Sweet and Spicy Sticky Chicken Fingers
Okay, okay… I eat a lot of chicken. Like a LOT you guys. My “chicken” pinterest board has wayyyy more pins and recipes than my other boards, and when I’m planning out meals I usually count up and realize that I’ve chosen 90% chicken meals… DOH! So consider me a chicken expert (lol, just go with it 😉 )… and trust me when I tell you that this chicken recipe… will become one of your favorites, if not your TOP favorite!
This recipe came to me from my homegirl (dear lord, did I really just say that? Yikes, I’m weird) Stephanie from The Cozy Cook, and ever since she posted this recipe, I’ve been itching to try it! Her website is awesome, her recipes always make me hungry, and she’s super sweet… so go show her some love 😀
I love that these chicken fingers are baked, but you’d never know it from tasting them… they are incredibly crunchy! And it uses Panko breadcrumbs, which I’m completely obsessed with, so yay!
Just set up your breading area with 3 dishes and work your way down the line, breading your chicken fingers. Now you can use actual chicken tenders from the store, or just slice some chicken breasts into strips like I did. I find the chicken tenders in my store are kind of measly, not very big, and are mostly that gross white tendon thing. No way man, no way.
Tip: Breading chicken can be very messy and frustrating, so here’s how I do it. Have one hand your designated “wet hand”. It’s the one you pick up the raw chicken, toss it in the flour, give it a bath in the egg mixture, and place it in the breadcrumbs dish. Then use your other designated “dry hand” to coat it in the breadcrumbs. It helps a lot 🙂
Place your chicken fingers on a foil lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 20 minutes or so. They get nice and toasty.
While they’re baking, go ahead and whisk your sauce together in a saucepan. It will bubble and smell deeeeelicious!
Once the chicken is done baking, either dip the chicken fingers into the sauce, or place your chicken in a big bowl and toss it with the sauce. I tossed them and tiny amounts of breading came off of a couple of the chicken fingers… no biggie to me, but if that would bother you, just dip the chicken 🙂
This chicken has a kick… but definitely a delicious one! The sweetness tones down the heat, and you can always drizzle some ranch dressing over the top to cool them down even more if you’d like 🙂 Stephanie also suggested some blue cheese dressing, which would be sooooo good!
You know me, and you know my love of sauces… so you know I just had to make extra of that sauce to drizzle it allllll over those bad boys!
I had some of my roasted corn and poblano salsa leftover, so I thought about making these into a chicken taco!
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Recipe adapted slightly from The Cozy Cook
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into strips
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 2 Tbsp eggs and about a of water whisked
- 2 cups Panko bread crumbs
- 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2/3 cup Frank's hot sauce I used original
- 2-3 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 Tbsp water
For the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Set up your breading "station" by having three dishes all side by side. Place the flour in one dish, egg mixture in another, and the bread crumbs in the last dish.
Add your paprika and cayenne to your flour and stir together to combine.
Lightly salt and pepper your chicken, then coat chicken strip in flour. Place chicken in the egg mixture and turn to coat. Next, place the chicken in the breadcrumbs and press the bread crumbs into the chicken to coat thoroughly. Repeat with remaining chicken strips.
Place the chicken on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, or until chicken is brown and cooked through.
For the Sauce:
Whisk the brown sugar, honey, and hot sauce together in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it bubbles. Add the garlic powder and water, and whisk to combine thoroughly.
Coat the chicken with the sauce and set aside on a serving plate. Garnish with green onions if desired.
** to make chicken tacos, place a chicken finger in the middle of a flour tortilla and top with desired toppings. I recommend avocado, corn salsa, purple cabbage, romaine lettuce and sour cream