Chicken fingers

Chicken fingers

Battered, fried and incredibly flavourful and moist chicken tenders


As you may know, each of us has 2 daughters and although they are now teenagers and adults (when did that actually happen?) memories of them as little girls are as vivid as if they happened yesterday. The adorable frilly dresses. The pony tails and animal shaped hair clips. The innocent wonder of eyes gazing into the world, full of curiosity. The sweet, darling voices asking for one more book before bed.

But let’s be honest, we also remember the temper tantrums in the mall. The permanent marker all over the bedspread. The defiance, the whining, the sibling rivalry. The refusal to eat anything green or the insistence to eat only a handful of items, over and over again. One of those things, asked for regularly, were chicken nuggets or fingers.

Chicken fingers

We would be lying if we said that on occasion we didn’t reach for the store-bought frozen chicken nuggets we kept hidden in our freezer, behind our stock of fakes and spanakopitakia. Our emergency supply of sustenance that we could easily and quickly pop into the oven and feed hungry mouths with, often saved us. But really, it never felt quite right. We knew that we could do better than the processed, high sodium foods that our girls gobbled up. We also knew that our parents would be horrified to learn that our children (their grand-children!) were being fed anything but homemade goodness.

It was this fear of our parents concern for our daughters’ well-being that had us explore ways to make our own chicken nuggets or chicken fingers. After many attempts, and many failures (who else has had the batter on fried chicken slide right off of it?) we did come up with a recipe and technique that results in chicken tenders that you can proudly serve to your kids, and to your entire family!


Helpful hints

What are chicken tenders?

Chicken tenders are the small portion of white meat attached to the underside of each chicken breast; each chicken then has two tenders. Usually about 1 1/2 inches wide and 5 inches long, tenders can either be pulled off the breast by hand or cut off using a knife.

Although you can theoretically find chicken tenders sold separately, we are not able to find them this way. So, when we buy a large pack of chicken breasts we separate the chicken tenders and keep them aside to make these chicken fingers.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders in this recipe?

For sure! Chicken tenders taste just like chicken breasts and therefore you can certainly make this substitution. If you use chicken breasts (or a combination of chicken breasts and tenders) simply cut the breasts into strips and use them that way.

What is Herbes de Provence? What can I use as a substitute?

Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried herbs commonly used in the Provence region of France. The mixture often contains dry savoury, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano. Occasionally dry lavender can also be found in the mix.

If you cannot find herbes de Provence where you are, you can either make a mixture of these herbs yourself (you can find several recipes online), or you can simply use an equal quantity of your favourite dry herbs. There is no right or wrong substitution here – go with what you like!

What kind of breadcrumbs should I use in this recipe?

Honestly, you can use any breadcrumbs that you like; either seasoned or not. If you use seasoned breadcrumbs then you may need to adjust the salt and pepper that you add to the mix.

Panko breadcrumbs could work as well and can offer a crunchier coating.

My kids prefer chicken nuggets to chicken fingers.

Well, that’s not a problem at all. Instead of leaving the tenders whole, cut them into nugget size pieces. If you are using chicken breasts, cut those into strips and then into nugget sized pieces. Follow the recipe as indicated below. You will need to adjust the cooking time as your chicken pieces will be smaller and will therefore cook more quickly.

What is the best way to serve these chicken fingers?

We think that these chicken fingers are perfect on their own, but they are also amazing when served with tzatziki for dipping, ketchup (of course) or a nice spicy mustard. Served with a salad like a traditional Greek maroulosalata and some vegetable studded rice, they make a complete and delicious meal.

Pin this recipe if you like it!

Chicken fingers

Looking for more kid friendly recipe? These are often favourites with the younger crowd.

Youvetsi with chicken

Koulourakia

Spaghetti with burnt olive oil and mizithra

We love hearing from you!  If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!,  please leave a comment below!

Chicken fingers
Chicken fingers

Chicken fingers

Battered, fried and incredibly flavourful and moist chicken tenders
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Light meal, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken fingers, chicken tenders, fried chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mia Kouppa

Equipment

  • Frying pan

Ingredients

  • 8 - 10 chicken tenders

Flour coating

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( 225 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper

Buttermilk mixture

  • 1 cup buttermilk (250 ml)
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence See note

Buttermilk coating

  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs ( 150 grams)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Oil for frying See notes
  • Lemon for serving optional

Instructions

  • Pat your chicken tenders dry using a paper towel and set aside.
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, chili flakes, salt and Herbes de Provence. Set aside.
  • In a third shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • One at a time, place your chicken tenders into the flour and coat evenly.
  • Then, one at a time, dip the chicken tenders into the buttermilk mixture.
  • Next, place your chicken tenders into the breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Set the coated chicken tenders aside.
  • Pour enough oil into the frying pan so that it is 3/4 inches deep. Heat to approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer to measure the temperature of oil, drop in a bit of oil or a small cube of bread; if it begins to sizzle, it is ready.
  • Begin to fry your chicken tenders, being careful not to overcrowd your pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, approximately 7 - 10 minutes, and then flip over. Continue cooking until the second side is also golden brown. When done, transfer the chicken tenders to a paper towel lined plate or rack. Continue frying the rest of the chicken tenders.
  • Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the chicken fingers if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

We like to use a mixture of olive oil and vegetable oil in frying these chicken tenders.  We suggest that you do the same, but you can also choose to use one kind of oil. 
The breadcrumbs which you use can either be plain, or seasoned.  If seasoned, check the ingredients as you may wish to adjust the amount of salt and pepper you will add.
You can substitute any dry herb of your choice for the herbes de Provence; good choices include thyme, oregano and marjoram.  Learn more about herbes de Provence in the Helpful hints section of the recipe post. 


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