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best crunch factor on chicken fingers

what works best for making chicken fingers w/crispy coating? i've seen krispies, corn flakes, chex, and a few other ideas.

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  1. panko bread crumbs and enough oil of the correct temperature (350 to 375)

    I use this for cutlets and chx fingers and it seems to work well

    1 Reply
    1. re: iluvcookies

      I agree, a good egg wash and panko bread crumbs lead to a good crunch factor. I also like to add in some regular bread crumbs sometimes for more breading with the crunch and cayenne for a bit of spice.

    2. if your frying, AP flour/bread crumb (1:2) and cornmeal work well (maybe 3:1?), if your baking it would still work but i just tried the cornflakes mixed with a little bread crumb last night (the crushed flakes were probably a little larger then they should have been, i was lazy), spice and some grated romano. it turned out pretty crunchy (and tasty). an FYI, parm or romano is good with the bread crumb/cornmeal too but it can burn easily and make the breading almost tough if you use too much.

      i also find that with the flour/ bread crumb/cornmeal (i havent tried it with the flakes) makes a nice coating if you dip the fingers in the flour, then the eggwash (seasoned) and then in the flour again and let it rest for a few minutes to make sure they arent soggy (if they are, i usually just sprinkle some crumb on top to soak up the extra moisture)

      1. An egg wash....Dip in a mixture of flour and finely crushed saltine crackers...deep fry.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Uncle Bob

          I use saltines zipped in my food processor mixed with a little cornmeal. Perfect and crispy.

        2. If you're baking, a mix of bread crumbs and potato chips, like kettlechips, or something that will retain the crunch, eg. melba toast. Spray heavily.

          1. On the show Cook's Country, they made extra crunchy chicken. Here is their method.

            First soak the chicken in buttermilk.
            Combine flour with a little baking powder, and then add buttermilk to make a thick slurry, which clings tightly to the meat.
            Fry the chicken with the lid on the pot for half the cooking time to contain the spatter-prone oil, and to keep the oil hot. As an added bonus, the lid appears to make the meat moister.
            Shortening provides the cleanest flavor and least-greasy chicken; peanut oil’s a close second.

            The slurry was really thick, almost dry-ish.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Salty_Loves_Sweet

              gad I love that show.
              but if I erase the taped ones, there isn't a way of looking up the recipes unless you pay for their subscription which to me, isn't worth it. I have enough $$$ going out for tangible stuff

              1. re: iL Divo

                Not so - you have to register, for free, on the website, but once you do that all the recipes that have been on TV are free online. A paid online subscription is only necessary to access non-televised recipes from the magazine(s), for both ATK/CI and CC.

                1. re: greygarious

                  thanks Grey, I didn't know that. I love your whippet by the way or is that a greyhound?

            2. Panko crumbs, Durkee fried onions (in the can) and dried thyme blended together make a lucious and crunchy coating.

              Applying the double coating method (above plus egg & flour) will result in a extra thick, crunchy coating

              1 Reply
              1. re: HillJ

                thx all. i actually have panko in my cabinet that i need to use.
                since these will be baked, i'll likely dredge meat in: flour/herbs or cheese mix -> beaten egg -> panko

              2. Cap'n Crunch & Panko (2:1 ratio)...laugh if you will, but it makes a damn fine finger. So says Planet Hollywood and so sez this kat!

                10 Replies
                1. re: kattyeyes

                  I second this preparation! It's wonderful . . . crunchy with a bit of sweet. Who needs a honey/mustard dipping sauce when you've got Cap'n Crunch as an ingredient?!!

                  1. re: sheilal

                    Yes to Cap'n Crunch. I took it one step further and added finely chopped peanuts. I did try peanut butter cap'n crunch, but they're softer and don't have the same texture.

                  2. re: kattyeyes

                    Made 'em again tonight with sriracha mayo, thinned with a splash of rice vinegar. This is some seriously tasty chicken. Try it! No one would guess it's CC!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      I just made sriracha chicken nuggets the other night by marinating the chicken in a sriracha, ginger and rice vinegar mixture, dipping in egg and then dredging with panko. Seriously spicy and great with a honey dipping sauce!

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        Cap n' Crunch with Panko is awesome with chicken fingers..have to try your sriracha sauce!
                        Special K cereal is another crunchy alternative.
                        Anyone try a Cap n' Crunch pots de creme?

                        1. re: Beach Chick

                          Ooooooh, new thread, Beach Chick, new thread...game on! I love to play with different ingredients. Kick it off!

