Food & Drink

The Best Chicken Finger Recipes on the Internet

Oh, chicken fingers, pillar of American cooking (and the kids menu). Their beauty is in their simplicity: tender meat and a crunchy, deep-fried exterior. The slender, grab-able shape -- they’re called finger food for a reason -- begs to be dunked in something with an acidic kick, like barbecue sauce, ketchup, or a honey mustard sauce (we've got a great one below). In less time than it takes to drive to your local diner, you can make chicken fingers (or tenders or strips or whatever you call them) at home. Here are our favorite recipes.

Sriracha almond-crusted chicken strips

Thanks to Sriracha-flavored almonds and a touch of garlic powder, these easy chicken strips bring the heat. If you can't find the branded Sriracha almonds, you can sub in regular ol' almonds and a dousing of the rooster-emblazoned hot sauce. Get the recipe here.

Pecan-crusted chicken tenders with cheese sauce

These fancy-ass chicken tenders get a fancy-ass crust made with crushed pecans (pronounced "peh-caaaahns"). You can make the fancy-ass sauce by whisking grated cheese in warm milk while the chicken cooks in the oven. Get the recipe here.

Maple mustard buttermilk-crusted chicken tenders

An overnight marinade of buttermilk, maple, and Dijon mustard tenderizes the meat (that's the acid in the buttermilk) and permeates it with bold flavors (that's the magic of time). On the side: a maple-honey mustard sauce that reinforces the spicy-sweet flavors. Recipe here.

Oven-fried chicken strips

Let's be real: as delicious as fried food is, it's a pain in the ass to pull off at home. Leave the vats of potential third-degree burns to the pros. Get your satisfyingly crispy strips by "frying" them in the oven (otherwise known as roasting). Learn the technique here.

Thai chicken tenders with broiled pineapple slaw

Instead of a crunchy crust, these tenders go for the sticky-sweet territory with a marinade of peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce. Chopped pineapple and herbs mixed in with coleslaw offer a refreshing counterpoint to the dish.

Sticky garlic chicken and broccoli

In a play on the American-Chinese classic, a stir-fry of broccoli with hoisin, ginger, garlic, and sambal oelek (an Indonesian chili paste) is poured over panko-crusted chicken tenders. Get the recipe here.

Parmesan-crusted chicken salad

Sometimes you need a salad to justify your chicken finger-eating habit. This one pairs Parmesan-crusted chicken tenders with a crisp bed of romaine lettuce, bacon, cucumber, tomato, and red onion. The zippy yogurt-Parmesan dressing ties everything together. Get the recipe here.

Sesame chicken tenders

This pan-Asian twist on the American classic employs nutty sesame seeds and smoky, spicy paprika. The pan-fried tenders get a sweet complement in a dipping sauce of marmalade kicked up with mustard. Learn how to do it here.

Cheddar-crusted chicken fingers

Swiping a classic fried chicken technique, this recipe calls for marinating the meat in buttermilk to tenderize it. The addition of cheddar to the breading lends the fingers an ultra-crunchy, baked cheese crisp-like crust. Get the recipe here.

Five-minute honey mustard sauce

Even if you can only bring yourself to pull a bag of tenders out of the freezer, you can whip up a quick sauce that's leagues better than anything bottled. Just whisk honey, mayo, mustard, vinegar, and cayenne together for this sweet, creamy condiment. Get the recipe here.

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Sophie Hays is a freelance writer from New York City, where she can be found searching for the next great plate of homemade pasta or recipe testing in her tiny kitchen. Follow her on Twitter @SophieHays_.