November 07, 2005

What Could Be Better


... than homemade oven-baked chicken fingers? Maybe knowing that it's a fraction of the price of restaurant chicken fingers, maybe it's knowing that it's considerably healthier than fried versions, or maybe it's just that it takes less than half an hour to make 'em. You decide.

The recipe notes that Panko is good for the breadcrumbs, but when I was making this batch I ran out. I substituted freshly processed breadcrumbs instead - it was actually even easier to get them to cling to the chicken. The first half of the batch was done with Panko, though, which is utterly bone white. Because it doesn't brown much in the oven, I decided to add a bit of paprika to the bowl of Panko crumbs This worked very well, although it wasn't really obvious in the raw stage. They baked up beautifully golden, as you can see.

Rather than the egg-dip method, I used the Dijon variation listed at the bottom of the recipe, but in a fit of cleverness, I added a pinch of cayenne pepper and a tablespoon of light sour cream to the mustard to make a pleasingly smooth bite. The Dijon variation is awesome - it has become my preferred method, because I can just dump all of the chicken pieces into the mustard bowl and mix them around. It's very quick.

6 comments:

Templar said...

I bread everything in crushed corn flakes... it is my montra.. do you need a dip for the fingers or is the breading method like built in dip?

Dawna said...

Hi Templar - I've tried crushed cornflakes, but they always taste a bit sweet to me. I've tried a lot of different coatings - crushed Melba toast was pretty good, surprisingly.

You don't need a dip for the fingers if you use the Dijon method, because there's a sort of creaminess built in, as you say. But if you want a dip, I'd go for something like barbeque sauce, or hot sauce. I certainly wouldn't object to even a creamy blue cheese dip...

I didn't use a dip this time, because I was serving it with creamy parmesan pasta, so the dinner felt saucy enough (heh).

kickpleat said...

Hi Dawna, I just peeked at your note at Crystal's blog. Thanks for the tip on Granville Island! It's funny because this afternoon I went to the Gourmet Warehouse and saw some Mexican Chocolate on the shelves there!

Lady X said...

Yum! I love using panko bread crumbs in my cooking but funny enough, I prefer to use regular bread crumbs when making Pork Katsudon. I think your addition of cayenne and sour cream to the Mustard Variation is definitely worth a try!

Dawna said...

Hi Kickpleat - I'm glad you saw my note. I had intended to email it to you, too, but somehow it slipped my mind. I love finding neat little shops that carry unusual items.

Lady X, I'd never used fresh breadcrumbs for oven-baking before, and I was really happy with how they worked out. I still love my panko (it's great for zucchini fritters) but it's nice to have a use for the odd leftover bits of bread that I keep in the freezer. Mmmm...katsudon...

Michele said...

I love this method of breading the chicken, I will be using it for my Chicken Katsu recipe to save myself the messy greasy clean up. Thanks for sharing.