Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cooking with the Kids: Ellie Krieger's Crispy Chicken Fingers

We all know that kids LOVE chicken nuggets. The trouble is we don't really know what is in them, do we? I love to cook with my kids, but with my son's allergies it can be quite difficult. When I received my copy of The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger, this was the first recipe that caught my eye. The reason is simple: healthy chicken fingers that even my little guy can eat!! Pretty exciting stuff. Jackson is allergic to many things, but his allergy to eggs and flour can be the most challenging. The great thing about Ellie's chicken fingers is that she marinates the chicken in buttermilk, which makes them incredibly tender, and then coats them in crushed whole-grain cereal, like Corn Chex. Hooray for Corn Chex because it is actually one of Jackson's favorite snacks on the planet! I knew that Jackson would be thrilled to arm himself with my rolling pin and whack the heck out of the Corn Chex. Jackson specializes in destruction and this project was right up his alley! I can honestly say that he really made dust out of those corn chex. I was happy for him.

Crispy Chicken Fingers with Honey-Mustard Sauce
Recipe adapted from The Food You Crave, but also found online HERE
1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut across into 1/2" slices
1/2 cup lowfat buttermilk
Cooking Spray
4 cups whole-grain corn cereal such as Corn Chex or corn flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Honey-Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine the chicken and buttermilk in a shallow dish, turning the chicken to coat it with the buttermilk. Cover and chill for 15 minutes. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
Put the cereal in a sealable plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs to a shallow dish and season them with the salt and pepper. Dip each piece of chicken in the cereal to fully coat and arrage on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until cooked through, about 8 minutes. Leave the chicken on the baking sheets to cool slightly It will become crisper. Serve with the mustard sauce on the side.

Honey-Mustard Sauce
1/3 cup Dijon Mustard
2 teaspoons Mayo
2 tablespoons honey
In a small bowl, stir together the mustard and mayo until smooth. Stir in the honey.

This is a fantastic recipe. If you have children or grandchildren who love chicken nuggets then this is a recipe you must try! My son loved crushing the corn chex and could hardly wait to try the chicken fingers. The chicken fingers were easy and I couldn't believe how tender the buttermilk had made the chicken. The Corn Chex made a wonderful crispy coating. Once again, Ellie's measurements were perfect! Everything measured out perfectly, with no wasted buttermilk marinade or wasted corn chex crumbs. I really like how Ellie's recipes are so perfectly measured out. In fact, I can't quite say enough about it! I do want to note that I adapted the recipe slightly by breading the chicken and then letting it "dry out" in the refrigerator for ten minutes. This is a trick I learned from Tyler Florence who says that this ten minute "drying out" method makes for a much crispier coating. This recipe makes about 40 chicken fingers, which is plenty to feed the whole family and still have leftovers. I highly recommend these crispy chicken fingers. They were a hit on all accounts!!

Crispy Chicken Fingers: Serves 4 - Serving Size 10 chicken fingers (You won't be able to eat them all) 262 calories, 2g fat, 35g protein, 23g carb, .5g fiber

Honey-Mustard Sauce: Serves 5 - Serving Size 2 Tablespoons
97 calories, 3g fat, 1g protein, 19g carbs


  1. Yay for Jackson! What a darling boy he is. I love cooking with the kids too and am glad to hear you found a meal he can eat as well. They look so crispy and yummy but I love the healthy element from the cereal. I will have to try this on my kids. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You have such a cute helper. these sound like the perfect after school snack(meal) for my son.

  3. I absolutely love Ellie Krieger's recipes. I have both "The Food you Crave" and "So Easy." I've made many recipes from both books and have yet to make something that didn't taste really, really good.

  4. This is truly a kid friendly meal! i mean, who doesn't love whacking chex until they are crushed into a million pieces! These look delicious, especially with the homemade honey mustard!

  5. I love chicken fingers. Its silly, i'm an adult and a food blogger but i just have a big bag in the freezer that i love to take out for dinner. I dip them in honey mustard. I guess i should try making my own LOL, these do look great.
    *kisses* HH

  6. This is right on time for me! Gabe recently asked to learn how to cook. He wants to make the jump from cookies, muffins, etc to meals/main dishes. This would be great for him to try.

    Love the "drying out" tip...b/c crunchier is better! I'll have to try that. Tyler is so smart.

  7. Oh my goodness - what a little cutie Jackson is. Yay for you for finding him some chicken fingers. My young adult kids and I do crave chicken nuggets once in awhile - and I always look for new healthy recipes - so I know exactly what is in it! Bookmarking this.

  8. This is a healthy chicken finger recipe, Kim! The one I make when the kids come to visit has parmesan and panko! Bad, bad, bad!

  9. looks so good love the coating thanks for the kind comment

  10. i always feel so much better when i know i'm feeding my kids something that is good for them, instead of something that has been processed. this looks so good nad friendly for the whole family!

  11. I've been wanting to try this recipe. Looks delicious! Will have to try it.

  12. Awww...look at your little helper. He may grow up and become a pastry chef, a star on Food network!

    I also love chicken nuggets. Get me a plate!

  13. This is one I wanted to try, too! I know my kiddos would really devour it! And they can even much better! YUM :D

  14. That photo is just too precious. What an intent look! You amaze me, Kim-- kids and great recipes. How do you do it?

  15. I've always been leary of chicken nuggets from fast food places--that's probably why I never eat them anymore. It would be awesome to make some at home though!!

  16. This looks delicious!!! My son would love these chicken nuggets.

  17. My son who is 5 would love these! Great blog.

  18. What an excellent helper! ;-) I would happily eat these myself--especially dipped in that honey-mustard sauce--yum!

  19. Look at Jackson! How cute. And yes, great tip on letting breaded meats dry in the fridge briefly.


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