21 August 2009

Healthier "Fried" Chicken Fingers

If you have kids you know they all adore chicken tenders/fingers/nuggets, but it's hard to let them indulge when you know how bad the fried part of the dish is for them. I have a solution! It's simple, cheap, and incredibly tasty. In fact, my whole family thinks this recipe is tastier than fried chicken fingers because it is not at all greasy or heavy tasting from the oil. These chicken fingers are also great for parties and picnics. And they are absolutely fabulous the next day, cold from the fridge.

You will need:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into thirds or fourths)
1 cup whole wheat flour (King Arthur!)
1 egg
1 T water
4T Smart Balance
seasoning salt
garlic powder/salt
1 cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll pan)
2 bowls or dishes (one for the egg, one for the flour)

Line your cookie sheet with foil and drop 2 T of the Smart Balance (or butter) on top. Place in your oven while it preheats to 400 degrees. The butter will be melted and ready to come out of the oven before it is completely preheated.

In one bowl, mix the egg, water, and seasonings. I like to add the seasoning to the egg mixture because it adheres to the chicken better. The flavor can get lost when you add it to the flour. Add seasoning salt and garlic salt to taste. I just shook them a couple of times each.

Mix together.

Add your flour to the second bowl. Pie plates work great for the egg and flour mixes, too.

Brush the Smart Balance all over the cookie sheet.

Set up a little station-- chicken, then egg, then flour, then cookie sheet. Dip each chicken tender into the egg mixture and make sure it is coated completely.

After the chicken is coated with egg, dredge it in the flour and coat evenly.

Then place it onto your buttered cookie sheet. Repeat until all chicken is coated and on the cookie sheet.

Don't be alarmed if your fingers look like this when you are finished:

Don't worry, it washed right off! :)

Melt the remaining Smart Balance (2T) and drizzle it over the chicken. Then put the sheet in the oven and bake at 400 for 20 minutes.

The chicken comes out crispy and tender.

The tenders don't stick to the foil at all. Comes off clean, coasting intact.

So yummy!! Kids will lap them up and parents can feel good about these tenders having no oil, no skin, and no white flour. The whole wheat adds a subtle, nutty flavor, but otherwise I promise you and your kids will not notice a difference.

I served them to the monkeys with green beans and half a baked potato topped with just a touch of shredded cheddar and low fat sour cream. They cleaned their plates!



Butterfly said...

wow, this is great!! I will try this,thanks for posting this healthy way of eating "fried" chicken fingers!!!

Sunshine Mom said...

Sure! They are really, really good and you don't have to feel guilty. :)

Jellybean said...

Hmm, I have some chicken defrosting right now. I wasn't sure what to do with it. I was thinking of making your 3-2-1 chicken (yum), but I think I will try this instead.