Buttermilk Chicken Fingers
I’m always on the hunt for a fun and yummy dish that is also kid friendly. What’s more kid friendly than chicken fingers, right? I mean there’s of course pizza and mac n cheese, but I don’t think I know a single kid that doesn’t enjoy chicken fingers. If it gets them to eat, then so be it. Plus, these are a perfect game or party type food as well. Kid and party friendly – double score! With the superbowl just weeks away, you might be starting to consider what kinds of items you’ll want to have for yourself or at a party. Chicken fingers and a handful of dipping sauces is an easy and fun option. Grab some ketchup, mustard, buffalo sauce, etc and you’re good to go.
The best thing about this particular recipe is how little hands on time it really requires. You prep the chicken the day before, letting them soak overnight in a bath of buttermilk and seasonings. The day of, you coat and fry those suckers up. These can easily be whipped up before the party or game. Toss cooked chicken fingers in an oven safe container and kept warm using your oven’s lowest setting. Usually it’s the mid to high 100’s.
You can easily spice these up more than recommended, but if young children will be around then I highly recommend sticking to what is listed below. Or perhaps you want to make two batches or split the one in half, one spicier and one not. Alternatively, just offer spicier dippings for those looking for an extra kick.
Buttermilk Chicken Fingers
1 - 1 1/2C buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp pepper, divided
sprinkle of cayenne
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sea salt
oil for frying
Trim fat from chicken. Cut into strips that are no more than 1/2" thick. If necessary, slice in half with a knife or pound down with a meat mallet. Transfer chicken strips to a large clean container. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp pepper and a sprinkling of cayenne. If desired, optional hot sauce could also be poured on - no more than 1/4 cup depending on the heat level. If extremely hot, reduce the amount. Hot sauce not recommended if children will be eating these, especially if there is any amount of heat to the sauce. Pour enough buttermilk into container to just barely cover chicken. Stir. Cover and chill overnight.
In a deep fryer or large skillet, heat oil (roughly 1" deep) to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour with basil, thyme, sea salt and 1 tsp pepper. Additional cayenne could also be added at this time. Coat one chicken strip at a time, transfer to a clean platter.
When oil is hot, fry several pieces at a time being sure to not crowd the fryer or pan. I was able to fit 5-6 pieces in my deep fryer at a time. Fry for 5-6 minutes, flipping half way through. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Sprinkle immediately with additional seasonings such as salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining pieces. Be sure to not overcook. They will have a nice golden crust when done.
Pop in the oven in a heat safe dish to keep warm, using the oven's lowest heat setting. Serve warm with assorted dipping sauces.
Recipe source: Average Betty