Send Your Kids To School With A Lunch They Will Never Forget By Making These Buttermilk Fried Chicken Fingers

These zesty chicken fingers get their flavor from a tangy buttermilk marinade and a breading spiked with smoked paprika. Be sure to plan ahead—these chicken pieces taste best when marinated for 24 hours before they’’re cooked.

buttermilk fried chicken fingers 1

YIELD: Serves 4

ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes (plus overnight marinade)

INGREDIENTS:

For the buttermilk marinade:

  • 3 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 small Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco pepper sauce
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2×4-inch strips

For the seasoned flour:

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • Homemade or store bought ranch dressing, for serving

Special Equipment:

  • deep fry/candy thermometer, two 13×18-inch rimmed baking sheets, 2 wire cooling racks

PREPARATION:

  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, onion, jalapeño, salt, and Tabasco. Add chicken, cover, and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 250°F. Set cooling racks over rimmed baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine the flour, granulated garlic, onion powder, thyme, sage, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
  3. In a large pot, pour in enough oil to come up to 2 inches. Set over medium-high heat until oil registers 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches of 4 to 5 pieces, remove chicken from marinade, shaking to remove any vegetables and excess liquid, and dredge in the seasoned flour. Fry chicken pieces, turning once, until golden and cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes total per batch. Transfer chicken to wire racks and warm in oven while frying remaining batches.
  4. Serve chicken fingers with ranch dressing, if desired.

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