Friday, April 2, 2010

Chicken Fingers

Serves  4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1 1/2 cups flour
3 large eggs
2 Tbl water
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese 
vegetable or canola oil, as needed 

Slice the chicken, length-wise but at a slight angle, into 4-5 strips of roughly 1 inch wide. 
Assemble a breading assembly line: In one medium-sized container, place the flour. Add the eggs and water to a second container and whisk to combine. In a third container, add the bread crumbs & grated Parmesan and mix to combine.

Pat dry the chicken strips with paper towels. Season all sides liberally with salt and pepper. Working one at a time, place the chicken strip into the first container and coat thoroughly with flour. Shake off excess flour. Move the strip to the second container and coat thoroughly with egg mixture. Shake off excess egg. Place the strip in the third container and coat thoroughly with breadcrumb-Parmesan mixture. Shake off excess crumbs. Place the breaded chicken strip on a wire cooling rack placed over a sheet pan. Follow same procedure for the rest of the sliced chicken strips. All of this can be done earlier in the day, and the breaded chicken kept in the refrigerator until ready for cooking. (The breading actually sticks better, if it’s given a bit of time to rest. 

Pour vegetable oil into a large straight-sided pan, enough so that the oil reaches about a half-inch height.  Heat over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes. Test the temperature of the cooking oil mixture by dropping in a single bread crumb. If it sizzles violently and burns right away, it’s too hot. If it doesn’t sizzle at all, it’s not hot enough. You want a medium sizzle. When your cooking oil is just about right, slowly lower chicken strips, working a few at a time, into the hot oil. Cook the first side until golden and crisp, about two minutes. Flip using a metal spatula, and cook until the opposite side is golden and crispy as well, and the chicken is cooked through, about two-three minutes more. Remove to a sheet pan covered with a couple layers of paper towel, and continue with the rest of the chicken strips. Serve hot with dipping sauces, including ranch dressing, honey mustard, hot sauce, ketchup or Sriracha.




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