Let me start by saying that this recipe is freaking AWESOME. I don't normally saying freaking but some f word needs to go in front of awesome to really bring it on home. Also, my Mom reads this blog so I can't say the f word I want. Hi Mom.
This recipe is long overdue, and just in time for the Super Bowl. It's so easy and so tasty and so crunchy and so yum yum yum. Nancy Courtney, my husbands lovely Aunt, happens to be just as obsessed with food and recipes as I am. Over the holidays, she made this recipe, while I sat and threaded Christmas Skewers. We just chit chatted the afternoon away. It was so much fun getting to know her (and her cooking) better.
Oh hi handsome.
Here is what you'll need:
Panko Bread Crumbs
Canola Oil (not pictured)
Melt your butter down and add the garlic. I used a micro plane to grate the garlic into the butter. Mostly because I'm lazy and this is easier. Thanks Rachael Ray for that handy tip.
Once most the butter is melted, turn the heat off and whisk gently until everything is smooth.
Add your mustard to the buttard (sorry)...
...and rapidly whisk to emulsify everything together. Now we're talking.
Toss the panko breadcrumbs into the parmesan. Freshly grated is best, but not mandatory (if you ask anyone besides me). Could you use regular bread crumbs? Sure, but panko breadcrumbs have that extra crunch we're looking for. I almost never use regular crumbs any more.
Nancy Courtney cut the chicken into bite size pieces, which I would recommend if you are planning on serving these at a party. I was making them just for my husbands and my personal enjoyment, so I decided to make tenders instead. I also can't follow directions. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Place the chicken in a large bowl...
..pour the mustard butter garlic nectar of the gods on top of the chicken...
Here comes the fun part. Dredge the chicken into the panko/parm mix.
And flip. Once most of the chicken is coated press your fingers down onto the chicken, turn over and do the same thing. We want to make sure that breading is on there good.
These need to rest for a bit so the breading has a chance to set. This part is really important so don't skip it. Nothing brings me to tears like breading falling off.
Cover them with plastic wrap and let them chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Then, go get a cheeseburger to occupy your mind, hands and mouth while you're waiting.
So this was an experiment that actually worked out pretty well. I wanted the bottom of the fingers to get crunchy and not stick so I put a couple of tablespoons of canola oil on the pan and heated it up in the oven while it was preheating to 400 (about 10-15 minutes or so).
When you pull the pan out, move the pan around so the oil coats the foil completely. The oil will be hot so it will slide around easily, just be careful. Place the fingers on the pan...
...and poof! Crunchalicious chicken fingers.
About two thirds the way through the cooking process, flip. Now, give them a try. Do these need a little salt? Now would be the time to sprinkle some on so it sticks. I like salt on my salt with a side of salt so I sprinkled some on. You would probably be fine with the salt that's in the parm, but it's always smart to try a bite and check for seasoning.
Golden brown and in yo' face flavor.
Forget to pick up your kids at school today? No bigs, make them some of these. They'll forgive you.
Hot damn! Speaking of hot, if you want an extra kick, try adding some hot sauce to the mustard sauce. In fact, next time I'm going to do just that. Stay hungry!
Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken Fingers
2 Pkgs Chicken Tenders (about 1.5 lbs)
2 1/2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
3/4 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan (you can add more if you want)
1 Garlic Clove, Chopped
1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
2 Stick Butter
2-3 Tbs Canola Oil
Melt butter down over low heat and add garlic. Turn off the heat once butter is halfway melted. Whisk gently until butter is completely melted. Turn of the heat and cool slightly. Add mustard and whisk quickly to emulsify ingredients. Pour over the chicken and toss. Mix breadcrumbs and parmesan together. Dredge the chicken into the parm crumbs, pressing down so coating completely covers chicken. Place coated chicken in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is preheating, add canola oil to the pan and put into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add the chicken to the pan. Let them cook for 10-15 minutes per side or until fingers are golden brown and crunchy. Make these. You'll love me forever.