Our whole family loves chicken fingers! Our boys are picky guys but they’re always excited when we tell them we’re having chicken fingers for dinner.
Years ago, before kids and before Nelson became passionate about working in the kitchen, we usually had a box of fingers in the freezer as a backup plan for dinner. These were okay in a pinch–quick to make and fairly inexpensive. But when Michael was little, and Nelson got more comfortable in the kitchen, he soon realized that homemade chicken fingers didn’t take that much longer to make and they were a lot tastier than boxed.
Over the years Nelson has played with this recipe; adding subtle changes to keep improving on it. Honestly, I’ve enjoyed every version–and I’m always happy to taste-test.
What I love most about this recipe is that each ‘finger’ is plump and moist, and wrapped in the most scrumptious crumb coating ever! I love scooping up the crumb bits that fall onto my plate…and even the ones left on the baking pan (is that rude?). I can’t help it, they’re so yummy. Tonight, Michael suggested that restaurants should offer this crumb crust as an appetizer–I like the kid’s thinking! Clearly, these are a hit in our family. The kids will always choose these over any boxed chicken fingers and even Daniel has said at restaurants with chicken fingers on the menu, “Will these be like dad’s?”. And Daniel’s the pickiest eater. Nelson’s hit a home-run with this one!
This recipe is another one of those perfect weeknight meals. It takes about 15 minutes to prep and get the chicken into the oven. While the chicken is baking, there’s time to get a few chores out of the way, help the kids with their school work and set the table. By the time dinner’s ready, school work’s out of the way and we can enjoy some down time–together. For a busy family, that’s golden.
This recipe inspired by: http://www.hellmanns.ca/recipes/detail/21007/1/parmesan-crusted-chicken
- 6 chicken breasts or 2.5 lbs (cut into 3 pieces length wise each)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1.5 tsp chilly powder
- 1.5 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 cups Hellmann's Mayonnaise (They aren't paying me to mention them)
- 1.5 cups Italian style bread crumbs
- ½ cup parmesan
- 4 to 6 Wedges of lemon for serving with the meal
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 ºF and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In one small medium bowl, add the mayo. In another medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and mix well.
- Cut each chicken breast into two or three long pieces depending on the size of the chicken breast. These should be about the size of store bought chicken fingers.
- Sprinkle the salt, ground pepper, chilli powder and garlic powder evenly over all the pieces of chicken.
- With your fingers, pat down the spices on the chicken.
- Now pickup one piece of chicken at-a-time and first coat the chicken with the mayo in the first bowl and then place the chicken in the second bowl to coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place the chicken finger on the baking sheet and repeat until all of the chicken is coated.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake fore 30 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven. The chicken should have a nice toasted colour on the outside and taste tender and juicy on the inside.
- Each person can add a squeeze of lemon to the chicken on their plates. Doing this earlier may make the crust soggy.