Kid Food: Homemade Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

I am a firm believer in the fact that kids are more receptive to foods and flavours when they are presented in a friendly and non-challenging manner. Enter the classic chicken finger! I make these chicken fingers a lot! I always cook up a double my batch and freeze half of them for another day! Although chicken fingers are technically “kid food,” it doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Chicken fingers are an opportunity to tickle the taste buds! They are also an opportunity to add a fancy side or a delicious dip! I served them here with my favourite Bok Choy Salad. My 15 year old daughter gobbled the salad and fingers up, my 13 year old son ate a small serving of the salad, opted for fresh cut veggies instead of salad, and ate more chicken fingers than I can count!

These chicken fingers come together quickly, and can be flavoured in anyway you see fit! The first step is to slice six chicken breasts. Once sliced, I always pepper with a coarse ground pepper.

The next step is to pound out your strips. In order to do this, I place the chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper. I prefer parchment paper, however, we’re in the midst of Isolation related to COVID-19 and Amazon hasn’t dropped my parchment off on my doorstep yet!

Next, I leave the chicken to soak in 3 beaten eggs, as I prepare the “breading.”

I always bread my chicken fingers in Almond Flour, its gluten free and high protein. Four grams of protein in just 2 tbsps of flour. Almond flour is made from blanched almonds that are ground into a fine flour. I sometimes crush my own almonds for my coating, but this is a great short cut, already blended into a crumb. Adding some roughly chopped almonds to the coating gives the breading more texture and crunch, but again, totally optional! Almonds are high in nutrients like Vitamin E, an antioxidant that supports the health of your skin and your gut lining. They are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral and electrolyte involved in metabolic regulation, proper heart function and is key to promoting a proper sleep cycle. Almonds are also satiating related to their rich fibre and fat content, leaving you feeling more full for a longer period of time.

I understand many of us struggle with allergies, for a nut free alternative, I have used crushed nacho chips, blended with homemade taco seasoning or you can also used Italian-style bread or panko crumbs. I often use gluten free panko crumbs with oregano, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. The sky is the limit when we’re breading chicken fingers and like I said, they are a family friendly way to introduce new flavours by adding unique spices to your breading and serving interesting dipping sauces or salads on the side.

This is a flavourful sea salt that can be purchased locally in Calgary, or ordered online. It has a Mexican Zest, the salt is blended with cumin, lime peel, chilies and black pepper. Its 100% delicious and versatile! I purchase it three bottles at a time!

Now back to the recipe! My breading couldn’t be more simple. 2 cups of Almond Flour and two teaspoons of Inca Fire Salt. Once the chicken strips have hung out in the egg wash for a minute or two, drop them one by one into the coating. Be sure to coat as heavily as possible!

As soon as your chicken fingers are ready, place them on a cookie sheet. Bake the fingers at 375°F, for 8-10 minutes, flip them and bake for an additional 12 minutes. Chicken should appear white in the centre when cooked, and have no visible pink tinge to the meat. These chicken fingers cook relatively fast as they are pounded flat.

If you’ve made a double batch, as I often do, allow them to cool slightly before freezing half. If you’ve made a single recipe, its time to serve these delicious and simple strips with some exciting sides

My family’s eyes light up when I serve chicken fingers. I hope your family will enjoy them as well. If you’re like me and you make your own convenience food ahead of time, pull your fingers out of the freezer, for a quick dinner, and place in an oven pre-heated to 350°F, for 15 minutes. Thanks for reading! Drop me a comment below to let me know how you season your chicken fingers.

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