I do know.
In fact I know allll about that. Not because I need them, but because my husband possesses the palate of a toddler (seriously) and often screams “chicken fingersssss!” when we go to a fancy schmancy restaurant with beef tongue on the menu. That would be why I have no less than five (six? seven?) chicken finger recipes here for the taking. I’m giving it all up.
My earliest memory of kid food just so happened to be on a Friday. Well, every Friday. Fridays were the BEST. Just listen.
Each Friday my mom and aunt would take my cousin, me and Mother Lovett shopping. And when I say shopping, I mean like all day shopping. Literally. We would start out with lunch at Isaly’s which I’m pretty sure consisted of a ton of mac and cheese and grilled cheese and other kid stuff. Then we’d head to the mall around noon… and stay there all day. No really… all day. We got locked inside a few times. Once, Mother Lovett got locked inside and had to go out another entrance, crawl up a big grassy bank and make her way into another parking lot. This was at age 75 after like, a massive heart attack. Typical.
Oh wait, look – something relevant to this blog post. Here’s a blurry picture of my super simple set up for chicken fingers.
These are EASY. Do this.
Mother Lovett would prance around trying on Alfred Dunner sweaters, we’d spend hours in Limited Too and then we’d get some pralines and cream ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Among other important things.
While this was happening my grandpa would be watching the boys, and by watching I really mean he would sit in a big chair and smoke a pipe, chew tobacco, and watch my brothers and cousin beat the living daylights out of each other playing knee hockey while wearing tight red sweat pants with elastic on the bottoms.
Then they’d eat happy meals.
We actually shopped ’til we dropped. Then we’d go home and meet up with everyone and consume massive amounts of pizza. Mother Lovett would swear she wasn’t hungry and then proceed to pick pepperoni off everyone’s slices and steal the boys’ cheeseburgers when they weren’t looking.
And then, as my family loves to remind me, I went and ruined it for everyone by entering the first grade and having to go to school until – gasp – 3PM. This desperately cut out a good four or five hours of shopping time and made the day soooo stressful for everyone. Obviously.
Hence… why I love Fridays. And I think I had a way to tie this all together – you know, chicken fingers, a 38-year old toddler’s palate, Fridays that happened in my life 25 years ago – but I forget. I’ve babbled long enough that even I’m sick of me. (Weird.)
Maple Mustard Buttermilk Crusted Chicken Tenders
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup regular seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
In a bowl, whisk together buttermilk, maple syrup, mustard and garlic. Add chicken to a baking dish and pour buttermilk mixture over top to coat. Let soak for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, combine panko, bread crumbs, flour, salt, pepper and ground mustard.
Remove each chicken tender from the buttermilk and dip in breadcrumbs, gently pressing to adhere. Place on the wire rack. Spray each with a mist of olive oil or nonstick spray. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from over, gently flip and mist with spray, then bake for 10-12 minutes more. Eat!
Maple Honey Mustard
1/3 cup dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons honey
Whisk ingredients together and serve.
P.S. This chicken tastes like, well… chicken. But REALLY good chicken. I swear.