Right now, my son is going through a bit of a non-eating phase. All he ever wants is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, despite our best efforts. (P.S- that is because all I ate/craved while pregnant with him were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!) The rule in our household is, you eat what is put in front of you, or go hungry until the next meal. No special, separate meals here! Once in a while, I will gear a dinner toward the kids just to be fun and knowing that they will clean their plates. It’s a win-win! This recipe is definitely for those chicken finger lover/picky kids. I don’t usually like chicken fingers, although my kids definitely will devour them anytime. But, when I tried these chicken fingers, I was converted. They lack the sinking gut feeling of heavy grease, thanks to baking them instead. The panko makes a wonderful crunchy exterior, but still holds in the moisture in the chicken to make it nice and tender. Serve alongside a salad and your favorite dipping sauce, and any picky eater will be happy! (Or non-picky too!)
Recipe barely adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Healthy Family Cookbook
- 2 cups panko
- 2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, or canola or vegetable
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 3/4-inch strips
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF.
- In a large skillet, combine the panko and oil over medium heat. Cook until golden brown, stirring often, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a third shallow dish, whisk together the egg whites, water, mustard and thyme.
- Spray a wire rack with vegetable spray and place over a rimmed baking sheet. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Dredge a piece or two of chicken in the flour until coated, then dip into the egg whites, then, press in the breadcrumbs to adhere to all sides. Place on the greased wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken strips.
- Spray the tops of the chicken lightly with vegetable spray, then place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve with desired dipping sauces.