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Hot-Dipped Crispy Chicken Fingers

A riff on a North Carolina specialty, this version is simplified for weeknight dinners by baking the chicken instead of frying it while keeping the homemade spicy barbecue sauce the same.

Serves 4
Ready in 45 mins
Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 25 mins
496 calories per serving


> Cooking spray
> 2 large eggs
> 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
> 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
> 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
> 1 1/4 lbs chicken breast tenderloins
> 1/2 cup cider vinegar
> 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
> 2 tbsp ketchup
> 2 tbsp brown sugar
> 1 tbsp vinegary hot sauce, such as Tabasco
> 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
> 1/2 tsp garlic powder
> 1/4 tsp cayenne powder


Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed foil-lined baking sheet. Coat rack with the cooking spray.
In a shallow dish, beat together the eggs and ½ tsp each salt and pepper. Add the flour to another shallow dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the panko and oil until well combined.
In batches, add the chicken strips to flour, tossing to coat. Add chicken strips to eggs, tossing until well coated. Lifting chicken strips to let excess egg drip off, add to panko mixture, tossing and pressing to adhere evenly. Arrange in single layer on wire rack, spacing each piece 2 inches apart. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake chicken 20–25 min., until golden brown and cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a small pot, whisk together the vinegars, ketchup, brown sugar, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, cayenne powder, and ¼ cup water. Heat to a boil on high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 10–12 min., until reduced and slightly thickened. Remove from heat.
When chicken is cooked, remove from oven but keep on baking sheet rack. Season with salt to taste. Brush or drizzle chicken with sauce until fully coated. Serve immediately with remaining sauce.

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