Crispy chicken fingers, crunchy French fries…heart attack on a plate?! While typically unhealthy fare, it doesn’t have to be, and it can still be delicious. Growing up, fast food was a rare occurrence in my household. I never understood why my Mom didn’t want us eating these types of foods on a daily, weekly, or even a monthly basis until I started to care about nutrition and whole foods. When I was younger, this led to over-ordering and extreme excitement whenever I walked into (or drove through) Wendy’s or another popular fast food chain. Why get a small fry when you can super-size for only .50 cents more? But something occurred over and over again: I always loved eating the food, but I hated how I felt afterward. I’d have a stomachache, indigestion, heartburn, the list goes on! About mid-way through college, I stopped eating fried foods (except for the occasional sweet potato fries-can’t help it!) because of these feelings. However, I really missed my chicken fingers. When I stumbled across this recipe from cooking light, I knew I wanted to recreate it, while putting a spin of my own on it too. Quaker Honey O’s cereal seemed like the perfect addition to add an extra “crunch” to this chicken. Don’t believe me? It’s so crunchy, I refuse to eat it at work, in fear that my co-workers will hear me chomping away! I was right…it added an extra crunch and a hint of honey that blended well with the spices and additional panko mixture. This has become a weekly staple in my cook book. It’s a great dinner dish, but also spruces up salads and sandwiches, too. You won’t think it’s healthy…it’s that good!
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup whole-wheat panko crumbs
¼ Quaker Honey O’s cereal (crushed in a food processor)
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (or one package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Combine first 3 ingredients in a shallow dish; Wisk and place egg whites in a bowl.
3. Blend honey O’s in a food processor until fairly smooth. Place with panko in a shallow dish.
4. Dredge 1 breast half in flour mixture. Dip in egg whites; dredge in panko/cereal mixture. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken, flour mixture, egg whites, and panko/cereal mixture.
5. Coat large ovenproof skillet with cooking spray. Heat ½ tablespoon oil in pan as well over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes. Add remaining ½ tablespoon oil. Turn chicken over; cook 2 minutes. Coat chicken with cooking spray; place pan in oven. Bake at 450° for 5 minutes.