I know I’m not the first person to create an oven chicken that mimics a fried chicken. There are plenty of recipes out there for such a thing. But since I don’t read recipes, I’m gonna pretend that mine is the only one you’ll ever need.
We don’t fry in my house. I’m not judging the fry, the fry is there for a reason. I’m merely making a statement about my personal position on the fry. My husband and I actually just don’t care for fried foods to be honest… and no, that’s not a line. The kids have their occasional nugget and french fry, of course, so they know what it’s all ‘supposed to taste like’, but we just don’t eat like that at home. So if we’re having burger night, (and you have to have fries with a burger!), I’ll do our fries in the oven. And they’re so awesome. Just as crispy and salty, and I hear no complaints or comparisons from the kiddos when I do it. But tonight I decided we were gonna have a fun, hands only Monday family dinner of chicken fingers with an assortment of dipping sauces (stay tuned for the Maple-Dijon and Greek Yogurt Ranch recipe!), and french fries.
Cause we all need a fun Monday every now and then.
So, here’s my recipe for all of it. …The only recipe on earth that exists of the sort. I promise you you’ll enjoy it. Cause if two little fry lovers and two big healthy eaters all gobbled it up with equal happiness, then you know it’s good.
(Oh wait! I almost forgot. This also happens to be gluten free. I’m not, we’re not, but these are. Cause whenever I can get some extra fiber in my family, I do 😉 )
OVEN CHICKEN FINGERS AND FRIES
You will need 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken tenders or cut your own from the breast. This is generally 12 tenders. Trim off any cartilage.
In a gallon sized zip bag (I always use the freezer zip bags because they’re thicker), combine the following for your ‘marinade’…
1 cup plain yogurt (we eat Greek yogurt in my house but I prefer to use the lesser expensive plain yogurt for these things, it’s your choice what you decide to use)
1/2 cup dijon mustard (these measurements are approximate but basically you want about half the amount of mustard to yogurt, and enough of it to fully coat all the chicken once it’s in there)
Add your chicken pieces to the bag and seal. Smush around to coat every piece. Place the bag in a bowl just in case of leakage and refrigerate for 2-8 hours.
When you’re ready to cook your chicken, you will shake it in a bag full of your seasoned ‘breading’.
In another gallon sized zip bag, combine the following to make your ‘breading’…
1/3 cup almond meal
1/3 cup (fine) corn meal (I prefer yellow)
1/3 cup oat flour (make your own by food processing rolled oats…I have a coffee bean grinder that I use specifically for such things)
1/3 cup coconut flour
2 tsp (sweet) paprika
1 tsp turmeric
3 tsp garlic powder or granulated garlic (not garlic salt)
3 tsp onion powder
1 TB + 2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
Place your yogurt-dijon coated chicken pieces into the seasoning bag and leave a little air in it before sealing.
Shake the bag until all the pieces are coated. This may take a bit, so be sure all of them are fully coated.
Place on a greased (roasting/cooling) rack situated over a sheet tray.
Cook in a preheated 450 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the flesh is white and juices run clear if you cut into the center of a large piece.
And you can make your fries right along side your chicken fingers…
o v e n f r i e s
Plan on about 1/2 lb of potato per person. We had leftovers but it’s always better to have more fries than not enough 😉 And this same method can be used for baked sweet potato fries!
Use a mandolin if you have one, or slicethe potatoes about 1/2 inch thick lengthwise, then down vertically to create matchsticks the size of your choosing.
Place on heavily oiled sheet trays in as even of a single layer as possible. I needed 2 large trays and had a little overlapping, but it was ok. Toss well in the oil to fully coat each potato piece.
Place in that same 450 preheated oven. DO NOT SEASON YET. – (This is the trick to getting your oven fries to mimic the deep fried ones in flavor and texture.)
Check after 20-30 minutes when the chicken is done, but they may need more time… flip them around whenever you check on them to ensure even cooking.
Cook to desired doneness… some like extra crispy fries, some like ’em a little floppy…
Once done to your liking, place them in an extra large mixing bowl and season to taste with kosher salt and any other seasoning you’d like!
Eat hot and immediately!
And maybe serve it all with some of these…
d i p p i n g s a u c e s
So I put out 4 different sauces for fun. One was ketchup, one was barbecue sauce straight of of a bottle I had in the fridge, (although I do like making my own!), and 2 were homemade. Here’s how to make those…
m a p l e d i j o n
equal parts dijon mustard and real maple syrup (probably about 2 TB each)
roughly 1 tsp prepared horseradish
(optional) about 1/2 tsp dried sage
Mix together in a small bowl.
g r e e k y o g u r t r a n c h
2 TB plain greek yogurt
1/2 TB mayonnaise
1 garlic clove, minced (or use a microplane and grate it)
1/2 tsp parsley leaves, minced
1/4 tsp onion powder or minced chives
splash worcestershire sauce
equal sized splash white wine vinegar
pinch salt to taste
(optional) fresh cracked black pepper
Mix together in a small bowl.