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Chicken fingers that don't suck


Fat Guy
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We actually know a couple of people who report that their kids will only eat the Tyson nuggets. I've tasted them and, while they're not terrible, I can't see why they inspire such loyalty. I suppose that may be our fate. If so, at least it's a convenient fate.

With regard to the Tyson stuff, I don't buy the nuggets. And all of the varieties that I've bought at the regular supermarket here in Manhattan have been sort of gross. The ones that I buy are in a big bag at Costco -- the Chicken Breast Tenderloins, I think they're called. I've looked in the supermarkets and they don't seem to have this particular item. Maybe Tyson packages them for Costco only?

Really, they're not so bad.

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Fancy chicken fingers, creative cucumber peeling. . . dude you're in the zone. My guy was eating terrine of foie gras for a while and then all of a sudden it's carb city. All he eats is pastry and french fries. . . and cucumbers by the dozen. Actually the only sure-fire menu item is bacon. And lollipops and gallons and gallons of milk. I've had success with home made fish sticks. Haddock, flour, egg wash, panko. Canola. It's not so messy or wasteful of oil if you can find a pan that uses space efficiently so you don't have to use so much oil.

Doesn't Whole Foods or Trader Joe do some kind of organic baked chicken finger?

You shouldn't eat grouse and woodcock, venison, a quail and dove pate, abalone and oysters, caviar, calf sweetbreads, kidneys, liver, and ducks all during the same week with several cases of wine. That's a health tip.

Jim Harrison from "Off to the Side"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Okay, so here's what I did:

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees.

I had about two pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the freezer. I took them out and let them defrost a bit, but not all the way (semi-frozen chicken is much easier to slice thin). Meanwhile, I took about two cups of pretzel nuggets and pulverized them in the Cuisinart until they were the texture of breadcrumbs.

I sliced the chicken into approximately 1/4"-thick strips. I dipped the semi-frozen strips into beaten egg, then breaded with the pretzel crumbs (the pretzel crumbs didn't need any added salt).

I took two half-sheet pans (it would have been too crowded on one), sprayed them with olive-oil cooking spray, and laid the chicken strips on them. By the time I was done with the slicing, dipping and breading process, the pieces were basically defrosted. I also quickly sprayed the tops of the pieces.

I put everything in the 400-degree oven for 10 minutes, then turned all the pieces over with tongs, then back in for 10 more minutes. (With convection on throughout.)

I thought they came out quite well. The breading was crispy-crunchy, and the meat was moist. I'll need to grind the crumbs even finer next time, though. The larger bits didn't crisp up properly.

We ate most of them for dinner, but I also froze four pieces overnight. This morning, I took the frozen pieces and put them in the toaster oven at 400. I kept opening the oven to check on them, so I couldn't get an accurate time measurement -- I'll have to work on that -- but they reheated very well: minimal loss of crispness, meat still not dried out.

I have to do some tweaking, and will report back on the next round.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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These are not so great for babies :wacko: but sure kickass for adults !

Kickin' Onion Chicken Tenders

1/2 C Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce

2 Cups French-fried Onions, coarsely crushed

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken breasts,

cut into 24 strips

nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 450 and coat 2 baking sheets with nonstick cooking

spray. Place the Hot Sauce and French-fried onions each in their own

shallow dish. Dip the Chicken strips into the Hot Sauce then into the

crushed French-fried onions. Be sure to coat evenly with each. Place

the strips on to the baking sheets and spray the tops with cooking

spray. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until no pink remains in the

chicken. Serve immediately

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  • 4 weeks later...

Has there been any follow-up recipe optimization yet?

