[Gay Cook]

Chicken FingersThese chicken fingers are a favourite with my family of all ages. I included the tomato dip from Das Lokal restaurant in Ottawa. Which I so enjoyed and asked Chef Natalie Clunie for the recipe. She kindly gave it to me. I had been looking for a recipe that could replace the usual ketchup, which I find too sweet and spicy for this simple tasting chicken.

Roasted Chicken Fingers with Dips   4-5 servings

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts and skinless
  • 1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) hot-pepper sauce or to taste
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt or to taste
  • 1 cup (250 ml) panko or soft breadcrumbs*
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) melted butter
  1. Turn the breasts over and pull away the tenderloin. Flatten the thickest part of the breast meat to about ½-inch (2 cm) thickness by pressing down with the heel of your hand or press down with the flat side of a chef’s knife. Cut the meat against the grain into strips about 3-inches (7.5 cm) long.
  2. In a bowl, combine yogurt, hot pepper sauce, maple syrup and salt to taste; toss in chicken. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours or longer.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C). Lightly oil baking sheet or cover with parchment paper.
  4. Remove chicken from the marinade turn in the crumbs patting each piece so crumbs adhere to chicken strips. Place chicken on baking sheet. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes turning once and chicken is no longer pink inside and firm to the touch. Serve chicken warm with the dips.

*To make breadcrumbs, tear 1 or 2 bread slices into several pieces; pulse food processor until crumbs form. Toss with melted butter in shallow dish.

Peanut Butter Dip: makes about 3/4 cup (175 ml)

  • 1/3 cup (75 ml) chunky or plain, natural peanut butter
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) milk
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) ground hot chilli pepper or more to taste
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl, whisk together peanut butter and milk then the pepper, lemon juice and salt as needed.

Thai Curry Dip:  Makes about ½ cup (125 ml)

  • 1 tsp (5 ml) red or green Thai curry paste
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) fish sauce
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) grated lime rind
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) lime juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In small saucepan, combine paste, milk, fish sauce, lime rind and juice; bring to simmer about 5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Season. 

Catsup Dip

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 369 can tomato paste
  • Salt to taste if needed

Combine in a food processor or with a hand held immersion blender. Pour mixture into a big pan or medium pot and just bring to a boil. Add tomato paste, mix thoroughly and cook for 3 to 5 min on medium high heat. Season with salt, or adjust acid/sugar content to suit your palate

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