Like clockwork, a new year is under way and I’ve made chicken fingers.
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.
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.
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.
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
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!]
I love being twelve years old.