Like clockwork, a new year is under way and I’ve made chicken fingers.

Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers I howsweeteats.com

So not shocking. In fact, it’s embarrassingly unoriginal and stereotypical of me. I think I do this every year. Whomp whomp.

P.S. that’s my brother… the hand model.

Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers I howsweeteats.com

I can’t help it! I really love crunchy chicken fingers. I’m obviously in one of those phases where I feel like I’m twelve years old but still listening to Rod Stewart in my kitchen. And like, belting it. Loudly. Poorly. Hoping for an echo so my voice carries.

Such a mess. My iTunes account is semi-horrifying. Seriously.

Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers I howsweeteats.com

While I have about a billion other recipes for practically the same thing, it doesn’t keep me from trying new flavor combinations or new techniques or ways to make things different. I’m so hopeful all.the.time. These aren’t quite as crunchy as the traditional version made with multiple types of breadcrumbs, but they are almost as close and add a whole other element of flavor. Oh, and health! Full of health. Since they are made with almonds they are automatically a health food. Do it.

It’s amazing what I can justify in this world.

Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers I howsweeteats.com

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Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers

Yield: serves 2

Prep Time: 6 hours (or overnight)

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:

Add chicken to a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top to coat. Let soak for 4-6 hours refrigerated, 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 and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine almond meal, panko, flour, salt, pepper and paprika. 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 12 minutes, remove from over, gently flip and mist with spray, then bake for 12 minutes more.

[The key to crunchy chicken fingers and keeping the breading on the chicken is the wire rack AND the misting spray!]

Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers I howsweeteats.com

I love being twelve years old.

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92 Responses to “Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers.”

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    1
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — January 3, 2013 @ 8:04 am

    Coming from a girl who eats ketchup with a side of chicken fingers, you can imagine how freaking EXCITED I am to see all those gorgeous shots of… you guessed it… ketchup!! These baked chicken fingers are right up my alley Jessica! I have been searching everywhere for new interesting recipes with chicken. I’m all stir-fried out! These look amazing. And yes… I consider these health food too. Duh!!

    Reply

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    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 3, 2013 @ 8:18 am

    Huh, almond meal for the batter! I love it! I love chicken fingers, so a fantastic dish! By the way, your brother makes for such a nice hand model! :)

    Reply

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    Jenni — January 3, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Yum! I’ve been looking for a good healthy chicken finger recipe! And it doesn’t hurt that I love almond and buttermilk like mad, too!

    Reply

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    Liz — January 3, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    Can’t beat a good chicken finger recipe- and this one is AMAZING! Love the almond meal usage.

    Reply

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    Becky @ Olives n Wine — January 3, 2013 @ 8:27 am

    Oh yum!! I lived off of chicken fingers when I was 12!!! Oh the memories (and the metabolism!!)… I’ve tried coconut crusted chicken fingers but not almond ones. These are going on the menu for when I’m having “I miss the 90′s day.”

    Reply

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    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — January 3, 2013 @ 8:34 am

    I wish I could skip work today and be 12 years old with you!! When I was little my parents were big Rod Stewart fans so I am very familiar with the lyrics – we could have a sing-a-long while making chicken fingers and watch Blossom… oh the 90s! ;) For the almond meal, would it work to just grind up almonds in the food processor?

    Reply

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    Adrienne Austin @ Midwestern Belle — January 3, 2013 @ 8:44 am

    Looks delish to me!! Although I’m a weirdo who eats chicken fingers with an assortment of 20 different dipping sauces..

    Reply

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    Mary-Where's the Zoom — January 3, 2013 @ 9:00 am

    These look yummy and totally kid approved. Thanks for the almond idea, I’ll bet they add a nice crunch!

    Reply

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    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — January 3, 2013 @ 9:14 am

    Call me twelve too, but I’d eat those chicken fingers any day of the week! In my humble opinion, buttermilk makes everything better, so i was on board as soon as I saw that ingredient listed.

    As with everything else you make, this is a must-try.

    Reply

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    Ali @ Peaches and Football — January 3, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    Hmm mmmm I want to make some buttermilk chicken fingers! These look wonderful, easy, and delicious! I always appreciate simple recipes that are easy to whip up on nights when I’m pressed for time. This looks like a winner.

    Reply

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    Kim in MD — January 3, 2013 @ 9:16 am

    Chicken fingers must be crunchy, and these definitely look crunchy! YUM!

    Reply

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    Robyn | Add a Pinch — January 3, 2013 @ 9:21 am

    Mmmmmmm! These definitely qualify as a health food. :) Love it.

    Reply

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    Little Kitchie — January 3, 2013 @ 9:38 am

    Can’t ever have enough recipes like this! These sound like a great thing to make for all the football centric parties my husband has arranged at our house in the next few weeks. And since they’re, like, a health food… Well, count me in.

    Reply

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    Julie — January 3, 2013 @ 9:42 am

    Um, yes. these look awesome!

    Reply

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    Heather (Heather's Dish) — January 3, 2013 @ 9:44 am

    Please, please, please never stop making chicken fingers!

    Reply

  16. #
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    Chloe Moon — January 3, 2013 @ 9:48 am

    I love chicken but never made chicken fingers! Ooo Buttermilk Almond sounds delicious!!! =)

    Ergo – Blog

    Reply

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    Mandie @ Oh So Decadent — January 3, 2013 @ 9:50 am

    Well yeah, the almond meal counterbalances the buttermilk so they’re obviously healthy. I’ll keep telling myself the same thing as I shove these down my gullet. They do look absolutely wonderful though, way better than the chicken fingers you get at TGIFriday’s.

