Today is the last in this week’s series of “kid-friendly” recipes. As you can see, I’ve decided to go out with the tried-and-true.
Call them chicken nuggets, chicken fingers or Chicken Strips, boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces and dipped in some sort of batter or breading and fried are a childhood staple. To this day, if we were to go to McDonald’s, The Young One would order chicken nuggets (albeit a 20-piece box as opposed to the Happy Meal size) instead of a burger. (I’d get a Big Mac, but we won’t go there.) (No, seriously – we won’t go to McDonald’s.)
This recipe skips the batter and “bread” part of “breading” and are baked, but that’s okay because they’re delicious.
But are they kid-friendly, you ask? Good question, because The G Man wouldn’t touch them until he had some ketchup to go with them (he’s in the throes of a “dunking” phase, according to his Mommy). The Young One and Beloved, though? Have done nothing but beg me to make them again.
When you’ve got a 50-year-old man begging for chicken strips, you’ve done something right with the recipe.
For my readers avoiding tree nuts, you could probably substitute the almond flour with coconut flour or tapioca flour with decent results, but I can’t promise that because I haven’t tried it yet. Also, mine didn’t brown as much as I’d have liked (mostly for photo purposes) and while that didn’t affect the flavor at all, you can put them beneath the broiler for a moment or two if you want. Just be careful, because nuts and cheese burn easily, as the few spots in the photo show.
Note: I used a sheep’s milk Parmigiano-Reggiano in the batch I made, but since Parmesan is easier to find (and less expensive) that is what the recipe calls for. Really, any hard Italian cheese would be suitable. Just don’t use the green stuff in the can – it’s just awful. (Okay, you can if you want to, just don’t say I didn’t warn you.)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a shallow, rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush it lightly with olive oil.
Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl. Stir together the almond flour, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and garlic powder together in a shallow dish, such as a pie plate. Dip each strip of chicken in the egg wash, then the almond flour mixture, coating them completely; lay the strips on the foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake the chicken strips for 15 minutes; remove from the oven and carefully turn each piece. Return to the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the strips are cooked completely through and nicely browned.
Serve with homemade ketchup or barbecue sauce.
Nutrition (per serving): 446 calories, 19.8g total fat, 205.2mg cholesterol, 1166.8mg sodium, 564.9mg potassium, 4.4g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, <1g sugar, 55.6g protein.