Currently cooking from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
You should have seen Bryan’s face light up when I told him we were having chicken fingers for supper. I’m pretty sure this guy has eaten more chicken strips/fingers than anybody alive. Then his eyes narrowed and he started asking questions.
Bryan: Are they deep-fried?
Me: No, baked.
Bryan: Are they breaded?
Me: No, but there are bread crumbs involved.
Bryan: Are they even chicken?
Me: Well, no. They are ground turkey, but it is all poultry.
Then he walked away, shaking his head and muttering some not-so-very-nice things under his breath.
In the headnotes to this recipe, Clark talks about wanting to make chicken fingers for her daughter that were spicy, nutritious and something that adults would like. So she modeled them after lamb kibbe, a turkish dish that mixes ground lamb with aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cumin and allspice. You take a pound or so of ground chicken (or turkey, if your supermarket doesn’t carry ground chicken), mix in the afore mentioned spices plus green onions, garlic, cilantro, bread crumbs, pepper and a pinch of cayenne and then form the mixture into “fingers.” Those fingers get brushed with olive oil and baked in the oven until cooked through.
The turkey fingers were … interesting. Neither Bryan nor I really liked the spices with the meat, and the texture of the fingers was quite dense and a bit tough. I’m pretty sure I overmixed the turkey mixture and that’s what made the fingers dense and tough. As to the flavor? Well, I prefer my cinnamon be kept with the sweet things. I liked the idea of the recipe, though, and could see making these with different spices and herbs.