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Of the many foodies I love to read and watch on a daily basis, Chef John of Food Wishes are posts that I am a particular fan of. With an abundant schedule of sports parties around the corner, he bestowed on his viewers a meticulously detailed video on the craft and art of chicken fingers. His trick, besides an overly blatant ad spot for the Nexus One, is an ingredient that has appeared in many of my own dishes on this blog: panko bread crumbs. I don’t know if you noticed, but I like panko.
So what else does an eager monkey-see-monkey-do’r do? The answer is inside…
One thing to note: these fingers were HUGE. The panko adds more body than regular bread crumbs, and a noticeably deeper crunch and flavor. Cutting the chicken breast long-ways also gives you a something more substantial to hold, dip, and devour. A dry, wet, dry batter of flour, eggs, and panko is all you need. I did add some white pepper for some added heat, but feel free to leave out. Now, when breading, pour out an eye-ball measurement of panko into a bowl, and then pour more. I found that even when I thought there was enough, there wasn’t. You’ll thank yourself latter when your teeth sink into a crispy chicken finger, ringing out a resounding crunch. Deep fry in canola oil for 7 minutes, checking for that golden brown, and flip. Set aside on a paper towel to drain off that excess oil.
With our kitchen being a tad smaller than we’d like, I don’t have room for fancy gadgets like a mandolin, which would have been great for my oven roasted potato chip idea. Instead, like the Macgyver I think I am, I tried slicing paper thin pieces with staggered success. In any case, they were thin enough to absorb a good amount of olive oil, salt, and pepper that fried up nicely in the oven. A subtle crisp, with a smooth finish.
And don’t let people tell you green bean casserole is only for Thanksgiving. They’re perfectly fine for any occasion. Regular and french cut beans, mixed with cream of mushroom soup, and fried onions go into a casserole dish, and into the oven. Be sure to top with more onions for that trademark crispy top.
I didn’t follow Chef John’s honey mustard recipe. Instead, a few equal globs of honey, and (gasp) spicy brown mustard, and a dash of hot sauce will do the trick. The fingers were delicious. Incredibly juicy insides, and a great crust. Thanks Chef John!