As much as I like eating healthily, I also like a good amount of junk food. For as long as I can remember, I was able to pass up on savory, salty junk food – chips, French fries, chicken fingers – in favor of sweets and desserts. I’m not what the physiological reason is that would command my taste preferences to change, but they certainly have over the years.
Now, while I am certainly tempted by soft chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin chocolate chip squares, I am just as likely to pass on dessert in favor of indulging in a salty or savory treat. No, make that a spicy, salty, savory treat.
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a person for whom chicken fingers don’t evoke some sort of childhood memory. For me, chicken fingers were a frequent staple at the dinner table and one of the only items my brother and I liked to order off the kids menu at restaurants. Unlike some of my other childhood snack staples (does anyone else remember the microwave popcorn that was dyed a “surprise” neon color that you’d discover when you opened the bag? Ew), chicken fingers are also a big kid favorite.
This grown-up edition of a childhood favorite uses lime, cilantro and chipotle pepper powder as a flavorful marinade and the breading is based on crunchy panko breadcrumbs, laced with a little bit of heat. These are a perfect appetizer or finger food served at a party, but even better as a quick weeknight dinner. They freeze well, so if you’re cooking for one or two you can pop whatever you don’t need in a freezer safe bag and save them to reheat on an even busier night.
Chipotle Chicken Fingers
1 pound (16 ounces) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 1/2 limes)
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
3 teaspoons ground chipotle powder, divided (or more if you like a lot of heat)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with a thin layer of cooking spray. Place chicken on a cutting board and slice into thin strips (about 1/2 inch in diameter). Set aside.
Make the marinade: In a bowl, combine lime juice, chopped green onion, cilantro, garlic, salt and 1 teaspoon chipotle power. Add chicken and toss until it is evenly coated with the mixture.
In a separate shallow bowl, combine the panko breadcrumbs and 2 teaspoons chipotle powder . Toss the chicken strips in the panko mixture, one at a time, until each fully covered in breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breading and arrange on the baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken fingers so they brown on the other side, and cook for another 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is brown. Makes about 16 chicken fingers. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.Print This Recipe