Cracker Cornmeal Chicken Fingers (Chicken Tenders)

February 10, 2014
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

I come from a family who loves fried chicken. I remember my Mother standing over her stove frying it in hot oil. When not eating it at home, we loved to go out to small inns or taverns where the speciality of the house was "Chicken in a Basket". The red plastic baskets were lined with red and white checked waxed paper and filled to the brim with crispy chicken pieces and hand-cut french fries. Over the years, my Mother decided that all of that fat and breading was not good for us and she started baking chicken strips in the oven with a coating of breadcrumbs and flour. It was still delicious but I missed that deep fried goodness. On a recent G. Garvin show on the Cooking Channel, he visited a restaurant who's specialty was deep fried pork strips with a coating of crushed cracker crumbs, cornmeal and flour. A light bulb moment . . . . I could do that with chicken and fry it in a frying pan with a moderate amount of oil. The results were reminiscent of the fried chicken that I remembered as a child. My Mother would have loved this recipe. —lakelurelady

What You'll Need
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds Chicken Breasts (about 3)
  • 24 Ritz crackers (crushed in a baggie with a rolling pin)
  • 1/4 cup Cornmeal
  • 1/8 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Paprika
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • Canola Oil
  1. Cut each chicken breast into 6 strips.
  2. Combine cracker crumbs, cornmeal, flour and seasonings in a large bowl. Beat eggs and milk in separate bowl.
  3. Dip each breast strip into egg mixture and then into crumbs. Coat well on all sides. Place each breaded strip on baking sheet. Place baking sheet in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour canola oil to a depth of 1 to 2-inches in a large frying pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Cook chicken strips in batches until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
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I have been a serious cook from the time I first took an introductory course in French Cooking from Irena Chalmers, a cookbook author and instructor at the CIA. My first love is French cooking but I also value the importance of fresh local ingredients. The freshest ingredients seasoned right and prepared with love will result in the perfect meal.

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