                          1. re: kattyeyes

                            I am going to play around this weekend with the Captain...see if I can master me some Cap n' Crunch pots de crème!

                            1. re: Beach Chick

                              Beach Chick...sending positive crunchy vibes your way. We expect a full report. :)

                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                Thanks kattyeyes!
                                Ahi sounds good too..cubed,skewered and seared rolled with the Captain..
                                Gotta figure out how to get the CC finely pulverized to make it work in the pots de crème..any ideas?

                                1. re: Beach Chick

                                  I used a rolling pin and a ziploc bag, but bet the FP or blender would work fab!

                    2. Panko or crushed melba are my favorites.

                      But I've also used corn flakes (soggy and sweet), potato chips and cheese its (salty), breadcrumbs (dry and boring).

                      1. best crunch? i pound the strips out -- then bread with an egg dip, then a cornmeal-flour combo -- then fry. when they are really thin, they get super crispy!

                        1. Try adding some corn or potato starch to the flour breading, very crispy when deep-fried.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: absurdnerdbird

                            I use cornstarch (mixed with salt and sometimes spices). It's very crunchy! That's only good for frying though, won't work well for baking.

                          2. made some not too long ago using panko and egg wash. Then baked them in the oven a 350. I thought they were absolutely the best. Great crunch factor, still moist and delcious. Nice and tender, with great flavor using a plum sauce. Another addition would be to add some cornstarch to your flour. Then dip in egg as usual. Cornstarch does give a greater crunch than flour alone.

                            1. Ohmygod, you guys...I must try this soon! Hot and crunchy chicken cones. Nom nom nom! And you bet I will get the Cap'n in on the action!


                              It is 7:33 a.m. and I totally want this NOW!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                wow, great find, do you think they will work fine if recipe cut in half? A definite to try!

                                1. re: pamd

                                  I don't see why not. I'm not feeding 6, so that will be my plan. ;) Whoever makes it first--please report back! I can't wait, but it won't be tonight.

                                2. re: kattyeyes

                                  OML!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that sounds so good and easy too. Hum, forget the fried chicken tonight, I'm going straight for these little puppies. I have done the Capt'n crunch and honestly, although it's been years, no big deal to me or hubby. Not impressed, maybe my taste buds were asleep that night :(

                                  1. re: kattyeyes

                                    just saw this, ooo with summer coming up this is going to be one of my "go to" dishes. Good enough for company too!

                                  2. For a low carb option, crush pork rinds and coat after egg wash. VERY good. I've also tried grinding rice in the blender to make flour. Really crisp coating. I use a fine mesh to sift it so it's fine.

                                    1. instead of pangko i prefer crushed DORITOS!!!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: epabella

                                        now you're talkin' some serious food. we are talking about the nacho cheese doritos, of course?

                                        1. re: alkapal

                                          yes sir, yes sir; three bags full. needless to say it's a crime to grind the doritos too finely. crumbs double or triple the size of pangko flakes is how i like it.

                                          1. re: epabella

                                            those are some big "crumbs"!

                                            so it would be like if i, e.g., chomped down on a chip and then let the "crumbs" fall from my mouth? (hey, i haven't had coffee yet this morning). ;-)).

                                            1. re: epabella

                                              I have also made these with Nacho Cheese Doritos, in an effort to get a picky picky nephew to eat something (he loves Doritos!). He loved the fingers and they were really crunchy.

                                        2. My mom always used instant mashed potatoes, and they turned out pretty crunchy.

                                          1. Has anyone tried rye bread crumbs for chicken fingers? We used up a marble rye last night by toasting the bread slices, crumbing them in a food processor and using them as a chicken tender coating. Very good!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              those sound delicious to me. my favorite toast is using rye bread, love those caraway seeds. I always use caraway seeds in my Irish soda bread too. St Pattys day is soon, oh yeah!

                                            2. Triple dip -- flour, egg wash, and Panko or breadcrumbs. I have been using home made bread crumbs of late, and they are very crispy when I am done.

                                              If you are going to hold them a bit before serving, Panko has a tendency to soften up more than regular bread crumb. In that case, I might suggest mixing in some corn meal with your regular bread crumb, as this holds a crunch longer.

                                              1. I've had moderate success crusting fish and chicken with generic potato flakes.

                                                1. last night made killer chicken tenders with panko and rye breading with a caper lemon beurre blanc with tons of fresh veggies and homemade mac n'cheese..
                                                  Damn, I'm a good cook..
                                                  ; )

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Beach Chick

                                                    Hey BC, how did you do your Mac/cheese?