Crispy Chicken Strips with Apricot Mustard Dipping Sauce / Laura Agra / Katie Workman / themom100.com/ photo Sarah Crowder

The words chicken strips (or nuggets or fingers) can elicit different — almost Pavlovian — reactions.  Different, often, in kids and adults.

Many kids are like, “ooooh, chicken fingers, yes bring them on!”

Many adults feel like this is the parenting/kid food of defeat.  The shameful fallback, whether at a restaurant or at home.  “My eat eats only chicken nuggets,” we might lament to one another (I have surely heard this phrase sighed a whole lot of times.

Real chicken breast pieces with a flavorful panko crust and a sweet and tangy dipping sauce.

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Chicken Nuggets: A Reality

But take heart!  First of all, having a box of frozen chicken nuggets in the freezer is hardly shameful, it’s downright smart!  I once wrote an article where I had to test and taste and compare over 50 kind of frozen and refrigerated chicken nuggets.  Yes, it was pretty much as terrifying as it sounds, but there are some good ones out there.  Bell & Evans was the winner, back then, and they are still high on the list of deliciousness.

So, no shame in having a box of nuggets/fingers/tenders on hand.  No shame at all.  But no, we don’t want to feed our children a steady diet of packaged chicken nuggets.

Crispy Chicken Strips with Apricot Mustard Dipping Sauce / Laura Agra / Katie Workman / themom100.com

But a homemade chicken finger, here and there is a thing of joy.   Real chicken breasts, nicely sliced with a flavorful panko-crust and a sweet and tangy dipping sauce?  I surely see no reason for mea culpas here.

Mixing the Panko bread crumbs with a bit of olive oil allows them to form a crispy fried-tasting crust in the oven.  And yes, these are baked, so less oil.

For a chance of pace, you can switch up the dipping sauce.  This Sriracha Sauce would be excellent.

Crispy Chicken Strips with Apricot Mustard Dipping Sauce / Laura Agra / Katie Workman / themom100.com

Other Highly Kid-Pleasing Foods:

Crispy Chicken Strips with Apricot Mustard Dipping Sauce

Real chicken breast pieces with a flavorful panko-crust and a sweet and tangy dipping sauce. These are chicken strips you can be proud of.
Yield: 6 People
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce or to taste
  • 1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut crosswise into 1-inch thick strips
  • 1 cup apricot or orange preserves
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a wire cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Whisk together the eggs and Sriracha in a second shallow bowl. Combine the panko and olive oil in a third bowl.
  • Working in small batches, toss the chicken strips in the flour, shake off any excess, dip them in the egg mixture, shake off any extra, and roll them in the panko. Shake off any excess, then place the strips at least 1 inch apart on the wire rack. (It’s possible you may need to bake these in two batches.)
  • Bake until the chicken strips are golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, place the preserves in a small saucepan or skillet. Heat over low heat until melted, then stir in the mustard and thyme. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl, transfer the chicken strips to a serving platter and serve hot.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 491mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 113IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition values are provided as an estimate. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.

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Comments

  1. My youngest, the chicken tender connoisseur, gives these 2 thumbs up. I love, love, love the dipping sauce.

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