Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers

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Homemade chicken fingers are a delicious dinner for all ages. For this recipe, tender chicken strips are coated in a crunchy pecan crust then baked in the oven. Coating the chicken can get a little messy, but it's an easy project overall. Just be sure you wash your hands whenever they come in contact with the raw chicken.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

I serve these chicken fingers with honey mustard and barbecue sauce. Make it into a full meal by adding a hearty salad, mashed potatoes, or fries.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken tenders
  • 2 and 1/2 cups pecan halves, divided
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (optional, for garnish)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Pulse 3/4 cup of the pecan halves in a food processor until they've become very small crumbs. Transfer the pecan crumbs to a large bowl and add in the flour, salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Use a whisk to combine the ingredients and set aside.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Add the remaining 3/4 cup of pecan halves to the food processor and pulse them a few times, leaving them in much larger pieces than the fine crumbs you pulsed before. Pour them onto a large plate and set aside.

Step 2

In a medium-sized bowl whisk together the eggs and olive oil until the eggs are frothy and the mixture is well combined. Set aside.

Dredge each chicken strip in the flour/pecan mixture, shaking off any excess and allowing it to fall back into the bowl. Dip it in the egg/oil mixture, turning the strip once to coat both sides, and allowing any excess liquid to drip off and back into the bowl. Finally, dredge the chicken strip in the coarsely chopped pecans, making sure it's completely covered before shaking off any excess nuts and letting them drop back onto the plate. Place the chicken strips, a few inches apart, on the prepared baking sheet.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Step 3

Bake for 14 minutes before carefully turning each piece over and baking for an additional 14 minutes, or until the outside is golden brown and crisp, and the center is cooked all the way through. You should cut a tender in half to ensure there is no pink left in the center.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

Step 4

Serve chicken fingers warm with a garnish of parsley, some honey mustard, barbecue sauce, and/or your favorite condiment. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to two days. Chicken fingers may also be frozen for up to two months.

(Image: Ashley Manila)

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