This is one of those recipes that everyone loves.
Well maybe not the non-chicken eaters of the world, but if those people happen to eat fish, swap the chicken for fish.
Pretty sure that would be amazing too.
Oh, and I have to mention that chicken, raw chicken, is the most ugly thing to photograph. Well, at least I think so, but I kind of, sort of have this thing with raw chicken. It totally freaks me out and I absolutely hate prepping it. I mean, I do it almost every single day, but I hate it. So I am pretty sure I am never going to take photos of chicken in its raw form. I just can’t.
Cooked chicken though? Especially cute little fingers? That I can do….
Unless there are people who beg and beg to eat the food while I am trying to photograph it. And I when I say people, I really only mean mom and my chicken finger loving brothers that became beyond exited when the realized what I was actually a making.
The excitement turned to shock when they realized they could not go within in five feet of the chicken fingers or they would be well, dead. And when I say dead, that really means that I would have served salads for dinner for the next two nights to get my revenge.
I am such a pleasant sister, right?
My point is, keeping the family from not eating these was extremely hard.
What is it about chicken fingers? Everybody, no matter what age, always wants chicken fingers. It’s a kid food that I think almost no one can give up. They’re just too good. And like I said, if you don’t like chicken, swap fish (YUM) and if you don’t like fish? Ahh, I don’t know, I have never experimented with tofu – maybe. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes. All I know is that my family really might freak then.
This recipe actually comes from a place in Lakewood, Ohio.
Around the Corner (also referred to as ATC) is a bar that everyone on the west side of Cleveland loves. These black pepper rub chicken fingers were always a favorite. I have to keep the bearer of this recipe secret. I can’t divulge my source for fear of getting her in any trouble back in Cleveland. BUT she’s awesome and after months of trying to figure out this recipe all it took was one text from my mystery girl and I had it. Score!!
Turns out the recipe is actually super simple. Basic rib sauce and fajita seasoning. I was told to use McCormick Fajita seasoning, but I could not find any. This was a major bummer, but I used Simply Organic Fajita seasoning and it worked perfectly.
Now I can’t say this is spot on and just like Around the Corner’s chicken fingers, but they’re still pretty awesome and some members of the family (those that used to frequent ATC), actually said they were BETTER. The flavor is just so good, the perfect amount of spice as Kai said. And Dad, well he just said they were the best chicken tenders he has ever had. Ever. Now that is amazing!
They are quick and easy with no frying!
Plus, finger foods are always more fun, and this way you can get your kids to eat them too. If they are little, just hold back a few pieces and don’t drizzle extra sauce on them. I know that I may not have kids, but I have brothers, and a meal that everyone eats is always welcomed.
Black Pepper Rub Chicken fingers with Greek Yogurt Ranch.
Black Pepper Rub Sauce
- 1/2 cup salted butter melted
- 1/2 cup hot sauce I like to use Franks Original Hot Sauce
- 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning rounded
- 1-2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders
- 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 cups corn flakes crushed into fine crumbs
- 1/2 cup Cheez-Its or gold fish crushed into fine crumbs
- 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper pepper
Greek Yogurt Ranch
- 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt I use 0% fat
- 2 tablespoon buttermilk
- 3/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- pinch of salt and pepper
To Make the Greek Yogurt Ranch
In a medium bowl combine the greek yogurt, buttermilk, parsley, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix until smooth and combined. Place in the fridge until ready to use.
To make the Sauce + Chicken Fingers
In a medium bowl combine the melted butter, hot sauce, 2 teaspoons fajita seasoning and black pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or brush it with the olive oil.
In a bowl combine the buttermilk and 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the Black Pepper Rub sauce, add the chicken and toss well.
Pulse the corn flakes and cheddar crackers in the bowl of a food processor or add to a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin or meat mallet. Add the crumbs to a large bowl and add in the Panko bread crumbs, flour and fajita seasoning. Stir to combine.
Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk, and dredge through the crumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken has been used. Make sure not to crowd your pan, if necessary use two baking sheets. Drizzle or spoon about a tablespoon or so of the Black Pepper Rub sauce over each chicken finger. Lightly spray the fingers with cooking spray or a mist of olive oil.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with the remaining Black Pepper Rub sauce and Greek Yogurt Ranch. Garnish with fresh cilantro and or parsley + a lemon wedge if desired.