OK, maybe I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but one of the foods I’ve missed most since swearing off gluten is chicken fingers! And rightly so; loved and devoured by kids and adults alike, chicken fingers pack all the tender deliciousness of chicken with a crunchy, crisp breading. Nothing brings me back to my childhood more than going to town on a plate of fingers n’ fries, which was my favorite meal at the small restaurant in the town I grew up in. But why stop there? – use them as a sauce vehicle as in the photo above, or get creative! Make a sandwich or wrap, or chop up and throw em on a salad! If you don’t want to make the humongous batch that I did, simply halve or quarter the recipe.
8 chicken breasts
3 tbsp milk
1 c potato starch
2 c brown rice flour
1 c cornstarch
2 tsp Cajun spice
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
pepper, to taste
2 tbsp sugar
2 jugs oil (try sunflower or grapeseed)
1. In a large bowl, place 1 cup of brown rice flour. In a separate second bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 1 tsp of Cajun spice. In a third bowl, combine the potato starch, cornstarch, remaining 1 cup of brown rice flour, the remaining teaspoon of Cajun spice, the other spices, as well as the sugar. Mix well. Line the bowls up in order (rice flour – egg mixture – flour mixture).
2. Slice the breasts into 1/4″ thick strips, lengthwise. Get the oil heating in the largest pot you have, over medium-high heat; when it reaches around 350F, maintain that temperature.
3. The easiest way to bread things is to make sure you’re only using one hand for the wet, and one hand for the dry. So, taking your “wet” hand, grab a piece of chicken and place it in the first bowl (the one with just the flour). Toss well so it’s covered in flour, then take your “dry” hand and place it into the second bowl (the egg mixture). Turn it around with your wet hand to cover it completely with the egg mix. Shake the excess off, then place it into the third bowl (the flour mixture). Using your dry hand, toss the chicken piece around until it’s well-coated. You may want to press the flour into the meat with a firm hand so it sticks well. Set aside on a plate or cutting board, and continue on with the remaining chicken pieces, laying them out in a flat layer on the plate, until you’ve breaded all of them.
4. At this point your oil should definitely be at temperature, so, depending on the size of pot you’re using, add a few chicken pieces at a time, but not so many that they can’t move and bob around freely in the hot oil.
5. If you’re planning on freezing a bunch of these like I did, there is no need to cook them all the way. Simply wait until the breading has begun to stick to the meat and barely starting to change color, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to each other. Remove from the oil and drain on several layers of paper towel. If you’re planning on eating them right away, continue cooking in the oil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy, and the meat inside is completely white with no pink remaining.
6. To freeze, take the cooled fingers and stack up in a resealable freezer-safe container with layers of parchment separating them. To devour instantly, serve with your favorite sauces and enjoy!