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A new-ish spin on baked chicken fingers

January 24th, 2009 · 1 Comment · epicurious, jaimeshake, kitchen success, recipe, what's for dinner

last week i was seeking some food inspiration.  i had already planned on making this for dinner, but i knew that a vegetarian cous cous dish alone wouldn’t fly with my other half.  so i decided to do some kind of baked chicken finger, but i didn’t really want to use bread crumbs (i’m trying to cut down on bread and white flour, not that it’s really sticking).  so i was scouring epicurious and found this kinda crazy recipe for chicken fingers dredged in dijon mustard and rolled in crushed cheez-its.  i thought the cheez-it idea was a little on the gross side – maybe because i’m not really a fan of the crackers?  what really “cracked” me up (haha get it?) was one of the comments on the recipe – a woman didn’t have cheez-its on hand, but she did have cheetos…i’m glad i wasn’t invited to her house that night.  i realized i had a ton of ground almonds left over from some breakfast bars i made at christmas…so i tried it out and lo and behold they were danm good.  tender and juicy on the inside with a nice crunch and some tang from the dijon.  the breading is a little on the delicate side, but for the most part held up just fine.  obviously this has been done before – i’ve seen pecan-crusted chicken so i bet any nut you like will do.

Almond-crusted chicken tenders

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal (ground in processor or blender)
  • 1 1/4 lb chicken tenders (not coated or cooked)
  • 1/3 cup Dijon mustard

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 475°F. Brush a large shallow baking pan with oil (2 tablespoons) or spray generously with cooking spray.  I highly recommend using a silpat or covering pan with foil first; the breading may stick.

Toss tenders with mustard in a large bowl until coated, then dredge, 2 at a time, in almonds until evenly coated. Arrange tenders in 1 layer, without crowding, on pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes total, turning the pan around halfway through.


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