No-Guilt Chicken Fingers

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Today, more playoff football meant we needed to have more football food. Originally, we were thinking we'd go out to dinner somewhere, but after eating complete junk at a surprise birthday party we went to last night, we figured we'd be better off at least making our own junk food.

I saw this recipe a few months back on Amber's Delectable Delights, but wasn't really motivated to try it out until an internet friend mentioned it earlier this week. She said she tried them and highly recommended them, so I knew I had to find a reason to make these. As it turned out, football was the perfect reason.

The recipe for these Buffalo Chicken Tenders originally came from Cooking Light, so it actually isn't all that bad for you. And as I'm sure I've discussed before... I'm all for delicious food with less guilt. So, starting off with these, I went on the hunt for a french fry recipe. We could have just gone with some simple frozen oven fries, but when browsing Cooking Light's website, I found cheese fries! (I'll share that recipe tomorrow.)

Anyway, I know... it can be hard to imagine cornflake-crusted chicken tasting anything like regular chicken fingers. But it does. And in my opinion, this chicken is actually BETTER than traditional, fried chicken fingers (I don't really like much fried food). These guys are awesome, and I can't wait to have the leftovers.

The recipe calls for making a hot sauce to drizzle over the chicken tenders when they come out of the oven. I decided to skip that and just put some Frank's Red Hot Sauce on the table in case my husband wanted to use it. I don't really like hot sauce (it's not the heat that gets to me, but just the actual taste of it), so I dipped my chicken fingers in BBQ sauce, which was really, really good. The flour mix makes the chicken flavorful, and the corn flakes make for a great crunch. Really, you could eat them without any dipping sauces. You have to give these things a try; you won't regret it!

Changes from Amber's recipe: I doubled the amount of ingredients for the flour mixture, as well as the number of corn flakes (I reflected those changes in my recipe below). I had read in the comments on the Cooking Light website that people kept running out and had to make more, so I wanted to prevent that from happening.

Buffalo-Style Chicken Strips
(Source: Amber's Delectable Delights, adapted from:

- 4 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 3 cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
- 1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips
- Cooking spray
- 1/3 cup hot sauce (such as Crystal)
- 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/2 cup fat-free ranch dressing for dipping (can substitute blue cheese, BBQ sauce, ketchup... whatever you like to dip chicken fingers in)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Place egg whites in a shallow dish. Place cornflakes in a shallow dish. Working with 1 chicken strip at a time, dredge in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in cornflakes. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken strips, flour mixture, egg whites, and cornflakes.

3. Lightly coat chicken strips with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until done, turning once.

4. Combine hot sauce, pepper sauce, and Worcestershire in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Drizzle hot sauce mixture over chicken. (I read in the comments that it's best not to drizzle it over the chicken, because it can cause the corn flakes to lose their crunch. If you make the hot sauce, I suggest dipping the chicken in it instead.)

Serve with ranch dressing, celery, and carrots.


Lindsey January 11, 2009 at 11:31 AM  

Those look really good. I'm all for healthier versions of my favorite junk foods, so I will have to put these on my list of things to try!

Kristin and Tim January 12, 2009 at 2:16 AM  

OMG. I made these today for the Steelers game and they were amazing. Thanks for the recipe and modifications!

Chris and Lindsey January 12, 2009 at 10:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
That Fresh Feeling January 12, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

Thanks for sharing! We are going to have a superbowl party and these looks delicious.

I am printing off the recipe as i type this:-)

FYI: I was the previous post i did not realize i was under another blogger name....that is why i deleted it!

craftybitch January 12, 2009 at 1:42 PM  

So glad you liked! We made them with Panko and they were delicious, but I'm interested about how the corn flakes would taste. And I CANNOT wait to see the cheese fries. :)

Anonymous,  January 14, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

I made these last night, deelish! For anyone thinking they'll just pick up tenderloins instead of breasts, if you don't slice them into strips (like it says in the instructions, but I forgot.... oops) it will double the cooking time.

~Amber~ February 8, 2009 at 5:25 PM  

I definitely love these crispy strips. The cornflakes provide the perfect crunch. Glad you enjoyed them.

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