Thursday, February 28, 2013

Baked Chippy Chicken Fingers

Use Me by Bill Withers
Now, my bags of chips don't sing to me like that bag of limes from my last post, but they get the message of their need to be used across just fine.  If they DID sing, however, I imagine they'd be singing along with Mr. Withers - "Oh, you just keep on using me until you use me up."  It cracks me up just how well the lyrics of this song fit a bag of chips!  It never used to be a problem - using up those chips.  But, nowadays, it is.  Do I stop buying them?  Nooo!  Not only do I keep buying them - I buy more "gourmet" chips - chips that give the impression that a "sandwich and chips" dinner is fine fare!  Still - what to do with ALL those chips - especially those last broken up bits.  You toss them all together and make these chicken fingers.  To paraphrase the song, "If it tastes this good getting used, you just keep on using me until you use me up!"

Chips never used to last long enough in my house to get to that stage where you start wondering about their freshness.  But, now that we're empty nesters, this happens quite frequently.  I used to just toss them.  This past week, however, I stopped myself as the recollection of one of my kids' favorite meals popped into my head.  Several years ago I had read about an idea of using crushed up potato chips to coat chicken breast strips.  I had a hunch that this was something my little brood would enjoy.  They loved them!

But that was regular potato chips - and "kids" food.  Would a meal like that pass as a grown-ups meal?   I was about to toss out the remainders of my "nicer" chips that were starting to lose their oomph.
There were some regular reduced-fat potato chips among them, but we had some sweet potato chips as well as some sweet potato tortilla chips.  I mostly worried about the tortilla chips.  Would they translate well to this application?  And what about the cinnamon sweetness of the candied sweet potato chips?  Would that be weird?  Oh, well.  I figured that if it was nasty it was just a reminder to my husband that he lived with an inquisitive chef.  He has to eat those reminders now and then.  Or find out that we're dining out that night!  Ha!

I wasn't the first one to taste the finished project.  I was busy whipping up some honey mustard in which to dip them - hoping that if they were marginal, the dip would hike them up to a satisfactory status.  What I heard from the other room was a "Wow!"  It was a good "wow."  A happy "wow."  A why-haven't-you-made-these-before-and-when-will-you-make-them-again "wow."  I hurried and took a bite.  "Wow!!"  These were seriously divine!  There would've been more for the lead photo but I couldn't resist!  These are a meal I would serve to guests.  No kidding!

I used a three-step coating technique - a dusting of flour, a dip in an egg bath, then rolled in the chip crumbs.  Doing this really helps those strips stay moist as well as lending flavor.  Of course, now I'm out of chips.  But that can be remedied easily enough!  Off to the store I go to get more fancy chips - with every intention of them ending up clinging to the outside of some chicken strips!  

I will be making these often.  Not only are they tasty as all get out, but they're quick AND easy!  And, hey, serve them with chips!

Baked Chippy Chicken Fingers
3 servings
2 skinless chicken breast halves
kosher salt
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs
1 T. mustard
1 c. chip crumbs - potato chips, tortilla chips, whatever you've got

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees.

Place a cooling rack inside of a sheet tray and spray with cooking spray.

Place the chips into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade and process until small crumbs.  Or just crush them with your hands or a rolling pin while still in their bag.

Cut each chicken breast on the diagonal into 6 strips.  Pat dry and season with the salt and pepper.

Arrange three shallow dishes, such as pie plates, in a row.  To the first add the flour and spread out.  To the second, add the two eggs and beat with a fork until loose and well blended and then beat in the mustard.  To the third dish add the chip crumbs.

Work with a few pieces of chicken at a time.  First, dust with flour and shake off the excess.  Next, dip into the egg and mustard mixture and coat all over.  Last, roll them into the chip crumbs then place on the rack in the sheet tray.  
Repeat until all the chicken pieces are coated.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Prepare yourself for a standing ovation!


  1. This is very simular to my families "Potato Chip Chicken" dinner! Good stuff!

    1. OOOH! I'd love to hear more about that!

  2. These were great for dinner tonight. Very yummy! Used a spicy ketchup I found at tjmaxx for dipping. Thanks for a great recipe.