook for him. He knows I don’t cook or eat anything that’s not delicious, so he trusts me and always dives right in! :-)

    Reply

  16. #
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    Donna — October 26, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    It is funny how many people say, “geez, you’re looking at those food blogs…again?”. If they only knew how awesome the people that read and write these blogs truly are!! You, especially Jessica make me laugh pretty much everyday…Thank You!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      Thank you so much for reading Donna!

      Reply

  17. #
    17
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — October 26, 2011 @ 7:51 am

    Hopefully you will have a kid with Max’s taste buds. Then you can cook whatever you want! The boy amazes me with his consumption and love of all grown up foods! These look delicious!

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      I hope so too!

      Reply

  18. #
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    Alexis @ There She Goes — October 26, 2011 @ 7:52 am

    ahh! i just started watching felicity and im hooked! its streaming on netflix :)

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Emily — October 26, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I saw the guys perform on the Today Show the other morning. Ahhh, got to love cool ’90s jams and pretending I’m one of their back-up singers. Whoops, did I just admit that?

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    Encore — October 26, 2011 @ 8:07 am

    Motown Philly is back again…doin’ a little East Coast swang! Yeah, I saw them in concert with Babyface…don’t judge. :)

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:14 am

      OMG I loved Babyface..

      Reply

  21. #
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    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — October 26, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    I want these for dinner!

    Reply

  22. #
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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — October 26, 2011 @ 8:12 am

    Well for chicken fingers, these look very sophisticated!! First NKOTB and BSB, now Boyz II Men? I feel like I’m getting older but the songs on the radio are reminding me of when i was about 8 years old again!!

    Reply

  23. #
    23
    Sally — October 26, 2011 @ 8:15 am

    Yep, I think my husband may be related to yours. There are certain things he just “hates,” even though sometimes I’ll catch him eating something with that offensive ingredient. He “hates” pumpkin, but he had no trouble fighting me for the last pumpkin donut last week. But, he still “HATES” pumpkin.

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:13 am

      Mine hates pumpkin too! But I think he’d eat a pumpkin donut.

      Reply

  24. #
    24
    Kelley {mountain mama cooks} — October 26, 2011 @ 8:21 am

    Who doesn’t love chicken fingers? I know I do. Perfect kid food for adults. All the variations are just keeping it fun!

    Reply

  25. #
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    Amy — October 26, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    Aside from your amazing recipes, lines like this “Uh, totally unrelated, but did I hear a rumor that Boyz II Men are back?! Don’t even toy with me, world. The only thing more heart wrenching would be if you told me that Felicity is coming back on the air.” are why your blog is one of my faves to read!

    Reply

  26. #
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    Heather — October 26, 2011 @ 8:29 am

    I just bought chicken yesterday on a whim, my kids and hubby will love those. They are for dinner tonight. Thanks!

    BTW mine are all the same way. I am doing my best to get them to eat different things. I can say it really doesn’t get any easier. Sorry.

    Reply

  27. #
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    Candice — October 26, 2011 @ 8:30 am

    1 – the conversations between you and your husband are hilarious, yet when I have the same discussions with my husband, they’re infuriating. How does that work??

    2 – the day I discovered Felicity was on Netflix streaming, I lost days’ worth of free time. Still sooo good and it always transports me rit back to who I was when I watched it. Oh late 90s, I miss you… Sometimes.

    Reply

  28. #
    28
    Rodzilla — October 26, 2011 @ 8:32 am

    I laughed at him spitting them out despite liking the taste. There is an easy solution for all of this you know…scale back recipe size to serve 1.

    Reply

  29. #
    29
    Erica — October 26, 2011 @ 8:33 am

    Haha … I sneak josh foods he doesnt like. Later, i will tell him and then occasionally hel
    Will start eating it on the regular! Men!! Those chicken fingers look fantastic

    Reply

  30. #
    30
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — October 26, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    Jessica, hysterical story about Mr. Sweet! That would have frustrated the heck out of me.
    The title of your post wasn’t easy to repeat at 5:30 in the morning (yes, I admit I was saying it outloud). It is a tongue twister and I’m glad that you didn’t call them Chunks. Cheddar Crusted Chicken Chunks. It’s a lot of fun to say, but sounds very unappetizing.
    And thanks for the information on the immersion blender. Now I think I’ll hold off and maybe Santa will bring me one.

    Reply

  31. #
    31
    Jessica @ Stylish Stealthy and Healthy — October 26, 2011 @ 8:39 am

    I actually saw BIIM in concert earlier this year, and believe me when I tell you they are every bit as amazing today as they were in 1992. Best. Concert. Ever.
    And sometimes I say a quick prayer for a “10 Years Later” Felicity Update. …Never happens. Sigh.

    Reply

  32. #
    32
    Sarah R — October 26, 2011 @ 8:46 am

    These look great, but when are you going to stop teasing us with the green chili cheeseburgers?! Please tell me you’re going to post a recipe!

