Baked Chicken Fingers

3
Serves

Most kids (and adults) love fried foods, but sometimes you can make something that tastes just as good in the oven. These chicken fingers are a case in point.

Pounding the chicken breasts tenderizes the meat and creates strips of uniform thickness for even cooking. The tender chicken strips are dipped in buttermilk, then coated in a mixture of cracker crumbs and parmesan cheese. The coating can also be made with crushed cornflakes or fine bread crumbs, and melted butter can be used in lieu of buttermilk if you prefer.

Then simply pop them into a hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, and you have the makings for a delicious crispy chicken lunch or supper. Served with a dipping sauce of your choice (like our Honey Mustard Sauce below), these chicken fingers will disappear in no time at all!

If you eat meat, chicken requires fewer resources to produce than other types. Look for organic chicken from a reputable producer for the most sustainably raised meat possible.


Ingredients

3 cups butter crackers (like Ritz or similar, crushed into coarse crumbs)
1 cup finely grated parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  olive oil (for greasing the baking sheet)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mild-flavored honey
1/4 cup hot or spicy msutard
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar


Directions

Place the cracker crumbs, cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the crumb mixture to a plate and set aside.

Place each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrap (or in a large zipper bag), and lightly pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet (or rolling pin) until the meat is 1/2 inch thick. Cut the chicken into strips approximately 1 inch wide by 3 inches long.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Generously oil a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Place the buttermilk in a shallow bowl. Dip several strips of chicken in the buttermilk and then transfer them to the crumb mixture. Coat all sides of the meat with the crumbs, pressing firmly to help the crumbs adhere. Transfer the coated chicken to the prepared baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining strips.

Bake the chicken for 12 minutes, then turn the strips and continue cooking on the other side until they’re golden and cooked through, about 20 minutes total.

While the chicken is baking, make the Honey Mustard Sauce. Combine the honey, mustard and vinegar in a small pan and heat over medium heat until warm, about 5 minutes.

Serve the chicken fingers with the Honey Mustard Sauce for dipping (your favorite ketchup or barbecue sauce would be delicious, too).

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