    Reply

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    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — January 3, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    I’ll forever eat chicken fingers so keep em coming

    Reply

  19. #
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    Erin@LawStudentsWife — January 3, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    I feel like I’ve just been treated to a Happy Meal for grown ups! Keep ‘em coming. Also, your bro should consider a hand-model career ;-)

    Reply

  20. #
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    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough — January 3, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    Haaaaaaaaave merrrrrrcy these look amazing.

    Reply

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    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — January 3, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    I always dip my chicken fingers in ketchup but people always make fun of me for it! Loved seeing it here.

    Reply

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    joelle (on a pink typewriter) — January 3, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    Looks delicious! I’ve never considered making my own chicken fingers, but secretly have looooooooooved them since Applebees emerged on the scene with their appetizer trio back when I was in junior high. ;).

    Reply

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    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking — January 3, 2013 @ 10:46 am

    That crust looks phenomenal!

    Reply

  24. #
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    Katie — January 3, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    They look SO perfect. You are the master at chicken. Seriously…my number-one-go-to.

    (PS. Tell your brother, the hand model, hi from me and Adrienne)

    Reply

  25. #
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    Elizabeth Kellett — January 3, 2013 @ 10:49 am

    Umm I love you. I work late this evening and decided I needed a quick meal tonight.. My husband suggested perogies as a side and I decided chicken fingers would be great with them.. I was doing to do your cheddar crusted ones (a favorite in our house) but lo and behold you have posted a new recipe today.. And read my mind.. My stomach is growling just thinking of these. Is almond meal just ground almonds or is their a specific ‘almond meal’ out there? I live in a very small town with limited options at the grocery store :(

    Reply

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    shannon — January 3, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    i kind of cried those look so delicious.

    Reply

  27. #
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    Ashley — January 3, 2013 @ 11:40 am

    I can’t believe how thick and even the coating is, especially for baking!! Well done! We love breading tempeh, so I’ll have to give this mix a try.

    Reply

  28. #
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    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — January 3, 2013 @ 11:51 am

    My boyfriend would go crazy for these. Chicken and kethcup is basically a meal for him. Not gonna lie, it’s a meal for me too.

    Reply

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    Kiki — January 3, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    Thank you for expanding my waistline. :)

    Reply

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    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — January 3, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    Yum, I love nut crusted chicken

    Reply

  31. #
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    Karly — January 3, 2013 @ 12:34 pm

    Please put these in my face immediately.

    Reply

  32. #
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    Ashley — January 3, 2013 @ 1:26 pm

    aaaaaahhhhhh!!! i’m totally a ketchup dipper, too! Now you only need some mac n’ cheese to go with those! :)

    Reply

  33. #
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    Jennifer — January 3, 2013 @ 1:48 pm
  34. #
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    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 3, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    Your brother does a great job as a hand model. I hope you paid him well in the form of chicken finger currency :)

    Reply

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    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — January 3, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    Thanks for the tip on using the wire rack and spray to keep the breading on! I never had luck with breading staying intact. Yummmy!!!!

    Reply

  36. #
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    claudia@Women Are We — January 3, 2013 @ 2:25 pm

    Jessica! YUM!!! Can’t wait to make these!!!

    Reply

  37. #
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    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries — January 3, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    I love chicken fingers too. What’s not to love about eating something without silverware? I think dipping them in ketchup or bbq sauce is also what makes me love them so much.

    Reply

  38. #
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    Mel — January 3, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

    Oh, my, God. Just died.

    Reply

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    a farmer in the dell — January 3, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

    My husband will love me a little bit more for this recipe! And I agree that your brother makes a fantastic hand model!

    Reply

  40. #
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    Michelle — January 3, 2013 @ 3:58 pm

    Almonds make everything healthier! :)

    Reply

  41. #
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    Jessica — January 3, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

    Holy delicious, these look amazing. Not your regular microwavable chicken fingers. Love your blog!

    Reply

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    dervla @ The Curator — January 3, 2013 @ 4:20 pm

    ha your brother can say he got his start as a hand model here on your blog! Happy new year friend :)

    Reply

  43. #
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    Esther — January 3, 2013 @ 4:32 pm

    your chicken fingers look perfect!

    Reply

  44. #
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    Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa — January 3, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    What I wouldn’t do for a baked chicken finger like this right now. They look amazing!

    Reply

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    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — January 3, 2013 @ 5:42 pm

    Yep, making these soon! Love chicken fingers here, and always looking for a new twist!

    Reply

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    Allison — January 3, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

    I heart you! The music on my iPod is equally as semi-horrifying. :)

    Reply

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    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — January 3, 2013 @ 7:32 pm

    I’m sooo glad that you told us that was your brother’s hand in the photo! (I know…shallow) These chicken fingers looks so crispy and delicious!

    Reply

  48. #
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    Kristen — January 3, 2013 @ 7:42 pm

    I love you, your 12 year old self, and this recipe. For sure!

    Reply

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    Kelly — January 3, 2013 @ 9:38 pm

    Chicken fingers/nuggets will always transport me back to childhood. Always. These look like winners!

    Reply

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    Kelly — January 3, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

    YUMMM these look like a win!

    Reply

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