Chicken fingers are often one of the things I hear people talk about missing when they start the gluten-free diet. If your child has been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, it is likely that he or she is mourning the loss of his or her favorite foods. I know that Jon was really bummed at first; he was 10 when he was diagnosed. Jon really missed his Pop Tarts, chicken nuggets and pasta.
We have tried many recipes for Chicken Nuggets and while the recipes we have tried are good, nothing has come close to what Aaron, my husband, made this evening. I had been taking a much needed nap and was told when I woke up that he was making chicken fingers for dinner. My first thought was “Great, I am off the hook for making dinner!” Then he told me to look in the freezer. I couldn’t figure out why. I opened the freezer and there sat a baking sheet full of battered chicken fingers (uncooked). I am not going to lie, I was a little skeptical about his method, but who am I to question? I was just happy that I only had to worry about what I was going to eat later on. He started cooking a short time later. I began to smell a wonderful aroma drifting over to the comfy couch spot where I was sitting and couldn’t help but to get up to follow it into the kitchen. At first glance I was impressed! The color of the chicken fingers was a golden brown. They reminded me of the chicken fingers that Chili’s serves and are far from being gluten-free. I bit into one and was floored! These were spot on!! They were just as good, if not better, than the Chili’s fingers. I immediately began to inquire how he had made them so that I could share the recipe here with you all.
Better Batter Pancake Mix, 2-3 cups
1-2 lbs of chicken
garlic, 1-2 tsps
oregano (just a sprinkle or two)
salt, 1/2 – 1 tsp
pepper, 1/2 tsp
***amount of dry ingredients will depend on how much chicken is used. The amounts listed in parentheses are strictly guidelines.
1. Soak chicken tenders in water.
2. Mix together dry ingredients.
3. Dredge chicken through dry mixture and set aside.
4. After all chicken has been dredged through the dry mixture, add the egg and enough water to make the mixture the consistency of pancake batter.
5. Coat all chicken pieces and then place on baking sheet that has been lined with wax paper.
6. Freeze for 1 hour or so. This helps the batter adhere to the chicken.
7. Heat enough oil in a pan so that the chicken can be completely submerged.
8. Fry until golden brown.
9. Drain on a paper towel. Season with salt & pepper if desired.
The kids loved these, as did I! I apologize for not having more specific ingredient amounts, but Aaron cooks by feel and 99% of the time he is spot on. He is now considering using this same approach for battered fish for the kids! I told him he should use gluten-free beer instead of water for beer-battered fish!