Chef Lizzie: Italian Chicken Fingers Recipe

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Hi, and welcome back to the Fit Kitchen. Finger foods are fun, and today, we're gonna take a classic finger food and make it better. Put your hands together for my one and only Italian Chicken Fingers. [APPLAUSE] Chicken fingers are the ultimate kid-friendly finger food. You can find them on the Kids' Menu at any restaurant. And at home, they're an easy dinner solution. Chicken fingers come from chicken tenderloins, which is a cut of chicken breast. That's a nice lean part of the bird. When you're shopping, you should always look for lean cuts of meat, whether you're cooking chicken or turkey or beef. But the thing with chicken fingers is that most people make them deep fried in batter and oil. That turns a nice lean food into one that's usually really high in calories and full of bad fat. Plus, those fried ones are usually served with dipping sauces that can be high in fat and salt and sugar. That's why my favorite chicken fingers are baked and seasoned, so you don't even need extra sauce. To start things off, you need an egg. Scramble it in a bowl. [CRACK] Just crack an egg on the side, throw away the shell, and scramble it up with a fork. Then you take a large Ziploc bag and mix a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs right into the bag, with a 1/4 cup of grated cheese. I like to use freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. But you can also use fresh mozzarella, or whatever your favorite cheese may be. Also, sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Now comes the fun part. Coat the chicken pieces in the egg just like this. Then place the chicken into the Ziploc. We're going to do another one, same thing. Seal the bag, and gently shake the bag to coat the chicken with bread crumbs. Gently-- this is Italian chicken, not Mexican maracas. [ITALIAN MUSIC] After you see that the meat is nicely coated, remove the chicken from your bag and place each strip on a foil-lined baking sheet, with about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. That's so the meat doesn't stick to the pan. Just go ahead and place it right on the sheet. Then you're going to take that over to the oven, which is pre-heated to 400 degrees. Of course, remember our number one safety tip, that you should always cook with a grown-up if you're using the oven, or anything hot or dangerous. All it takes is a 20-minute bake, and your chicken feathers will be ready in a snap. [SNAP] And here they are, a whole batch of chicken fingers. Baking the way we just did it is healthier than frying, because the types of oils used for fried foods are the unhealthy oils that are bad for your heart. Now when you serve this dish, squeeze fresh lemon or lime juice on top of your tenders. The seasoning and the Italian bread crumbs and the hint of cheese is a totally amazing flavor. No ketchup or any extra sauce is needed. As for a side dish, just about anything goes. What I have here are some really easy roasted vegetables that I cooked in the oven right alongside my chicken fingers. The whole recipe is posted on our site. Check it out, and thanks for cooking with me. Ciao! [ITALIAN MUSIC] Mm, they're delicious. [ITALIAN MUSIC]