Crispy Chicken Fingers with Homemade Honey Mustard

November 3, 2023
Chicken Fingers on a plate with homemade honey mustard sauce.

Chicken Fingers are comfort food!

You may find this hard to believe, but I have not always had a refined palate. Some might argue that I am still lacking such an attribute. But let me make one thing clear. Chicken fingers are the shit. 

Growing up, I ate chicken fingers for roughly 69% of all meals. 

“But Matt, that seems impossible! Even for an active child. Surely you can’t have eaten THAT many chicken fingers.”

homemade honey mustard being whisked.

Homemade is the way to go!

Don’t check my math, but my point is, I’ve eaten a lot of juicy chicken fingers in my day. But as I got older, I realized that not only were 16 weekly chicken strips or as some call them fingers, not part of an ideal balanced diet, it was also really hard to find quality, fresh homemade chicken fingers. Most of the options you can find at restaurants, and certainly in your local grocery stores, will not be homemade chicken fingers, but rather frozen and made with blends of meat and other chicken scraps in a factory. They are not made with chicken breasts or probably even thighs. Don’t get me wrong, McDonald’s chicken nuggets, that are made with (probably) more chicken organs and bones than they are meat, are absolutely delicious but they have their place and time. That place and time is drunk at 2am. Also, please don’t sue me, McDonald’s, for my comment on the ingredients of your nuggies. But like, we all know. We all still eat them.

Don’t forget about the honey mustard.

What if I told you that making your own homemade chicken tenders is insanely easy, simple, and fast? What if I told you that these homemade chicken fingers I’m about to describe are more delicious than anything you can buy in the store? These homemade chicken fingers are made with fresh chicken tenderloins, they have a surprise kick of dijon under their golden brown panko bread crumb crust, and are perfect for almost any meal. This chicken fingers recipe is all you are ever going to need to have a delicious comfort meal quickly at home.

And you can’t have homemade chicken fingers without a dipping sauce. Some people will tell you ranch is the ideal chicken finger dipping sauce, but these people are likely what I would describe as “basic”. Some might tell you that ketchup is the way to go. These people are sociopaths. 

Honey mustard sauce is the supreme dipping sauce partner for chicken fingers. And guess what? I’ve got a recipe for that too.

Chicken being breaded in panko.

Here is what you will need to make these chicken fingers.

Chicken tenderloins (these can be cut yourself from whole breasts, but most stores will carry ones that are already sliced into perfect “fingers”)

3 to 4 cups of panko breadcrumbs

2 eggs for our egg mixture

2 tbs of dijon mustard

1 to 2 cups of all purpose flour

Salt and black pepper

Neutral-tasting oil for frying, like grapeseed or veggie

And here is what you will need for the honey mustard.

3/4 cup dijon mustard (tip, do not try and cheat with brown mustard or classic yellow, those are for hot dogs. You must use dijon for this to get the best result)

1/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tbs honey (you can always add more for additional sweetness)

Salt and pepper to taste

Trust the process

Ok, now let’s start cooking. 

Start by breading your chicken fingers. If you’ve ever watched your Italian grandmother make chicken cutlets, just do that. I like to have my three separate prep stations; flour, egg mixture, and panko bread crumbs. Make sure to season all of these with some salt and pepper. We probably use near a teaspoon salt and pepper for each. Think of it like a little assembly line.  

Mix your eggs small shallow bowl with dijon mustard until they are well combined. This mixture should be thin, so be sure not to add too much mustard. If your eggs happen to be huge, you might need to add a dash of water to keep this mixture thin. 

Season your flour with salt and pepper and then coat each chicken finger in the seasoned flour. 

Next, coat each homemade chicken strips in the egg mixture. Let any excess egg mixture drip off. 

Finish by placing homemade chicken tenders in the panko bread crumbs and place aside until you’re ready to fry. 

