I’m still very much a kid at heart. I love meals that most children order at restaurants, including chicken fingers. I try to be mature and order something like salmon, chicken breast, a salad, etc. However, I still cave every now and then and order a cheeseburger or chicken fingers and french fries. I would probably order these dishes more often, but it’s the guilt factor that prevents me from doing so. That’s what I love about this recipe, since these chicken fingers are baked I can eat them for dinner without feeling guilty. How great is that?
Since these chicken fingers are baked they are so much healthier than the fried version at restaurants. Honestly, they are just as good as the fried version, if not better. It’s perfect that all of the ingredients are pantry staples so you can throw this meal together last minute if you have to. It’s also super easy to prepare; just toast the panko crumbs, cut the chicken in strips, coat them as directed, and bake on a wire rack for 10-12 minutes. I was a little hesitant thinking they might come out raw but since they are baked at such a high temperature they do not need to cook very long. Needless to say, I will definitely be making this dish again.
Baked Chicken Fingers
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
1½ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾-inch wide strips
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 475˚ F. In a large skillet, combine the panko and the oil. Toast over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer the toasted crumbs to a shallow dish and let cool slightly.
In another shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne. In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, water, mustard, and thyme.
Lightly spray a wire rack with cooking spray and place over a rimmed baking sheet (I lined my baking sheet with tin foil for easier clean up). Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge each in the flour, then dip into the egg whites, and finally, coat with the toasted panko crumbs, pressing on them to adhere. Lay the breaded chicken on the prepared wire rack and repeat with the remaining chicken.
Lightly spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.