Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chicken Fingers Redux - Double Dip

Yes, I understand I am obsessed with fried digits. But chicken fingers are a family favorite, and I am always excited when a new way to make them works out.

I have always thought that, despite the oil and crumbs, that there was a bit to much health in my fingers. In fact, I have always wanted them to look and taste like "real" fried chicken: moist on the inside with a real crust. If you are willing to soak the fingers for a bit before sauteing in the pan, willing to put a bit more oil in the pan, and, most importantly, double dip, then you can feel like your kitchen fingers came straight out of the South.


Chicken fingers, cut into strips (2 packages, about 24 ounces)
1 1/2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
All purpose flour, for dredging (about a cup)
Panko Japanese bread crumbs
Canola Oil
Olive Oil (optional but good)


Heavy skillet for sauteing
Two shallow bowls for dredging chicken
Tongs for manipulating chicken
Larger bowl for soaking chicken
Plate with paper towels to put chicken on
Plate to hold chicken between dippings


Cut chicken into stips. I actually bought pre-cut "tenders." Beat egg and milk, and add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to this mixture. Soak the chicken in this mixture for about a half hour. During this time prepare two bowls: one with all purpose flour and one with Panko, mixed with about 3/4 teaspoon salt. Also, place about 1/3 " oil at the bottom of the skillet.

Shake off excess moisture and dredge chicken pieces evenly in flour. Place on dry plate. Start heating oil (I use mostly canola with a bit of olive oil for flavor). When the oil is ready, dip the floured chicken strip back in the egg/milk mixture to moisten and then in the panko. Place in skillet. Continue to do this in batches, leaving enough room. When the edges of the chicken are golden brown, flip with tongs. Remove and place on paper towels. Serve with appropriate condiments.

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