Man do I love me some fried chicken. Like, it would be my last meal kind of love. But I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I eat it in a year. Especially now that we are eating clean for Lent. Why is it that you crave something so much when you just can’t have it? Walking past the kettle chips at the grocery store yesterday just about killed me. KILLED ME. They are another one of my weaknesses.
Since real deal fried chicken is absolutely out of the question right now, I figured I should find a substitute to curb the craving. Do these taste just like fried chicken? Um, no. But they are a delicious, healthy version that totally hit the spot. The buttermilk soak creates a moist chicken tender while the almond meal and whole wheat panko lend a nutty flavor. They don’t get super crispy but baking them on a rack help bring some texture reminiscent of the fried stuff.
Buttermilk Almond Chicken Fingers
recipe from How Sweet Eats
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup almond meal
3/4 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. Place chicken tenders and buttermilk in a zip top bag and place in refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours, or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray a wire rack with nonstick spray. Place rack on top of baking sheet.
3. Combine almond meal, panko, flour, salt, pepper and paprika in a bowl. Dredge each chicken finger in the mixture, pressing to adhere, then place on the rack. Spray the chicken tenders with nonstick spray. Bake for 12 minutes then gently flip them over, spray with nonstick spray and bake another 12 minutes.