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Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Fingers

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I still crave chicken fingers, but don’t need to visit my old stomping grounds to enjoy finger food that’s just as tasty, hot, comforting, and crispy. Some may think chicken fingers are just for kids. I am not one of them. And I know you aren’t either!



What I did today is spruce up strips of chicken with extra crunch, extra flavor, and baked them in the oven instead of frying since we’re no longer 11 year old calorie burning machines. It’s nearly impossible to replicate crunchy chicken fingers fresh out of the fryer, but these baked buffalo fingers come remarkably close.



Before baking, the chicken fingers need to be coated in flour, egg/milk mixture, then corn flakes. There’s a rhyme & reason for all! Flour makes the egg stick, eggs make the corn flakes stick. Tip: This coating process can get a little messy, so what I usually do is have 1 hand for the wet (eggs) and 1 hand for the dry (flour and corn flakes). Still a little messy, but it helps!

Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Fingers Recipe



Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
  • 5 cups (140g) corn flakes cereal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 1 cup Sweet Baby Ray's buffalo wing sauce (or more, depending on preference!)
  • optional for serving: celery sticks and blue cheese sauce (recipe below)
Creamy Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup (104g) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup (120g) sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup (75g) blue cheese crumbles
Directions:
  1. If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  3. Place the corn flakes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and smoked paprika into a food processor (you can do this in stages if the processor isn't large enough). Pulse 4-5 times until the cereal is broken down. Not completely crushed; some larger pieces can remain. Pour into a large bowl. Place the flour into a separate bowl. Then in a third bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together.
  4. Coat each chicken strip in flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg mixture and let any excess drip off. Then generously roll in the corn flakes, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about more 10 minutes. Baking times may vary, just make sure the chicken is cooked through by cutting into a thick piece. If you like them browner, bake a couple minutes longer. Careful, you don't want to dry out the chicken inside.
  6. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet (I usually make the blue cheese sauce during this time), then carefully place the chicken fingers into a large bowl. Pour the buffalo sauce on top and gently stir to coat. Taste and add more sauce if desired. Serve warm with blue cheese dipping sauce.
  7. Leftover chicken fingers keep well in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Reheat in the microwave or for 10-12 minutes in a 350°F (177°C) oven.
Blue cheese dipping sauce: 
  • Stir sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and serve.
Make ahead tip: 
  • Prepare the chicken through step 4. Refrigerate for up to 1 day before continuing with step 5. You can also freeze the baked chicken fingers before tossing in the buffalo sauce. Bake frozen chicken fingers in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 20 minutes or until warmed through, then coat in sauce.

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