I grew up in Tennessee. There was this place in my hometown that had this crispy chicken salad I absolutely loved! I would get it every time and never tire of it. I still have a weakness for crispy chicken salads, even though I try not to eat fried chicken so much these days.
I added them to the calendar for tonight’s meal and didn’t think much about it after. Then, as I was trying to plan my side dishes for tonight, I had a thought. If these chicken fingers were as “ultimate” as they claimed, I bet they’d go great over a salad. The plan was born.
After I mixed the Bisquick, parm cheese, and other ingredients together, coated the chicken fingers, and placed them in the oven to baked, I got to work on the salad. I used to be pretty bland with my salad toppings. Lettuce, a bit of cheese, and maybe some sliced almonds. Nowadays, I’m all about the toppings. In fact, I could probably leave out the lettuce and just go for a chopped veg salad. This salad was so good. It was spicy and savory, creamy and flavorful. It was big though. I didn’t finish it all. I will be making these chicken fingers again, though!
Ultimate Chicken Finger Salad
(adapted from this recipe)
2/3 cup Bisquick
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (you can use regular if that’s all you have)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in strips
1 egg, slightly beaten
Preheat oven to 450º. Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and place over a cookie sheet, then set aside.
While your oven is preheating, mix Bisquick, cheese, salt, garlic, and paprika together in a shallow bowl. I like to use cake pans. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Dip your chicken strips, one at a time, first in the egg, then in the Bisquick mix. Place your strips on the cooling rack. Bake at 450º for 12-14 minutes, turning once halfway through. Cook until chicken is done all the way through and breading is crispy.
I served mine over a big salad that included carrots, red pepper, cheddar cheese, chopped Blue Diamond Honey Dijon almonds, and hamburger bun “garlic toast” all topped with Buffalo Ranch dressing.
You may be wondering what hamburger bun “garlic toast” is. Well…years ago I was visiting my mom and her boyfriend/manfriend/”husband”. His title is a little hazy. Just go with it. Anyhow, we had a delicious recipe called Slum Gullion (seriously delicious…I’ll post it soon) with toasted buns spread with garlic butter. I just kind of looked at the buns and then stared quizzically at my mom. She explained that they never eat all the buns they buy for a particular meal and, instead of seeing them go to waste, they turn them into garlic bread for meals like these. She just spreads them with butter, tops them with a little garlic powder and toasts them up. I go a step further. I melt my butter and mix in a bit of Aimee’s For the Love of Garlic Butter. Oh my gosh, so good!
Also, you may remember that Jeff and I are huge buffalo wing fans. Who isn’t though? Any time we have chicken fingers in the house, he insists I make buffalo ranch dressing. It’s really very simple. You take ranch dressing and mix in hot sauce. My personal favorite is Frank’s Red Hot. You can mix in just a dash or a whole tablespoon depending on how daring you are. I made mine a tad too spicy tonight! Whoops!
As I said, this salad was extremely good. Even Jeff commented on how good the salad tasted with the added chicken fingers. This is going onto the MUST MAKE AGAIN board!
And you may be wondering how the pictures are so light and fluffy…light and airy?…no I got it. How they are lit so well. I spent 20 minutes today making this:
I got me a fancy, schmancy light box now. Actually there’s nothing fancy or schmancy about it, but it is effective!
What are your favorite salad toppings?
I’m always looking for more inspiration.