by Millie Bentley
Greetings. Do you remember being given chicken legs to chew on when you were a tiny child? I hated it because I didn’t like to chew on bones. Later on they came out with chicken fingers – nice tasty, tender pieces of crunchy chicken with no bones. Yum! These were much better than chicken nuggets because they were real pieces of chicken, not pressed-together pieces of chicken. Here’s a recipe that promises real finger-lickin’- good chicken fingers that grown-ups like as–well-as-if-not-better-than kids. So make plenty.
2 teaspoons salt (Kosher is good)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pounds chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
3 cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or finely ground white sandwich bread
Vegetable oil for frying
2 cups mayonnaise
½ cup honey
2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh dill (or 1 tablespoon dried)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
To start the chicken, mix the first six ingredients in a large bowl. Cut the chicken into 1” wide strips, about 3 “ long. Place chicken in the bowl with first ingredients. Mix well with hands to coat chicken and place in a recloseable plastic bag (Ziploc). Refrigerate overnight or at least eight hours.
Prepare dipping sauce by mixing together all ingredients and refrigerating until ready to serve.
When ready to start frying chicken fingers, beat eggs and place in a deep platter or pie pan. Place bread crumbs in a similar pan. Dump flour in the bag of marinated chicken and shake it around a lot, rubbing it until chicken is coated with flour. (Some people place the flour in a pan and dip the chicken strips in the flour, but I like to skip that step.) Pour 2 inches of oil into a 6 quart Dutch oven; heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 325 degrees. Dip individual chicken fingers first in egg, then in flour and slide into hot oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and continue batches until all fingers are fried. Serve with dipping sauce. Makes about 5 servings. Yummm! Until next week, dear Reader, vaya con Dios.