I’d love to say I needed to make these chicken fingers because my three year old hates anything with flavor and I was experimenting with disguising healthy foods.
But I didn’t. My three year old loves green things…especially green onion and cilantro for some odd, odd reason. I gave him roasted carrots on Sunday, meaning for him to share with us, and he ate two bowls of them. He asks for apples and bananas and cherries (I think he has had cherries maybe 4 times in his life, none in the near past given it’s March, so this makes me scratch my head in wonder at the minds of small children) on a regular basis.
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t like Nutella, peanut butter, cake, chocolate, cookies, Oreos, chips, etc. Hopefully, it just means he will like everything!
Anyway, short story long, I didn’t make these with a toddler in mind.
Chicken nuggets are just one of those childhood memories, like peanut butter bagels and animal cookies. I look back at them with fondness. But would not for the life of me go back to eating the frozen prepackaged ones that are mushy and have no chicken texture to them.
Well, this is the adult version of chicken tenders. The more refined version. The version with Omega-3s and protein, and well, FLAVOR!
That’s what happens when you combine walnuts, sesame seeds, and Saltine crackers. That’s what happens when you add in a little rosemary and sage. And can’t you just see yourself digging into these with a glass of red wine, a pilaf of some sorts and perhaps some steamed spinach? Or perhaps you’ll want to indulge and have buttery spinach, no spinach – it’s all right by me if as an adult you still don’t like it. (I could have, but finished off the bottle we had in stock last night with the hubby.)
So enjoy this rich but light and crispy recipe for Grown-Up Baked Chicken Fingers. With your glass of wine of course!
- Flour Coating:
- 1 cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- Egg Dip:
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp mustard
- Crispy Breadcrumb Mixture:
- ½ cup walnuts,
- ¾ cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup Saltine crackers
- 1 teaspoon rosemary (fresh if possible)
- ½ teaspoon ground sage (or a few leaves of the fresh stuff, if possible)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F, °C
- Prepare the crunch by crushing the walnuts; a food processor would be the quickest and create the smallest crumbs. I don’t have one so a pestle and mortar were used. Then, put 20-30 Saltine crackers in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to create ‘breadcrumb’ pieces.
- Then, toss to combine all of the crunch ingredients.
- Prepare three bowls that will be big enough to dip chicken into. Add the flour and salt to the first one; combine thoroughly. Whisk the eggs, honey, and mustard in the second bowl. In the third place your breadcrumb mixture.
- Cut the chicken into strips, lengthwise. You may choose to halve the longer pieces so that everyone will have pieces roughly the same size.
- Prepare the baking sheet you will use for the chicken fingers. I line it with tin foil and brush with a little oil.
- Now that your work station is set up, take two forks and start dipping your chicken tenders. First flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
- Place on baking sheet. You can put them very close to each other without letting them touch. Spray with olive oil or brush with oil (if like me you have no spray bottle)
- Bake for for 15-20 minutes, or until white and fully cooked through in the center. Flip about halfway through the baking time and spray or brush with oil again.
- Take them out and remove from cookie tin immediately so that the bottoms don’t get soggy!
- Serve with your favorite veggies, grain, and dipping sauce!
Check out all the great link parties I participate in! A special thanks to all of the great hosts (hostesses)!