I can't believe I've never shared my chicken finger recipe!
Actually, yes, I can believe it. That's because it's my absolute favourite meal. Ever. Hands down. And it's so delicious that by the time it's finished cooking, I'm just too darn excited to eat them and I really could care less about taking pictures.
Except for this time. My camera was within reach and I was feeling 40% photography and 60% eaty. Which means I got the pictures, but I didn't really care so much about composition. Or lighting. Or plating. It was more, I have to take pictures of these but I also have to devour them as soon as possible...hmm decisions decisions.
This didn't start out as my recipe. I found it somewhere on the internet at some time. But I've been making it for so long that I no longer have the link saved, and I've definitely made some changes to the original. And with that in mind, this recipe can definitely be tailored to your tastes. If you like it spicy, add more cayenne. If you don't have basil, use oregano or omit it altogether. If you want more of a garlic flavour, add more garlic powder. It's so important to have flexible dinner recipes especially if you're scrambling for something to make at the end of the day.
Chicken Fingers (serves 2 people)
2 (hopefully) large chicken breasts, cut into fingers, nuggets, whatever as long as they're about equal in size
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup flour (all purpose or, what I use 100% of the time, whole wheat)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil. It helps to spray it lightly with nonstick spray, but they don't always stick so if you forget (like I usually do), it's not a big deal.
Get out three bowls of medium to small size. In the largest of the three, mix the panko, basil, garlic, paprika, and cayenne. In another bowl, mix the flour with some salt and pepper (use your tastes and judgement). In the last bowl, lightly beat the egg.
I like to arrange the bowls in order of use. So I put the chicken pieces some place I can easily grab them and put the bowls in flour, egg, panko order and then I put my pan at the end so I can put the finished pieces somewhere.
Honestly, this part always takes a lot of brain power for me, because I try to keep one hand for wet and one for dry, but somehow things never work out that way despite all the thinking I do about it. I don't know why. The Law of Breading, I guess.
So grab a piece of chicken and coat it in flour. Shake the excess off, then coat it in egg. Make sure to let any excess egg drip off, then fully coat it in the panko crumb mixture. Lightly shake off any loose crumbs and place the finished piece of chicken on your pan. Repeat with however many pieces you've got. Some days, I run out of panko and some days, I have about half a cup left (to which I'm super sad because I love panko and I don't like wasting it). So if I can, I'll usually use the coatings on a potato for crispy fries first and then do the chicken after. It depends on how big the chicken breasts are and if I even have a potato in the house.
Pop the breaded chicken pieces in your oven for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken over and bake 10 minutes more. I'll usually flip them a third time and bake about 5-10 minutes more depending on how they look after the second flip. I just like to make sure they're nice and crispy.
Serve with your favourite dipping sauce. I really love the combination of Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce and honey. Sweet and spicy!