The masters over at Epicurious.com have a great article on Chicken Fingers. So if you are hankering to relive a childhood classic or looking for great party finger food then this recipe is Perfect.
Taking their cue from chef James Kent of the The NoMad Bar in NYC, they have these invaluable tips to share…
If you are already convinced and anxious to get the recipe scroll down to the bottom of the page..
USE BONELESS SKINLESS CHICKEN THIGHS
The most striking difference between the chicken fingers Kent serves at The NoMad Bar and the ones mom made growing up is they utilize boneless, skinless chicken thighs, not breasts. In addition to being more affordable, thighs are incredibly flavorful and aren’t as prone to drying out thanks to the good amount of fat contained in them.
As Kent says, thighs “make you never want to eat chicken breasts ever again.”
MARINATE THE CHICKEN IN BUTTERMILK
After getting cut into strips, the chicken thighs are marinated in a buttermilk brine for 24 hours. “We tested various brines and even tried a salt-cured chicken,” recalls Kent, “But this is the best way to make sure the meat’s tender.”
The buttermilk lends a subtle tang to the final product that’s hard to achieve with anything else. Plus, it’s classic: “We wanted to keep a foundational element like this that people have been using for years and years.”
SEASON THE BRINE AND THE BREADING
The chicken doesn’t just get its flavor from the buttermilk, but from the various spices and seasonings that are added to both the brine and the breading. Among other flavorings, jalapeño and Tabasco get added to the brining liquid and contribute additional flavor and a slight heat to the chicken. Then, when it’s time to fry, you dredge the chicken in seasoned flour with a host of different spices, including onion and garlic powder, thyme, sage, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
Now, you’re just a pot full of bubbling canola oil away from the best chicken fingers ever. That, and a batch of homemade ranch dressing for dipping, of course.