Peanut-Crusted Chicken Fingers
Elevate kid-friendly chicken fingers with a panko and crushed-peanut coating in this recipe from Virginia Willis's "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all."
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus more as needed
- 4 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups fresh plain or whole-wheat or panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs
- 1 cup finely chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
- 2 large eggs
Separate a heavy-duty plastic freezer bag at the seams. One at a time, place chicken breasts between plastic sheets. Using a flat meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet, pound each chicken breast until it is 1/4-inch thick and is approximately 6 inches wide and 8 1/2 inches long.
In a large plastic or glass container, mix together salt, sugar, mustard, paprika, and white pepper. Add buttermilk and stir until salt is completely dissolved. Add chicken breasts, pushing down to make sure they are completely immersed in the liquid. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a shallow dish, mix together breadcrumbs and peanuts. Place eggs in a second shallow dish and whisk until loose.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; top with a wire rack and set aside.
Remove chicken from brine and shake off any excess liquid. Cut each breast into 3/4-inch-thick diagonal strips. Dip each chicken strip first in eggs then in breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat and pressing breadcrumb mixture to adhere.
Transfer strips to rack on baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.