The spice of life

Definitely Delicious

Terri Windover, Connect Columnist

RECIPE - Chicken

Spicy Baked Chicken Fingers made from scratch and way better than any fast food restaurant. Photo by Terri Windover, Connect Weekly

Ah! The good old generic, fried chicken finger. It doesn’t exactly bring up a vision of healthy eating.

It is usually the go-to, drive thru quick stop because the kids (or husband) are whining that they don’t want chicken and rice for dinner again, and it’s either that or you swing by Rona for a shovel and tarp on the way home. Because you’re trying to eat healthy dammit and they are sabotaging you at every turn.

Sound familiar? Well, this recipe may very well be your answer to the age old fast food or life on the run dilemma. I’m giving you fair warning on this one though, this recipe has a serious spicy kick to it, so you may want to split the recipe and make one half milder for the wusses in the house.

Personally I don’t play the short order cook in my home. I make it, they eat it or they starve. It’s a fairly easy way to set the rules, so you don’t end your day feeling over worked and under appreciated.

My theory is if you are over 18 and don’t like what I cook, feel free to use the stove and do it yourself, and if you are under eighteen just eat it. A family household is not a democracy in my eyes. It is a monarchy. And let’s face it, when we are old they are going to feed us whatever they feel like making, so they will have their revenge.

Speaking of getting old, anyone else’s joints play an incredible symphony of pops and clicks when they stand up. Like seriously, it sounds like someone poured a bowl of Rice Krispies in my bedroom every morning. All my crazy adventures are catching up to me I guess.

Speaking of Rice Krispies, I use them in the breading in this recipe. It makes for a crispy and healthy coating that is super yummy. I have one request for you all. Please, please don’t use that icky, pre-ground “parmesan” in a can. It’s gross, like cow tongue soup kind of gross. Not to mention the flavour isn’t even close to the real thing.

Nothing beats a good quality parmesan-reggiano freshly grated in a recipe. Here’s a little history about this amazing king of cheeses. It’s been around for over 800 years in Europe and legally can only contain three ingredients, milk, salt and rennet (a natural enzyme). Companies like Kraft have added other ingredients to their canned “parmesan” that have led to them being forced to stop labelling it under the name parmesan. Food for thought.

If you make and enjoy this recipe feel free to snap a pic, drop it on Instagram and hashtag it #definitelydeliciousymm to win a FREE custom meal plan from yours truly. For more free recipes, fitness tips or just to follow my rants and raves go to www.terri-windover@me.com

Spicy Baked Chicken Fingers
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cups whole wheat bread crumbs
1 cup crushed brown Rice Krispies
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated fine
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
2. Line a baking pan with parchment and then spray with Pam
3. Mix together all the spices in a small bowl
4. Mix 1 tsp of the spice mix with the almond milk
5. Add chicken strips to the milk mixture and let sit for 15-30 minutes
6. Combine remaining spice mix, parmesan, bread crumbs and Rice Krispies in shallow dish
7. Remove chicken from milk and dredge in the breading mix.
8. Place chicken strips on the prepared pan. Spray with Pam on top and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
9. Broil for 3 minutes for extra crispiness.

-Connect Weekly-