Our kid was just barely talking, and anytime we entered a drivethru driveway, would announce "Tsicken!" with a delighted smile. I'm wondering how long before "hangaburgers" become the new favorite.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I have been making turkey nuggets lately, since turkey breast often goes on sale. I slice into smallish pieces, pound them flat, and then pan-fry them. After that, when cool enough to handle (or, I suspect you could freeze them at that point): dip in egg, roll in panko seasoned with cayenne pepper, salt, and blcak pepper. Then fry in an inch of so of a mixture of peanut and toasted sesame oil cut with vegetable oil until pleasingly brown. Pretty happy with that so far. I think that the turkey, in addition to being cheaper than chicken breast, has more flavor.

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I have been making turkey nuggets lately...

Hi. I have to ask - why fry twice ? I do raw chicken pieces, a wash of egg & mustard, coating of breadcrumbs, and deep fried for about two and a half minutes.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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What's up with all the dissing here of chicken fingers? One of the first replies told you it was too "eh," and then recommended white rice and string beans? Hardly a pinnacle of nutrition there.

For someone who will eat anything, and who craves things like kimchi, raw escolar, green papaya salad and pho, I find nothing wrong with a good chicken finger. One bar around here must douse them first in hot sauce before breading them, and they're delicious.

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Turkey: interesting idea. I'll have to look into that.

There hasn't been any forward motion on my chicken-finger project, but maybe soon . . .

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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My secret for chicken fingers that almost every kid loves is:

flour and seasoned egg wash, when I get to the breading though I use a combo 70% panko and 30% sweetened coconut. If you use smaller pieces of chicken, or turkey for that matter, the coconut won't burn and you can have the oven nice and hot for a crisp crust. If you want to freeze them, just don't cook 'em and IQF them on a pan, and the next day, portion them into ziplocks or whatever. My .02

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Lidia's Family Table has a great recipe using turkey, but I've done both chicken and turkey. I think the secret to really good baked chicken fingers is using panko. The other recipe I've used for years is regular bread crumbs, parmesan, dried basil, dried thyme, S&P, roll chicken pieces in melted butter then in the crumbs and bake. They're even good cold.

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Steven-

In "Happy in The Kitchen" Michel Richard has a recipe for chicken nuggets that looks great (I tried his homemade tater tots that he calls 'spuddies' and they are fantastic). I see no reason why you cannot make great quality chicken fingers with his chicken nugget recipe.

I do not have the book infront of me, but I think he basically makes a 'coating' from processed chickne thighs and bread crumbs, then coats the chicken pieces with it and deep fries it. Let me know if you need more details.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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No special reason to fry twice other than that it provides a stopping point if you wanted to stash some. If you undercook a little they won't get too dried out in the second step.

And, I 'll try adding some mustard next time!

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Chicken, potato chips, bake. No deep frying to sputter around the kitchen. :)

No info on the site about how they freeze.

For a babysitter, I'm thinking toaster oven. Make enough for the sitter to have dinner too

http://wondertime.go.com/life-at-home/arti...icky-picky.html

The original page 1 recipe/post was deleted due to inadvertent rule-breaking on my part, and the moderator asked if I could repost the link and was most helpful in enabling to fulfill that request.

Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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I just keep thinking "why?" Don't you live in Manhattan? You pay, like, $2500 for a one bedroom apartment? Take cabs everywhere? This thawing and food processing and dipping and freezing for the babysitter at what must be only a marginal savings (both cost and taste) over a decent frozen brand is making my head spin.

Get thee to a Trader Joes, I say! This is what they are for!

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Steven, you might want to think about this recipe, which several people reported on in the Dinner! topic with good results.

The kids and I are going to some experimenting later this week or this weekend, because we need some fast and easy meals for a couple of weeknights a week (spring sports will start to interfere with dinner time because of Paul's arrival time home from work).

But, I'm wondering. Do you freeze the fingers uncooked, or precooked?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I do perfer to make them myself (use half Italian flavored breadcrumbs and half panko), but we also use Tyson Crispy chicken strips. Whole chicken pieces, not ground up. They taste good and have a nice crunchy coating. I usually have a bag in the freezer, this way if I'm not home and the kids want a quick snack they can heat them up in the toaster oven (or sometimes in the microwave, but they are not as crunchy).

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