24 February 2011

Chicken fingers

Why is the kid's menu [in restaurants] the same as the bar menu? Have you noticed that? Bbq Jr's favourite restaurant item is the chicken finger. Processed, mealy chicken, breaded in some pasty, gooey mess. Salt. Protein. Fat. But no flavour. Bbq Jr has excellent taste for a five-year old, but he is just five. We're working on expanding that.

For his birthday, we gave him his favourite meal. But with a twist. I whipped up some homemade chicken fingers, but with chicken tenders (the meat next to the breast). And seasoned. And breaded nicely.
chicken tenders (boneless chicken cut adjacent to the breast)
chipotle chile powder
panko bread crumbs
giant pot o' peanut oil
Make 4 separate bowls. One contains milk.  Second contains flour, seasoned heavily with salt, chipotle, and paprika. Third, beaten eggs. Fourth, panko bread crumbs.

panko crumbs

Soak the chicken tenders in the milk while you start heating the oil. You're gonna want the oil at around 375°F. When the oil is close to hot enough, dredge the chicken tenders in the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour, then dredge in the beaten egg. Shake off excess egg, then dredge gently through the panko. One of the nice things about panko is the texture. Don't damage the texture.

breaded chicken

Repeat with as many tenders as you plan to make (2-3/person is tons).

The trick with deep-frying is to not be afraid of the oil. Lower the chicken tender into the oil so that you don't splash the hot oil on yourself. Your fingers will end up pretty close to the oil surface. Be careful, but *do not be afraid*.

deep-fried chicken

Cook until the chicken tenders are a nice dark brown, and cooked all the way through (I test 1 tender/batch by cutting into them). About four to seven minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the tenders from the oil.

deep-fried chicken strips

Further season with grey sea salt. Serve with plum sauce and homemade ketchup.

Chicken strips

This was a hit with Bbq Jr. "Best chicken fingers, Daddy!" Goes to show, even bar food can be brought up a notch.

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