Wait. Stop. I know what you’re thinking. These look EXACTLY like KFC chicken tenders, now how did she do that?! I’m an accidental genius, that’s how (and a very humble one at that). Read on.
These crazy, amazing, oven-fried crispiest-ever chicken fingers where never supposed to happen. It was around the holidays, Succot to be exact, and I decided to go with a Mexican-themed menu. We’d already had so many meals and I needed a break from the traditional! I made blackened fish tacos, guacamole, taco salad, black bean & chorizo chocolate chili, cornbread, empanadas, and Mexican hot chocolate brownies. Now there was lots of meat going on, but not much in the form of chicken, so I wanted to make sure we had something kid-friendly that matched the Mexican theme. I looked through my pantry for something “corny” and found a half-eaten bag of BBQ tortilla chips – perfect! OK maybe BBQ tortilla chips are not authentically Mexican but I figured it could pass.
And pass it did. Those chicken fingers never even made it to the table. They got passed around and were gone in seconds. And the crazy part is – I made them the most untraditional way – by dipping the chicken in oil instead of egg.
My youngest is allergic, and I wanted to make sure there was something for him to enjoy, so I decided to forgo the egg-dipping and just go for some oil as a binder. True oil is not as sticky as egg, so the chips did not adhere as well – but they were super ultra crispy.
They were also super ultra tasty – because I used BBQ tortilla chips instead of the plain old boring ones. The BBQ seasoning gives the chips a nice color, so even though they’re baked, they look fried. Just like those crispy cornflake chicken tenders you drool over in every fast food commercial.
Speaking of commercials, I had wanted to get these up for Superbowl Sunday this week, but they just didn’t make it. Maybe that’s because I, nor anyone I know, is interested in the game. We’re more like social media geeks than sports fanatics so if you ask my husband and I who played, we have no idea. The only thing I know about Superbowl Sunday is that Katie Perry wore a yalmulkah dress! And I only know that ‘cuz it was all over my whatsapp!
Superbowl or not, these crispy oven-fried chicken tenders are the perfect appetizer for any party. They also make the best child-friendly dinner, with a mayo-salsa sauce for dipping. My picky-eaters loved them, and I’m sure yours will too!
Tortilla Crusted Chicken Fingers
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into strips
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 bag BBQ tortilla chips
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup salsa
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour the tortilla chips into a ziploc bag and crush with your hands until completely broken apart into small bits. Set up a dredging station with the chicken strips, eggs and tortilla chips each in a separate dish. Dip the chicken into the egg and then into the tortilla chips, pressing down so the chips stick to the chicken. Place the crusted chicken strips on a well-greased baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until chicken is crispy and cooked through. For best results, serve immediately or remove to a cooling rack so chicken remains crispy.
For the dipping sauce, combine the mayonnaise with the salsa and mix.
EGG-FREE VARIATION: Dip the chicken strips in oil instead of egg and proceed as above.