Who doesn’t love chicken fingers? Tender pieces of breaded chicken fried to golden perfection and dipped in a tangy sauce are far too tasty to be relegated to the kids’ menus. Grown-up chicken fingers are popping up on trendy menus everywhere and Paul Abrahamian, co-owner of Sticky’s Finger Joint, is pairing the classic treat with a variety of inventive flavor combinations.
Just in time for Super Bowl parties and our very own 50 Yard Lounge football celebration, Paul shared with us his tips to get the most perfect chicken fingers. Here are five of his best tips:
The Chicken: Paul recommends using boneless, skinless chicken breasts, which he then pounds into ½-inch thick pieces.
The Marinade: For tender chicken, it’s important to marinate the chicken for a minimum of three hours to a maximum of 24 hours. Paul likes to marinate in a mixture of buttermilk and seasonings.
The Breading: Have fun with breading. Start with all-purpose flour, and then add some sort of starch (potato starch or cornstarch) for a sort of glue. Dip in an egg mixture, which you can make as adventurous as you like (maple syrup, hot sauce, soy sauce), then dip in a panko mixture. Add anything crunchy to the panko crumbs like pretzels, potato chips, or tortilla chips.
Frying: To get a clean and crisp fry, Paul uses all-natural canola oil. He also says to fry the chicken tenders twice to get the best results. First, fry at 300 degrees for three to four minutes until the chicken is cooked through, then at 330 degrees for the final minute to get the tenders golden brown.
The Dipping Sauce: Pick the perfect dipping sauce. You can pair anything with the chicken fingers. Paul likes to use Greek yogurt, barbecue sauce, marinara sauce, and even ice cream.
Paul’s number one rule for making chicken fingers is to have fun. Be creative and bold with your flavor combinations and add any seasoning and spice that you want. Make your Super Bowl party extra festive this year with creative and delicious chicken fingers.
Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.