Best-Ever Chicken Fingers

I think one of the most difficult things about parenting is getting homemade, somewhat healthy food into the mouths of my babes. You know, something that’s actually fresh and not thrown into the oven after being removed from the freezer. Not only are you dealing with picky eaters, but when you work full time and don’t get everyone home until after 5 and bedtime is 7 and 7:30 with homework and showers to be had, there isn’t a lot of time to always cook from scratch.

Lately we’ve been cooking a large meal on Sunday to allow for leftovers for at least one or two nights during the week. But I also don’t want to burn the kids out on the same thing three meals in a row. So I’m always keeping my eye out for dishes that are fast, easy and kid-friendly (just as every other parent is probably doing … I know I’m not alone here).

Anyway, my kids are like all other kids on the planet and love chicken fingers (or nuggets, um .. well, you know, the dinosaur-shaped Costco ones). They’re even pretty good about eating the larger, actual-breaded-chicken tenders you get at a restaurant. So when I came across this recipe on Pinterest (from the Mommy? I’m Hungry! blog), I thought it would be perfect because it’s a homemade meal that’s semi-healthy and the kids would love it. Let’s just say that my 20 mo. old ate three large pieces and the girls asked for seconds. That equals success in my book. It’s simple, pretty fast and you don’t need to buy any special ingredients (we always have a large box of Bisquick in the house because the hubs makes pancakes and waffles for the family on the weekends).

Ultimate Chicken Fingers
(Adapted from Mommy? I’m Hungry! and she adapted from Bisquick®)

3/4 C Bisquick® Gluten Free mix (I used regular Bisquick)
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (I used both grated Parm and shredded Parm/Reggiano blend)
1 t paprika
1/2 t salt (I used 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t garlic salt — we like garlic in our house!)
1/2 t garlic powder (I upped this to more like a 1 T)
1/2 t chili powder (I added this for a little extra flavor; my kids like a little heat)

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (1 lb), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips (or 8 tenders)
* I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because that’s what I had on hand

2 eggs, slightly beaten
Cooking spray
2 T melted butter (optional)

1. Heat oven to 450°F. Line cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper; spray with cooking spray.

2. Stir Bisquick mix, cheese, paprika, salt and garlic powder in shallow baking dish. Dip chicken strips into eggs, then coat with Bisquick mixture; repeat with other pieces, dipping in eggs and Bisquick mixture (she does this two times each; I didn’t double dip the first time because it gets pretty messy and they came out fine; I did try it the second time I made them and if you don’t mind the mess, they have an even better crust). Place chicken on cookie sheet. Spray chicken with cooking spray (or you can dribble the melted butter over each tender/finger).

3. Bake 12 to14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes, until no longer pink in center.
I’m filing this away under my go-to recipes card. Do you have a mid-week go-to recipe for your family? Please share because I need all the help I can get over here! ~TTFN

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