April 7, 2013 by Lauren
Ok, so I’m 6 on the inside. Who doesn’t love good chicken fingers? I have had too many over fried, over breaded, chewy chicken fingers recently. Usually if the word “basket” is involved it’s going to be gross. So I decided to tackle them myself. They’re surprisingly easy AND if you fry them yourself YOU control the fried food factor. Most places have too much breading and fry at too low of an oil temperature — which means more ingested oil for you. I started this recipe with 3 cups of oil and ended with about 2 and 7/8. Follow my tips for crispy, juicy (yes it’s possible) and tender chicken fingers. No you don’t have to be 6 to enjoy them and yes your children (read: husbands/boyfriends) will like them too.
Click on any picture below to see them larger and get a play by play (click any picture to close and return):
Chicken FingersActive Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 sleeve saltine crackers
- 3 cups frying oil (corn, vegetable or peanut)
- Start your oil off in a skillet (or dutch oven) over medium. Insert a frying thermometer and watch as it nears 360 as you prep the chicken.
- As the oil heats, cut your chicken into 1″ strips. You don’t want them to be too thin or they’ll cook quickly. Thicker strips are more satisfying and stay moist.
- Set up the “frying assembly line.” First is a plate with the flour, salt, pepper and some seasoning (garlic salt, paprika, etc). Second is a bowl with 3 whisked eggs, salt and pepper. Third is the plate for the cracker crumbs (I make these by sticking the crackers in a ziploc bag and then pounding them with the bottom of a glass; a food processor would work too). Last is a plate for the finished strips to rest.
- Work left to right (if you’re a righty) and keep your left hand “dry” (touching only the chicken and flour) and your right hand “wet” (handling the egg and crackers). That’ll keep your fingers clean. Dredge in flour, dip in egg, roll in cracker crumbs and repeat. Make sure your crumbs are fine enough to have some powder and get coated.
- Once the oil is 360, drop in chicken strips about 4 at a time, just don’t crowd the oil. Cook them about 4-5 minutes on each side. Aim for golden brown, the rest always works out.
- Remove them from the oil once golden brown and set on a cookie rack on top of a sheet pan (NEVER set on paper towels, it’ll make that crispy crust turn to much) and immediately salt. Try not to taste test yet as they’ll burn you. Repeat with the remaining strips until you’re done, keeping the oil at 320-350 degrees.
These are quite quick to put together and are fabulous when you just need a little comfort food. You can reuse the oil just follow the rules: a) strain it, b) only use it for the frying chicken next time, and c) store it in a cool place. You can freeze it too if you’d like.