In either a deep skillet or a dutch oven, add a small layer of your neutral tasting oil and bring to temperature over a medium heat. These are best done as a shallow fry rather than a deep fry, though you can always add more oil and deep fry them. I prefer to do a shallow fry as that will have less excess oil. 

Time to fry!

Depending on the size of your pan or pot, place chicken fingers in making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry on each side for about 4 minutes, or until golden brown on each side. 

As you’re frying, make your honey mustard sauce. Simply combine all of the honey mustard ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine. Add more honey or mayonnaise to taste. The dijon will provide a nice bite, so if you’re looking for more sweetness, add more honey. If you’re looking to cut the dijon more, add more mayonnaise. 

Place your cooked chicken fingers on a wire rack to let any excess oil drip off. Look at these crispy tenders!

Chicken fingers frying in a cast iron skillet.

Tools we use to make these Chicken Fingers!

FAQ

How do I store the leftover honey mustard?

One of our favorite parts of making this recipe is the leftover honey mustard. We usually store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days in a mason jar or airtight container.

Can I use less oil for these or bake them?

Absolutely! The best part of these chicken fingers is that they are versatile. Use enough oil to cover the bottom of your pan and then fry until done. For a healthier chicken finger you can also bake these in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. You can use a cooking spray here to keep them from sticking.

Can I use a breadcrumb mixture instead of panko bread crumbs?

Yes, you can use regular breadcrumbs here but we suggest panko bread crumbs. These are extra crispy because we use them but if you prefer a breadcrumb mixture everything will work the same way.

Print
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Chicken Fingers on a plate with homemade honey mustard sauce.

Crispy Chicken Fingers with Homemade Honey Mustard


  • Author: A Couple Bites
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x

Description

You will not believe how crispy these chicken fingers are! They are easy to make with a few simple ingredients. You will never want to get takeout again. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins, tendon removed
  • 34 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 cups all purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • neutral oil for frying, we used vegetable

For the Honey Mustard:

  • 3/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

For the chicken fingers:

  1. Place flour in a shallow dish. Crack your two eggs into a bowl and whisk them like you are making scrambled eggs. Add your panko bread crumbs into another shallow dish. Place these in order on your counter to make your life easier (flour, egg, panko). Season each of these with salt and pepper. 
  2. Take your chicken tenderloin and cover it in flour making sure that now chicken in showing through. Once it is fully covered move the tenderloin into the egg mixture and do the same thing. Once full covered remove the tenderloin from the egg and allow the excess egg to drip off. Once the egg is finished dripping, add the tenderloin to the panko bread crumbs. Just like with the flour make sure that they are full covered. Remove the tenderloin from the panko and set aside on a plate. Repeat this process with all of your tenderloins. 
  3. When you are finished coating all of your chicken it is time to cook! In a shallow sauté pan over medium heat, add your oil. You will need just enough so the bottom of the pan is coated. 
  4. Allow the oil to come to temperature. I usually throw in a stray breadcrumb to test the oil, If you throw on in and it sizzles you are ready to start frying. 
  5. Add your chicken fingers into the oil making sure not to over crowd the pan. 
  6. Depending on how thick your chicken is will determine how much time you need to cook them. We have found a good rule of thumb being about 4 minutes on each side. 
  7. Once cooked remove the chicken from the pan and immediately salt the chicken to taste.

For the honey mustard sauce:

  1.  Add your dijon, mayo, honey, salt and pepper to a bowl. Using a whisk incorporate all the ingredients. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
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We’re Matt and Melissa, and this is our food blog, though it may not be the food blog you are expecting. We are here to take you on a culinary adventure through our kitchen, our passions, our stories, and our liquor cabinet. Residing in Monmouth County, NJ (the best county in NJ) we love to cook and create in our kitchen. But we know we’re not the real experts and the only thing more fun than tasting our own creations are tasting others’. When we’re not cooking for you, we’re around town sampling all that New Jersey’s culinary scene has to offer. Let take A Couple Bites!

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