My baby loves chicken fingers. My little baby…not the big one, haha. My child loves a lot of food, but he is especially a fan of fried chicken. But let’s be honest, who is not a fan of fried chicken. I have known vegetarians that eat only seafood AND fried chicken…believe it or not, I have actually known more then one. Crazy…but I understand!
Now, for these chicken fingers. I believe chicken fingers are better then regular fried chicken, because you’re not distracted by those pesky bones. So if you are looking for something delicious and easy, these are for you. Full disclosure, while this chicken recipe is not difficult to make, you might make a mess with all the flour (I did!) and it does take a bit of time to fry all the chicken, but I promise it is worth it.
A Few Notes: It is better to add the ingredients to the three bowls in stages as described below, rather than all at once. This ensures the dry mixtures do not become weighed down by the liquid from the egg and buttermilk. Also, it is better to move the chicken through the bowl with tongs or a fork, this will ensure the entire chicken is covered, rather than an empty spot where your finger was.
Potato-Chip Crusted Chicken, Marinated Overnight in Buttermilk
- 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 c whole buttermilk
- Cajun seasoning
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- 2 eggs
- 4 c flour
- 4 c panko breadcrumbs
- 4 c of finely crushed regular potato chips, like original Lays or Ruffles
- Slice the chicken breasts into strips along the longer side, with each strip about 1 inch in width. The thicker strips will give the batter something to stick to and makes for a meatier chicken tender.
- Place all the cut chicken pieces in a large spill proof container with a lid. Season with the garlic powder, onion powder and Cajun seasoning.
- Pour the buttermilk over the chicken until all the chicken is completely covered with the liquid. You may not need all the buttermilk, just ensure the chicken is completely covered with buttermilk. Place the lid on the container and store in refrigerator overnight.
- The next day remove the chicken from the refrigerator and allow the chicken to almost warm to room temperature. It’s best not to fry the chicken when it is very cold. Set up three large bowls. In the first bowl pour two cups of flour and season with Cajun seasoning. In the second bowl make an egg wash, crack one egg and mix with 1/2 c of water. In the third bowl mix one cup of panko crumbs with one cup of crushed potato chips. Meanwhile, pour approximately one inch of oil into a wide and deep saucepan set to medium-high. Set all three bowls alongside each other, you will move the chicken through the bowls one at a time and then into the hot oil.
- Taking a single chicken strip, shake off the excess buttermilk, and place in the first bowl of seasoned flour. Ensure the chicken is completely covered in flour. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the bowl of flour and shake off any excess. Move from the first bowl to the second bowl filled with the egg and water mixture. Completely cover the chicken in the egg mixture so the flour is completely wet. Using the tongs lift the chicken from the second bowl, being sure to allow any excess egg to drip off the chicken. Move the chicken to the third bowl filled with the panko-chip mixture. Lay the chicken into the mixture, and using your fingers gently pat the potato-chip mixture onto the chicken until the chicken is completely covered.
- Lay the chicken strips in the hot oil. The chicken should immediately begin to sizzle once the chicken hits the oil. If it does not, then wait until the oil heats more. Fill the pan with the breaded chicken strips, but do not overcrowd. Cook the chicken until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove all the cooked chicken from the pan before adding new chicken, this will ensure the temperature of the oil does fall.
- Halfway through breading the chicken, add more flour to the first bowl, the second egg to the second bowl (and more water if needed), and more potato chips and panko to the third bowl.
- Once the chicken is fully cooked, and browned on both sides, remove from the oil and lay on a raised rack. This allows the chicken to cool on all sides, remain crunchy and not become soggy from the oil.