I am pretty excited about this recipe for multiple reasons, the first reason being somewhat embarrassing but true. I grew up eating chicken fingers; McDonalds, Burger King, ApplesBees; I really didn't discriminate where the source was. I would eat them before swim practice after swim practice, at fancy restaurants, regardless if they were on the menu or not. My parents used to tell me that when I started to date wayyyy back when that I would need to expand my palate because ordering chicken fingers wouldn't be acceptable on dates or that if I were to ever get married there would just be a buffet of chicken fingers. But, seriously, back then, a life without chicken fingers was no life for me. I think until I hit college my diet consisted of 85% chicken fingers with maybe a salad thrown in there here and there....granted I was swimming about 4 hours a day competitively, my metabolism was extremely fast, and hopefully all that swimming did some canceling out but really that was no excuse to be eating that many tenders. NOW, times have changed and I really don't remember the last time I had one! Since I suffer from so many digestive health issues (probably directly related to childhood eating habits like above) I stay far away from these types of foods because I can't handle anything fried and usually chicken fingers contain milk- which I am allergic too.
However, these tenders are baked, not fried. For the spices, I did a touch of pink himalayan sea salt pepper, curry powder, and my all time favorite; turmeric. I use turmeric in just about everything that I make and consciously make an effort to incorporate it in all of my recipes because of its anti-inflammatory properties. I also used panko crumbs which are a little bit lighter than your typical bread crumbs and I find them to make the crust of anything that you are using them for to be a little more crispy. Lastly, in the egg wash, I decided to mix in a tablespoon of coconut vinegar from Better Body Foods. You always see my using their products, from their coconut oil, to their coconut flour or coconut sugar, but this is a new product of theirs! It takes the place of apple cider vinegar and I found the taste to be a bit milder and sweeter! It has a slight tangy taste and is made from coconut flower sap but it does not give you a coconut flavor. In a nut shell the coconut vinegar is produced from tapping the coconut blossoms that are packed with things such as amino acids, potassium, vitamins, fiber, and FOS; a prebiotic for digestive health! More than that is found in ACV! (Side note: I am 100% liking it so much more in my warm water lemon drinks that I drink every single morning compared to the ones I used to have with ACV, it is more more bearable)
I decided to add the coconut vinegar into the egg wash dish to be able to reap the health benefits of the vinegar, since I was already using turmeric, and baking the chicken fingers. I had high hopes of making these as healthy as possible yet still giving you a satisfaction that you were eating a crispy chicken tender when you took your first bite. I like to serve them with a mustard sauce, ketchup or keep them as is! These are also pretty simple to make and only take about 30 minutes! Perfect for during the week, appetizers, or even football Sunday!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
total time: 35 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people
3-4 large organic chicken breast
2 eggs (* did not try using egg whites)
1 tbsp. Better Body Foods coconut vinegar
4 cups panko breadcrumbs
1/2 - 1 tsp. pink himalayan sea salt
dash of pepper
3 tbsp. turmeric
1-2 tbsp. curry powder
Coconut oil spray or avocado oil spray (optional)
1. Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
3. Cut the chicken breasts into strips, ideally even sizes if possible.
4. In a small bowl mix the eggs together with the coconut vinegar.
4. In a separate bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs, turmeric, curry, sea salt, and pepper.
5. Generously coat a chicken strip into the egg + vinegar mixture and then dip the tender into the breadcrumb mixture. Make sure the entire chicken tender is coated, by firmly pressing the chicken strip into the mixture.
6. Place the tender onto the cooling rack and repeat step 5 until finished.
7. Before, placing them in the oven, you can spray the tenders with avocado oil to make them extra crispy. Bake them on one side for 10 minutes. Flip them carefully and bake them for another 10-15 minutes.
Serve! If you have any leftovers, you can reheat them in the oven under the broiler on high for a few minutes or at 400 degrees until warm.