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Feb 13, 2007 03:03 AM

life without chicken fingers--worth living?

It just occurred to me, sort of one of those half-awake reveries, that I've never had them. Frankly I'm not even sure I could identify one in a line-up. Why are they ubiquitous? If I had one would I see the light? Where would this revelation take place? Etc.

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  1. Maybe if they were made of chicken thigh meat instead of chicken breast (bland, dry) or chicken parts including a lot of skin (unpleasant texture, scary fat content), had an interesting batter, were expertly fried, and were served with a good dipping sauce, you'd have something. Unfortunately, none of these conditions are met with the typical chicken finger, They're generally a heinous, over-processed pseudo-food -- a bad set of health/deliciousness trade-offs. Among cheap, fried, fatty finger foods, it''s not hard to find better choices.

    9 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      They're disgusting but I have to have them once or twice a year. Mr. Chan's in the Longwood food court provides the typical gross yet tasty finger, as does the Food Wall in JP. You have to have them at least once.

      1. re: Joanie

        Totally agree on Mr. Chan's CF's, usually ordered with boneless spareribs.

        1. re: Taralli

          When I worked at DFCI, I used to like going to Mr Chans when I was feeling a bit hungover. The cashew chicken combo w/ chicken fingers ... the salty, fatty goodness combo with some sugar from duck sauce. That'd put me in a food coma the rest of the day and stave off my headache :)

        2. re: Joanie

          i'm actually a big fan of the chicken wings at food wall. how do they compare to their chicken fingers?

          1. re: autopi

            Comparing chicken wings and chicken fingers is the proverbial apples and oranges. FW does have nice big wings, bigger than normal. Fingers are typical fingers, a little bit of chicken wrapped in a big amount of fried dough.

          1. re: Aromatherapy

            I always loved the name Food Wall, but that's another story. So then, why *are* they ubiquitous--I mean aside from the obvious? How did they come to be--was someone seeking fried chicken without bones or what? Why are they at Chinese restos too, as Joanie notes? Is my sudden obsession scaring anyone? Don't worry, it'll be over in minutes, once I start thinking too hard about, say, butter-filled mozzarella.
            Which reminds me, I saw a menu from a Nantucket place the other day that listed: burgers with foie gras dipping sauce. I haven't recovered from that yet.

            1. re: tatamagouche

              You need to get some sleep.

              I like chicken fingers, but I like my fried snacks in general. I like the chicken fingers at Theo's in Teele Square, but I believe that virtually every place gets them from Sysco, so as long as someone in the kitchen knows how to fry, they'll be the same thing. I dip mine in ranch dressing.

              1. re: yumyum

                When at a show at Johnny D's drinking beers, I tend to stick to their chicken fingers. They seem to be freshly prepared, not pre-breaded and frozen, but I could be wrong. They're huge and relatively grease free, but a little on the bland side by themselves. They honey mustard served with them may be Sysco.

        3. Generally, I only eat chicken fingers after a long night of barhopping, so I don't eat them quite as often as I used to (maybe only four nights a week now--kidding!). Most chicken fingers, as other posters have said, are greasy, unhealthy, and often pretty gross. But there are a few places that do them better than most. Among them:

          Chau Chow, Dorchester
          New Jumbo, Chinatown
          Sun's Kitchen, Arlington
          Kowloon, Saugus

          Believe it or not, Sun's might be my favorite of them all for chicken fingers. They are located in Downing Square in Arlington Heights.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hiddenboston

            I'll agree on Chau Chow.
            In general I think all but the worst Chinese fingers are better than most non-Chinese versions.
            As long as they're golden-fried with decent dough and chicken they're pretty good compared to the many mutations available in other restaurants.

            I've always seen the meat dipped into batter and dropped in oil at any open kitchen I've been at.
            Much fresher than the breaded possibly frozen and formed tender variety.

          2. Ok, this is going to sound crazy, but if you are ever going to try Chicken Fingers, opt not for the chinese pupu varieties mentioned above, but sit at the bar at Bennigans and order chicken fingers and a beer. These are the BEST chicken fingers I have ever had; in high school we used to devour them in scary quantities late at night on saturdays (Bennigans was open til 2 on the weekends!) and they come with the BEST EVER honey mustard dipping sauce.

            Bennigans is a lousy, lousy chain, but somehow, when they designed their chicken fingers, the stars were aligned. Granted, I've never had the fingers at Kowloon or New Jumbo, but you can't go wrong with these, I promise.

            1 Reply
            1. re: tamerlanenj

              I agree!!!! I've been dragged to Bennigans only a handful of times and I have thoroughly enjoyed the chicken fingers. However, everything else on the menu that I've had is absolutely dreadful.

            2. I actually get an occasional chicken finger craving and I like the ones at Scollay Square. They are not that frozen, fake chicken kind, but rather look and taste like real chicken. And they are called chicken tenders there, not fingers.

              1. couldnt boneless buffalo wings like at the 99 be considored chicken fingers? Those are pretty tasty especially if out drinking.