The easiest and tastiest homemade chicken fingers ever! Crusted with parmesan cheese and oven baked to golden perfection, it’s impossible to eat just one!
This particular recipe was a total fluke. Sure, I have seen many recipes for baked chicken with parmesan cheese instead of bread crumbs. But, when I was faced with preparing some chicken for dinner, I didn’t think to look for one of those recipes.
I used to think that a really tasty chicken finger needed to be deep fried. But, I was wrong. I used to also think that the batter needed flour. But, I was wrong once again.
The first time around, I skipped the part where you dip the chicken into the beaten egg. The result had great taste, but the chicken didn’t brown as much. And the parmesan didn’t stick as well either.
The photographs you see in this post were from the second attempt. Since the recipe is so easy and had just the right amount of seasoning, no other attempts were needed. It came out perfect the second time!
Isn’t baked chicken dry? Absolutely not!
If you’ve ever had chicken breasts baked in the oven and they were too dry, the reason is simple. The person in charge of baking that chicken let it stay in the oven too long.
I have baked enough chicken in my lifetime. And, I have learned a few very important things. These things will keep your chicken tender and juicy every single time. Move over dry chicken breast! There’s no room for you at Lord Byron’s house!
If you’re looking for more baked chicken recipes, I encourage you to take a look at my post about chicken seasoning blends. There’s a total of six recipes in that one post – a chicken flavour for everyone!
Steps to stop drying out baked chicken:
The first thing you need to remember is as follows. If you are baking chicken pieces – dark or white meat – keep the pieces separated. Do not allow the chicken to touch or overlap. Doing so prevents the pieces from cooking properly, which most likely means a longer time in the oven.
Also, depending on how much overlap there is, you might be creating steam. Steam is heat and steam will overcook the chicken! No matter what type of chicken you’re cooking, keep the pieces separated! Want proof? Just look at these photos of my Baked Parmesan Chicken Fingers!
Secondly, always, always, always preheat your oven! I have seen so many home cooks place chicken breasts in a cold oven and then turn it on. That whole time your oven is preheating, your chicken is cooking. Chances are, it’s going to dry out.
Lastly, unless you’re baking chicken breasts the size of a turkey breast, there is never any need to bake them longer than 30 minutes. Never! If you’re worried about the chicken not being brown, there’s a solution to that. Turn off the heat and place your chicken under a broiler for a few minutes. That’s it!
For chicken fingers, you need even less time. I baked these for exactly 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven. I also broiled them for a few minutes just to brown and crisp the tops. That’s completely optional.
Chicken fingers or chicken tenders?
John.e always makes the same dad joke every time McKenna wants chicken fingers. “Chickens don’t have fingers!” She rolls her eyes. I select chicken strips from her favourite fast food joint on the Uber Eats app. This is also where I remove myself from the conversation.
A long time ago, I read somewhere that it doesn’t matter whether you call them chicken tenders or chicken fingers. As long as they’re hot, taste good, and have great crunch. I agree! (I found one such article here.)
Fact is, a chicken finger is a strip of chicken that is usually cut from a chicken breast. A chicken tender is the little chicken filet that can be found on the under side of a whole chicken breast. Many home cooks use the chicken filet for chicken fingers. They will also use a whole breast and cut it into strips.
So, if I’m getting this right, a chicken finger can be a chicken tender, but a chicken tender cannot be a chicken finger. Is that right? Maybe I should have cut them into chunks and called them chicken nuggets! My head hurts now. Here’s my recipe for the absolute best Baked Parmesan Chicken Fingers!
Baked Parmesan Chicken Fingers
- 1 pound chicken breast (tenders or filets, breasts sliced lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick – about 8-10 pieces)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush the olive oil onto a sheet pan. Set aside.
- Beat the egg in a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate, shallow bowl, whisk together the parmesan cheese, salt, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, fully submerge the chicken into the beaten egg. Allow the excess egg to drip off.
- Coat the chicken in the parmesan mixture until fully covered.
- Lay the chicken pieces onto the prepared baking sheet. Keep the pieces separated!
- Bake for 20 minutes. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve immediately.