Crispy Ranch Chicken Fingers
These delicious crispy ranch chicken fingers are super easy to make, and sure to please even the pickiest eaters!
Who else has a picky eater at their house? My daughter Lizzy has been a garbage disposal pretty much since birth, and has always eaten every possible kind of food we’ve thrown at her. Spicy curry, roasted brussels sprouts, hot peppers… you name it, she’d eat it. And then, about a year ago, she became the pickiest eater ever. Mealtimes have become an ordeal because not only does she not like ANYTHING, she also refuses to eat food unless it’s room temperature. It takes her as long as an hour sometimes to eat her food, even when it’s something she likes. (This is especially frustrating in the morning when I’m trying to get her to the bus stop on time, and it takes her twenty minutes to eat one toaster waffle.)
My general philosophy is that I will just continue to cook good healthy food (including lots of fruits and vegetables), put it on the kids’ plates, and eventually they’ll learn to like it. It worked for my previously incredibly picky ten year old, so here’s hoping it eventually works for my six year old. With that in mind, though, I like to prepare at least one thing at each meal that I know that she’ll like. We have a rule that she has to try at least one bite of everything on her plate, and I’m trying to teach her to listen to her own body’s cues, so I try not to make her clean her plate. There are days, though, when it seems like she’s just subsisting on air and orneriness.
On those days, it’s time to pull out those tried and true recipes that I know for sure that she’ll eat. These crispy ranch chicken fingers have a lot going for them: they’re reasonably healthy, they’re easy to make, they’re a good protein source, and (best of all) they taste great and my picky six year old LOVES them. I’ve actually been making double and triple batches of these, and keeping them in the freezer so I can pull them out when I need them. They are a lifesaver on those days when everything is a struggle!
These chicken fingers also make really great leftovers. My kids like them as is, but I like to chop them up and add them to a salad or a quick pasta dish. They are definitely a staple at our house!
Crispy Ranch Chicken FingersPrint Recipe
- 3 pounds chicken breast cut into 3-4 strips each
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups panko
- 1 packet 1 ounce ranch dressing mix
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment or foil. Pour the buttermilk into a bowl or shallow dish. Whisk together the bread crumbs, panko, and ranch dressing mix in a bowl or shallow dish. Dip each piece of chicken breast into the buttermilk, then roll in the bread crumb mixture to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining chicken. Spray the chicken with cooking spray and bake 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve hot with ranch dressing for dipping.
originally published on Somewhat Simple