Chicken Fingers

Homemade Chicken Fingers are a homestyle family favorite!! They fry up in about 20 minutes, and are finger licking good.

Fried Chicken Fingers are a perfect dinner or appetizer. Crispy Chicken Fingers, tenders or nuggets are some our kids (and my) favorites!!

Close up of crispy chicken fingers recipe on a white plate with dipping sauce.

Crispy Homemade CHicken Fingers

What’s the difference between chicken fingers and chicken tenders? Chicken Fingers and Chicken Tenders are almost identical and the terms are often used interchangeably, but there is one difference. 

  • Chicken tenders are meat taken from the tender spot under the chicken breast. 
  • Chicken fingers are simply any part of the breast meat cut into strips. The strips resemble long thick human fingers, which is where the name comes from, not because they use actual chicken fingers in the dish. 😉  They are also referred to as Chicken Strips.

Either way, this crispy Chicken Fingers recipe is sure to be a family fave, right up there with our chicken nuggets. The kids LOVE to dip these into their favorite sauces. They taste so much better than any restaurant or store bought version, and they are simple to whip up!

Process for dredging chicken fingers.

ingredient tips

Buttermilk: Soaking the chicken in buttermilk tenderize them and helps the flour coating stick to the chicken strips.  If you don’t have buttermilk you can Make Your Own Buttermilk using milk and lemon juice.  

Oil Frying

You don’t need a special appliance to deep fry your chicken. A large heavy bottomed skillet will work. Fill it with 1-2 inches of vegetable oil. Heat the oil to about 350°F. Fry for 5-7 minutes on each side. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F.

  • Oil Temperature: If you don’t have a thermometer, then I like to test the oil with the end of a wooden spoon. Stick the tip into the oil. The oil should immediately begin to bubble around the spoon. If it doesn’t bubble or the bubbles are slow, then the oil isn’t hot enough. If the bubbles are very vigorous and splatter, then the oil is too hot. 
  • Type of oil: Vegetable oil is wonderful to fry different foods in various ways. It has a high smoking point and does not  easily burn and set off your smoke detectors. It also has a neutral flavor. I always have some on hand and it’s my first choice when frying foods. Some other oils that you can use include: Canola oil, Peanut oil or even Corn oil.
Frying chicken fingers in a skillet of oil.

how to make chicken fingers

SOAK. Add buttermilk to a bowl and let chicken strips sit in buttermilk for about 20 minutes.

PREP. Heat oil on medium-high heat in a pan (about 350 degrees).

SEASONING. While oil is heating, add flour, garlic salt, pepper and baking powder to another bowl (and mix together) and the beaten eggs to a third bowl.

DREDGE. Take chicken strips out of the buttermilk bowl and then place into the flour mixture, then into the egg mix and then back into the flour mix.

FRY. Fry chicken pieces in oil for 7-9 minutes on each side (or until golden brown). Internal temp of the chicken should be 165 degrees F.

DRAIN + SERVE. Place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

other cooking methods

If you don’t want to pan fry chicken fingers you can try our recipe for Baked Chicken Fingers. You can also air fry the chicken fingers, though I would add about 1 cup of breadcrumbs to the list of ingredients.

  1. Soak the chicken in buttermilk
  2. Mix the all purpose flour & seasonings and the eggs as directed in step 3. 
  3. Prepare another bowl with bread crumbs and season it with garlic and pepper.
  4. Coat the chicken with the flour mixture. Dip into the egg mixture and then coat with the bread crumbs. 
  5. Preheat the airfryer to 400°F
  6. Spray both sides of the stripe with cooking oil, then place them in the air fryer basket.
  7. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for another 5-6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and has a golden crisp crust. 
  8. Repat with the other batches of chicken fingers.
How to fry chicken fingers in a skillet.

perfect for dipping!

What goes with chicken fingers? Not only do Chicken fingers get their name because of their shape, but because they can easily be eaten with your fingers without needing any utensils. In my family this also means that they are dippable. Aside from classic ketchup some of our favorite dipping sauces include

Chicken fingers dipped in bbq sauce.

serving & storing tips

Make ahead of time: Coat the chicken strips a few hours before you wish to fry them. Simply place the prepared chicken on a plate, cover with plastic and store in the fridge. 

STORE leftovers for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They can also be frozen for up to 4 months. I place each strip into a fold top sandwich bag and then store them together in a freezer Ziploc.

You can heat them up in the microwave, toaster oven or regular oven. Bake them at 425°F for 12-15 minutes or until warm and crisp. They are also great to slice and use in salads or wraps.

Serve with:

Fried homemade chicken fingers recipe served with dipping sauce.

Kid {and Adult}  friendly recipes:

Chicken Fingers Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Homemade Chicken Fingers are a homestyle family favorite!! They fry up in about 20 minutes, and are finger licking good.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 393 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
  • dash pepper
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Add buttermilk to a bowl and let chicken strips sit in buttermilk for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil on medium-high heat in a pan (about 350 degrees).
  • While oil is heating, add flour, garlic salt, pepper and baking powder to another bowl (and mix together) and the beaten eggs to a third bowl.
  • Take chicken strips out of the buttermilk bowl and then place into the flour mixture, then into the egg mix and then back into the flour mix.
  • Fry chicken pieces in oil for 7-9 minutes on each side (or until golden brown). Internal temp of the chicken should be 165 degrees F.
  • Place on a paper-towel lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve warm with dipping sauce.

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About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    These are my family’s all-time favorite chicken fingers!! We make them regularly! They are crispy & delicious!