Baked Pecan Crusted Chicken Fingers
- 1 and 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or tenders
- 2 cups Diamond of California pecan halves
- 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika*
- 2 large eggs
- chopped parsley for garnish, optional
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 80mins
Adapted from sallysbakingaddiction.com
1.Set out 3 medium size bowls. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone baking mat/parchment paper or coat heavily with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2.If using chicken breasts, pound down and cut into strips. If using boneless, skinless chicken tenders (chicken tenders are the lean strips of meat found attached to the underside of chicken breasts - they can also be purchased separately.) - cut in half lengthwise. Set aside.
3.Pulse 1/2 cup of pecan halves in a food processor or a blender until fine crumbs are formed. Be careful not to pulse into a nut butter, just a few pulses until they are ground up. Mix the pecan crumbs with flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Set aside.
4.Pulse the remaining pecan halves into coarse crumbs-- larger pieces than the ground pecans from step 3. Pour them into another medium bowl. Finally, whisk the 2 eggs until beaten in the 3rd medium bowl.
5.Coat each chicken strip in the flour/ground pecan mixture, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then, generously roll in the coarsely chopped pecans, shaking off any excess. Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet.
6.Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each piece over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the centers are cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Baking times may vary, just make sure yours are cooked through. If you like them more brown, bake longer. Careful, you don't want to burn the nuts.
7.Serve chicken fingers with a garnish of parsley, some honey mustard, and/or your favorite condiment. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Chicken fingers freeze well, up to 2 months. Bake frozen for about 18 minutes (flipping once) at 300F degrees
*I love to use smoked paprika for added flavor - use your favorite seasonings if you do not have any on hand.
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