Monday, May 16, 2011

Italian Chicken Fingers with Tomato Dipping Sauce

This is another crappy chicken night favorite and a great recipe for kids.You can use chicken tenders for this but I always buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts and those work fine too. I made these with oven-roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli with lemon butter and it all worked together really well. The chicken tenders are great leftover too - just reheat in your oven or toaster oven on 375 for 10 minutes or so. The recipe has been adapted from Simply Recipes.

Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2


Chicken Tenders
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 small handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 TBSP butter, melted
  • Pam or other spray oil

Tomato Dipping Sauce
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/4 of a small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar

  1. Cut each chicken breast into 5-6 pieces. Be sure to cut off any fat and throw it away.
  2. Soak chicken in buttermilk for 15-30 minutes in the fridge. While the tenders are soaking, make the sauce (see sauce directions below).

  3. Chop the handful or parsley finely until you have 1 TBSP. I've found it's easiest to chop herbs by wadding them up into a bunch first, then chopping across. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the way!
  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley, salt and pepper on a plate. Grate the parmesan with a small grater on top of the breadcrumbs and mix it in.
  5. Heat oven to 500°F. (I did this in my toaster oven and it worked great so either will work)
  6. Line a roasting pan with foil and spray the foil with Pam to help prevent sticking.
  7. One by one, remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk, and place on the plate with breadcrumbs, coating them on all sides with the breadcrumbs. Place on the roasting pan.

  8. Drizzle a little melted butter over each chicken tender.
  1. Peel and finely chop your onion and your garlic. 
  2. Heat the 2 TBSP of olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. 
  3. When the oil is hot, add the onions, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Watch closely so the garlic doesn't burn.
  5. Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes more. The tomato paste should darken to a brick-red color.
  6. Add the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. 
  7. After it boils, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until you're ready to serve.
  1. Place chicken in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, and the pieces are lightly browned.
  2. Serve with a bowl of the sauce for dipping.

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