Healthy Un-Fried Chicken Fingers

Finger-lickin' healthy chicken from the oven! With a few kitchen tricks, chicken from the oven can satisfy like beloved fast-food menu items. Fried chicken may be finger-lickin' good, but we know it's far from healthy. Three pieces of Original Recipe chicken from KFC – a wing, a drumstick and a thigh – have 630 calories and 44 grams of fat. It's tricky finding an oven-baked alternative that keeps junk-food-loving taste buds happy. But if you update tips in Joy of Cooking with the breading recommended by Rosie Daley, Oprah Winfrey's former chef, and then use a brushing technique from Food Network, you can un-fry chicken fingers at 369 calories and 11 grams of fat per serving. And they're yummy. Wooo Hoo

INGREDIENTS:

Nonstick cooking spray
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Ice water
½ cup light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Set a rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spray the rack generously with cooking spray. Set aside.

Put the chicken in a large bowl of ice water. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Set both bowls aside. Put remaining ingredients in a pie plate, and combine well.

One at a time, remove the chicken breasts from the ice water and pat dry with paper towels. Trim off fat. Between 2 sheets of wax paper, pound the chicken breast with a mallet or rolling pin until it is about 1/3 inch thick. Cut the chicken into strips. Brush the mayonnaise-and-mustard mixture on each piece of chicken until coated thoroughly, then transfer the chicken to the pie plate and bread each piece. Put the chicken on the prepared rack and spray each piece lightly with cooking spray. Repeat process with remaining chicken breasts.

Place the baking sheet in the bottom shelf of the oven, and bake for about 40 minutes, or until the coating crisps and browns.

Serve with barbecue sauce or another dipping sauce. Makes 5 servings.
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