I don’t generally feed my children “kid food.” Even before we had the dietary limitations of celiac disease to contend with, I just have always found it kind of annoying … more
I don’t generally feed my children “kid food.” Even before we had the dietary limitations of celiac disease to contend with, I just have always found it kind of annoying when people bring their children to my house and expect that I’m going to provide special food for the kids. So, in the spirit of abiding by one’s principles, I had my kids eating real food from the very first opportunity. Which brings us to chicken fingers.
This is not kid food, I swear it. It’s actual food. Make the strips of chicken a bit wider, and you don’t have to use a body part nickname, and you can serve them to a group of full grown adults. Make the strips long and narrow, stick them into a paper-lined mesh basket, and your kids will think they’ve died and gone to heaven.
I make very quick work of these simple beauties by buying a large package of boneless chicken breast (when it’s on sale, of course), and trimming the breasts, slicing them into strips, then storing them in separate resealable food storage bags in 1 to 1.5 pound lots. When I plan to make chicken fingers, I just defrost a package in the refrigerator overnight. Dinner can be ready in mere minutes.
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3-4 cups finely ground gluten free cereal (I usually use gf corn flakes)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken strips, oil, and the melted butter. This works best if the chicken is not very cold. If it is cold, the chicken will cause the melted butter to set rather than stay liquid. Toss the chicken with the oil and butter until each strip is coated, ideally with both the oil and the butter. Set this bowl aside.
3. In a separate, flat, medium sized bowl, add the crushed cereal, salt and pepper, and stir to combine the ingredients well. Press both sides of each strip of chicken, one strip at a time, into the cereal mixture, and then place the strips side by side on the lined baking sheets.
4. Place the baking sheets in the preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets once during baking. The strips should bubble a bit and the cereal coating should be pretty crisp.
The oil and butter not only help the crushed cereal stick to the chicken, but they keep the chicken moist, and the butter flavors both the cereal and the meat. Delightful. These are really best right out of the oven. If you have any leftovers, and let’s be honest you won’t, but if you do, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and reheat them in the oven to crisp them back up.