    Reply

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    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — October 26, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I love doing chicken fingers like this. It’s always such a nice break from the blah that can be the world of chicken dishes.

    I had to laugh when I saw you “punish” him with Kardashians…my Mr’s punishment is popping in Steel Magnolias or the Tigra and Bunny classic “Cars with the Boom.”

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:11 am

      Hahahah… best punishment ever!

      Reply

  34. #
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    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — October 26, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Those chicken fingers look yummy!

    Reply

  35. #
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    Mandy — October 26, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    LOL, the whole time I was reading this I was thinking ‘I bet she uses those wire racks to cook them. I’ve really got to ask where she gets them’, and voila, there was a link at the end of the recipe! Anyhow, these look really good and beings I have a bunch of buttermilk that needs to be used up, these will be made this week.

    By the way…STILL need to make those toffee cookies! To do for this weekend, for sure :)

    Reply

  36. #
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    Bev Weidner — October 26, 2011 @ 8:58 am

    Well, my husband hates CHEESE. Yep. C-H-E-E-S-E.
    We’re in therapy for it.

    p.s. I’ll take 35 fingers, please.

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:10 am

      WHAT?! How is that even possible?

      Reply

  37. #
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    Molly @ RDexposed — October 26, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    I came to your blog for one main reason this morning: food porn. Now I’m off to cardiac rehab.
    Thank you.

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:10 am

      Haha… are these really that unhealthy? I don’t think so.

      Reply

      • Molly @ RDexposed — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:27 pm

        Not too bad, actually. :) But I can always rely on your recipes and pictures to make my mouth water!

  38. #
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    Yammie @ Yammie's Noshery — October 26, 2011 @ 9:07 am

    I could probably eat five kadrillion of those! They look so freakishly good!

    Reply

  39. #
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    Krystina (Organically Me) — October 26, 2011 @ 9:14 am

    Hahaha, every post that includes your marriage anecdotes makes my day.

    It’s so frustrating when significant others have limited palates. I don’t even bother telling mine what is in the things I make. If I do, he’ll complain and say he absolutely hates it. Then he’ll try it, and say he loves it. Men.

    Reply

  40. #
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    Amy W — October 26, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    This makes me laugh. Probably even more so because he spit the cookie into the trash. I made my boyfriend try mussels a couple weekends ago and he did not like it but when I told him to just spit it out he refused. That could have been because we were at a restaurant though. ;)

    On the chicken note, my mom uses fryin’ magic (like shake n bake) but adds crushed captain crunch cereal. The crunchy sweetness with the sort of salty fryin magic is sooo good

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:08 am

      That sounds awesome!

      Reply

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    Gen — October 26, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    Hahahaha loove the story! These chicken fingers sound delicious1 ;d

    Reply

  42. #
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    sherri lynn @ life of a wife — October 26, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    In my opinion you can never have too many chicken fingers!! Especially if there’s cheese involved. These sound delicious!

    Reply

  43. #
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    Editorial Team @ Healthy Aperture — October 26, 2011 @ 9:37 am

    These are so beyond chicken fingers. What a tasty idea.

    Reply

  44. #
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    Amy @ A Little Nosh — October 26, 2011 @ 9:41 am

    Boyz II Men did a set on The Singing Bee last season. I was in heaven.

    Reply

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    Amy — October 26, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Ha! Hilarious. You have better luck with your husband. Mine tastes things and says, “What is in here that is sweet?” “um, sundried tomatoes?” “You know I don’t like that.” pushes them all to the side and reluctantly eats the rest of the risotto – saying still he doesn’t not really like it and doesn’t want me to make it for him again. (I tried. Three times. Three different kinds. I guess he just doesn’t like it). Anyway, we eat chicken ALL THE TIME – especially breaded. I bet he would like these though!! But sometimes I AM SO SICK OF CHICKEN. I’m going to attempt pork chops soon. He says he doesn’t like those either…but we’ll see…

    Reply

    • Jessica — October 26th, 2011 @ 10:08 am

      Oh man… I feel your pain!

      Reply

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    Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy — October 26, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    Love the coffee/toffee story! Made me laugh! I hope you have a fabulous wednesday!

    Reply

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    Tina @ My Life as a Mrs — October 26, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    uhhh… yes, please. ps- thanks for the cooling/baking rack tip… i’ve been on the lookout for some to fit in my jelly roll pans…

    Reply

  48. #
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    kathleen @ the daily crumb — October 26, 2011 @ 10:13 am

    looks delicious! i am always up for a spiced up chicken recipe.

    my husband is a total idiot when it comes to any food outside of cheeseburgers and macaroni. i swear he wouldn’t be able to pick a brussels sprout out of a lineup.

    Reply

  49. #
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    Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine — October 26, 2011 @ 10:17 am

    Um…just the name of these is amazing!!! Cannot wait to try these!

    Reply

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    rachael adele — October 26, 2011 @ 10:20 am

    there is something very wrong about wanting to eat chicken at 9 in the morning. these look A-mazing!

    Reply

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