Thai Sticky Chicken Fingers
- For the sauce:
- 1-3/4 lbs chicken breasts cut into 1” thick strips
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds, divided
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
Line 2 baking sheets with foil then spray very well with nonstick spray and set aside.
Whisk eggs and milk in a shallow dish. Add 1/2 cup almond slices to a food processor then process until mostly fine crumbs and then pour into another shallow dish. Add Panko crumbs to food processor then process until fine crumbs and then add to almond crumbs. Season almond + bread crumb mixture lightly with salt and pepper.
Add flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to a large Ziplock bag then toss with chicken fingers until well coated. In batches, shake excess flour from chicken fingers then dunk into egg mixture, and then roll in almond + bread crumb mixture, pressing to make sure crumbs stick. Place onto prepared baking sheets then refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to let breading fully adhere - don’t skip this step or breading will fall off. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Spray tops of chicken fingers with extra virgin olive oil or nonstick spray then bake for 10 minutes. Flip then spray tops of chicken fingers again with nonstick spray. Place back into the oven, flipping and rotating baking sheets, and then bake for 7-9 more minutes or until chicken fingers are golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile combine ingredients for sauce in a small saucepan then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium then cook until sauce is reduced and slightly thickened, 5-6 minutes. Pour into a wide bowl then dunk baked chicken fingers into sauce using tongs and place back onto baking sheets. Bake for 4-5 more minutes, watching closely to avoid burning, then serve sprinkled with remaining 1/4 cup sliced almonds and chopped cilantro.
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