It's hard to find a person who doesn't like chicken fingers and fries. I mean, really. I'm sitting here, racking my brain, trying to think of someone, anyone I've ever met that doesn't like the combination. It's almost like it's in American DNA to crave those deep-fried, crunchy strips of goodness that we dip into every kind of sauce under the sun.
Er, except for vegans and vegetarians :)
When I was a kid, I went through a phase where I ordered chicken strips at every restaurant I went to. I believe this was when I was 9 or 10 years old. I must have sampled chicken strips from hundreds of restaurants. It's weird, but the meal that left the biggest impression on me was a family vacation (I'm thinking Disneyland, but that's not verifiable) in California. My parents had stopped at a restaurant called The Black Bear Diner, which I'm sure if you live on the West Coast, you've heard of em'. They had the best chicken strips I'd ever had in my young life. I'll always remember those chicken strips, even if I can't remember which vacation this event took place on.
If you are getting chicken fingers in a restaurant, more than likely they are going to be deep-fried. I love me some deep frying, just as much as the next person, but it's just not healthy to eat a lot of fried food. It's just not. So at home, everything goes in the oven. I bread the chicken strips, place them on a cookie sheet, and bake them until they're crispy. I don't deep-fry the fries either, the oven makes those crisp-as-can-be as well.
I bet you didn't know you don't have to fry everything to get that crispy, breaded texture. I know I was pretty shocked when I discovered this truth!
In fact, to be perfectly honest, I don't do a lot of frying in the house. It gets grease everywhere, and I swear, the smell hangs around for 3-4 days. Days old grease smell is not my favorite thing to smell first thing every morning when I shuffle out for my coffee.
I whipped up a small batch of honey mustard to serve with our fries and fingers, but I can imagine your favorite dipping sauce would insert here beautifully. Ranch, BBQ sauce, Ketchup, Buffalo sauce, you name it. You could even toss the fingers in Buffalo sauce, and then serve them with ranch.
Oh. My. Gosh. I wish I'd thought of that sooner!
It's hard being a food blogger. It's 5:48 in the morning and after 30 minutes of staring at chicken fingers, I want chicken fingers. With Buffalo sauce. And ranch. Oh, brother.
Busy day today, folks. The hubby and I are still sharing a car, argh. I have to drop him off at work for training, drive myself to Ashland for a doctors appointment, run errands, return home, complete laundry and making dinner, and then pick the hubby back up. Whew.
I still don't understand how some housewives have time to sit around. Or why everyone is so flabbergasted that I'm not bored at home. Uh, very self-motivated and otherwise occupied girl here :)
Have a great day everyone!
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 large Russet potatoes, cut into thin strips
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp parsley, minced
1 lb chicken tenders (3-4 tenders per person)
salt and pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup panko
1/4 cup mayo
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp mustard
1. Preheat oven to 425º. Lightly coat 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray, set aside.
2. Prepare fries- place potato strips in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper. Toss to coat. Move strips to cookie sheet. Shake sheet to ensure potatoes are in a single layer. Bake in the oven, 20-25 minutes, or until browned. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with parsley. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
3. Prepare chicken while fries are baking- season tenders with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken into egg, letting excess drip off. Dredge through panko, shake off excess. Place prepared strip on cookie sheet. Repeat with all tenders. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping tenders halfway through carefully. Remove from heat, set aside.
4. Prepare honey mustard- in a small bowl, combine mayo, honey, and mustard. Stir vigorously to combine.
5. Divide strips and fries between 2 plates, serve with honey mustard. Serve immediately.
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Linked to: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party, Snickerdoodle Sunday, Treasure Box Tuesday