Pinterest Challenge: Baked Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers
January 30, 2013 § Leave a comment
Pinterest Challenge – Day 3
Crunchy. Crispy. Golden brown. Fried foods certainly have an allure to them, but I rarely make them a go-to for meals. When done right – the crispy way not the thick and goopy batter way – chicken fingers aren’t just for the kid’s menu. Dipped, or plain, these tasty finger foods make me happy. What doesn’t make me happy is all the grease that typically accompanies them. So, when I saw that these fingers are baked and promised that crunch that comes with the fried version, I was sold.
I’ve never soaked my chicken in buttermilk before and this won’t be my last time. It adds a nice tang and keeps the chicken really moist. I followed the directions – including misting the chicken with cooking spray – but the breading didn’t get as crispy as the Pinterest pin makes it look. Don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of crunch, but not (fully) comparable to a fried version. With a slight adjustment of draining off more of the buttermilk before dipping it in the breading, I think these will be on point!
Baked Buttermilk Almond Crusted Chicken Fingers by How Sweet It Is
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup almond meal*
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Add chicken to a baking dish and pour buttermilk over top to coat. Let soak for 4-6 hours refrigerated, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine almond meal, panko, flour, salt, pepper and paprika. Remove each chicken tender from the buttermilk and dip in breadcrumbs, gently pressing to adhere. Place on the wire rack. Spray each with a mist of olive oil or nonstick spray. Bake for 12 minutes, remove from over, gently flip and mist with spray, then bake for 12 minutes more.
The key to crunchy chicken fingers and keeping the breading on the chicken is the wire rack AND the misting spray!
*Almond meal can be found at natural foods supermarkets such as Sprouts and Whole Foods.