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Healthy Homemade Chicken Fingers Recipe

Homemade chicken fingers that taste good enough for adults to enjoy AND kids like them? Sign. Me. Up.

We try to eat healthy foods here, but I’ll admit that the wee ones – just like the vast majority of American children – periodically want chicken nuggets. And personally, I can’t stomach them.

I’ve never liked them, even as a kid, but when I look at the ingredients in them, I cringe internally. Breaking one open and comparing the texture inside to “actual chicken” means that I can’t quite bring myself to buy them – especially when it’s so easy to make them, though granted not “throw it in the microwave for 45 seconds” easy.

When they asked for chicken nuggets last week, I decided to do a twist on my usual recipe, and it went over well. I love that this is something that I can make, start to finish, in under a half hour.

And more importantly, it’s something I feel good about feeding the wee ones – and eating myself.

If you have kids that are a little more tolerant of spices, I’d add a little dijon into the egg wash, but Mister Man can’t stand it. Instead, I put a little dish of dijon on my plate and dip my chicken. Yum!

This time around, I made it with snow peas and some of my Gram’s biscuits, which was a perfect rounding out of the meal. What would you serve this with?

Homemade chicken fingers with snow peas and biscuit

How to Make Homemade Chicken Fingers

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a plate with edges or small dish – I use a storage container that has a top and bottom that are large enough to hold a chicken breast and deep enough not to spill – pour the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil.

Using your fingers, stir them gently to ensure the mixture is well mixed up so you don’t get a mouthful of basil later.

In the other dish, place the egg and milk. Use a whisk to stir until the egg it well combined. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want the egg whites and egg yolk to be fairly well beaten.

Egg wash and bread crumbs for making homemade chicken fingers

Prepare a pan to bake them with a cooling rack atop a cookie sheet. Using the cooling rack will allow the heat to get to the underside of the chicken fingers and keep them from being soggy on one side after baking them.

Clean your chicken, and cut the breasts in half lengthwise (or thirds/quarters if they’re extra plump and thick). Set up a workstation so that you can dip the chicken into the egg wash, place the chicken into the bread crumbs and gently push them onto the chicken, then set the finished chicken piece onto the cooling rack.

Chicken fingers on a cooling rack to bake so they stay crispyWhen all the chicken is complete, bake the chicken for 20 minutes until they start to turn golden. Depending on the kind of bread crumbs you use, they will turn more or less golden.

Panko tends to not get as brown, but it will still be done. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

What’s your favorite homemade chicken fingers dipper?

Healthy Homemade Chicken Fingers

Healthy Homemade Chicken Fingers

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade chicken fingers are easier than you think, and they taste amazing. You can spice it up or down, depending on how much you family can handle the heat.

Ingredients

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add bread crumbs, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil to a dish and stir.
  3. In a second dish, place the egg and milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Prep a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on it to hold the chicken.
  5. Cut chicken in half lengthwise.
  6. Dip each strip in egg wash, then bread crumbs and gently push crumb mixture onto chicken
  7. Place coated chicken onto the cooling rack.
  8. Bake chicken for 20 minutes until golden. Depending on the kind of bread crumbs you use, they will turn more or less golden. (Panko tends to not get as brown.)
  9. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Notes

  • If you like a little more spice to it, add 1 T dijon to the egg wash. It's a great twist.
  • If you have leftover bread, make my own bread crumbs. Cut it into chunks, then give it a whirl in your food processor.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 458Total Fat: 11.1gCholesterol: 287mgSodium: 1508mgCarbohydrates: 4.6gFiber: .4gSugar: 1gProtein: 81g

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  3. Mel Lockcuff says:

    Mmm, chicken fingers sound so good; I’ve kinda been craving them lately. Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire me Wednesday!

  4. Ashley O. says:

    These look delicious! Can’t wait to try them out! 🙂

    • Michelle says:

      They were so good. In fact, I think I may make them again tonight for dinner. I love things that are easy and healthy (mostly healthy anyway) and make my family happy! I hope you enjoy them, too!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Human nuggets are always better than something in a restaurant. And so easy!

    I’m hosting a roundup called Pantry Party. This dish would fit in well, as this month’s theme is breaded! Check us out! We’d love to have this dish or another breaded dish entered. http://lawstudentscookbook.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/pantry-party-march-2013-announcement/

    • Michelle says:

      I had to read that twice. Human nuggets freaked me out a little! Yes, definitely easy and oh so yummy 🙂 We loved the twist of adding the Italian herbs to this to give it a little more flavor, too

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