Crispiest oven-baked Chicken Fingers in Amazing Yogurt Crust
Posted in 40 minutes or less, Appetizer & Meze, Baked, Beginner, Main Courses, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Sunday family meal ideas, Weekend family meal ideas Originally published on December 6, 2013 Last updated on December 23, 2016 By Eli K. Giannopoulos
The perfect chicken fingers!! Crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside with a thick golden brown yogurt crust… The chicken is first marinated in yogurt to tenderise it, then added in a yogurt based batter, dredged in a semolina-flour mixture, along with spices and herbs and then oven baked to golden and crispy perfection.. The secret for these extra crispy chicken fingers is to dredge them in semolina, as it helps to form a nice golden crust around them. Follow our instructions and bake them to perfection!
For the marinade
- 4 chicken breasts (approx. 600g/ 21 ounces)
- 100g Greek yogurt (3.5 ounces)
- 50g water (1.7 ounces)
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the crust
- 400g Greek yogurt (14 ounces)
- 130-150g water (4.5-5 ounces)
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 260g all-purpose flour (9 ounces)
- 140 thin semolina (5 ounces)
- 2 tsps sweet paprika
- 2 tbsps sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 tsps powdered onion
- a pinch of dried thyme
- salt and freshly ground pepper
For the yogurt sauce
- 200g Greek yogurt, strained (7 ounces)
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsps mayonnaise
- 1 and 1/2 tbsps mustard
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of paprika
- Wash thoroughly the chicken breasts and cut into thick strips (3-4 strips each one, depending on the size of each chicken breast). In a large bowl, add the ingredients for the marinade and whisk to combine; add the chicken pieces and blend to coat. Cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours. The longer you leave the chicken marinade, the tender it will turn out, so if you have the time, it’s best to leave it overnight.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge and drain. Prepare the ingredients for the crust. In a bowl, add the yogurt (400g), the water, the eggs, the baking powder and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the mixture until smooth, like a batter. In a separate bowl, add the flour, the semolina, the sesame seeds, 1 tsp of salt, the herbs and spices and blend to combine. (Use any kind of herbs and spices you like, the more the better!)
- Take 3-4 chicken strips, dip them in the yogurt mixture and place them in the flour-semolina mixture. Shake to coat and set aside, shaking of any excess four. Repeat with the rest. To form a nice thick crust, it is important to repeat this procedure twice, starting again with the yogurt mixture and then dredging with the flour mixture.
- Butter the bottom of a large non-sticking pan and place the chicken fingers in a single layer. Bake in preheated oven at 200C for about 22 minutes, until golden brown crispy and cooked through. When you turn the chicken fingers out of the oven, you will realise that the pan is completely dry, which means extra juicy and tender chicken, as the crust helped the chicken to withhold all its juices.
- If you just love yogurt, then serve the chicken fingers with a cooling, thick yogurt sauce. To prepare the sauce add all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk, until smooth. Enjoy with some leafy greens aside.