Oven-baked Buffalo chicken fingers with feta yoghurt dip – spicy, tender, delicious and meant for sharing!
When I was younger, I thought ‘Buffalo wings’ was a hillarious name for a dish – most definitely mistaking Buffalo New York with buffaloes the animal. In any case, I never had the pleasure of tasting authentic Buffalo wings but, having worked on a couple of cookbooks which included the recipe, I was always intrigued by them. I am not a huge fan of chicken wings however and the whole frying process was holding me back too. So I have tweaked the recipe to make oven-baked Buffalo chicken fingers with feta dip – feta replacing the more traditional blue cheese dip. Why feta instead of blue cheese? Well mostly because it’s what I happened to have available and it tasted delicious so don’t judge me!
I never thought that oven-baked chicken fingers could taste as good as fried ones but I was very pleasantly surprised! The chicken tenders are simply dipped in buttermilk and then in the breadcrumb coating and baked for 15 minutes. You do have to be a little careful in your handling of them so that the coating doesn’t come off – they are not as robust as when fried. The baked chicken fingers are then dipped in the spicy sauce and go back in the oven for 5 minutes to dry out. Whip your feta with a little Greek yoghurt and a tiny bit of olive oil and you are good to go!
Though my children were very eager to try this, neither of them was happy with how the spicy the chicken fingers were. I guess it’s a anquired taste for when you get a bit older and you can also have a frosty beer by your side! However you can serve the chicken fingers to younger kids straight from the oven – i.e. before you dip them into the spicy sauce.
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- 8 mini chicken breasts (tenders)
- 300ml | 10fl oz buttermilk
- 150g | 5½ oz panko breadcrumbs
- 130 | 4½ plain (all purpose) flour
- 1 tsp parprika
- ½ tsp cayenne papper
- ½ tsp salt
- oil spray or a little vegetable oil (optional)
- For the sauce
- 200g | 7oz hot chilli sauce (Sriracha)
- 60g | 2 oz unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- For the feta dip
- 125g | 4½ oz feta cheese
- 5 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- finely chopped green onions (scallions) or chives to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Put the breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a large shallow bowl and mix to combine. Put the buttermilk in another bowl.
- Dip a chicken tender into the buttermilk and then the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Make sure it is evenly coated and use two forks to carefully transfer onto the baking sheet.
- Repeat until you have prepared all of the chicken.
- Spray with a little oil or gently brush with a little vegetable oil (this is to help them colour - not essential). Bake for 15 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce while the chicken is baking. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook, stirring, over low heat until the butter melts. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes then take off the heat and set aside.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and dip each piece into the sauce. Handle with care as the coating can easily come off.
- Place back on the baking sheet and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken onto a wire rack to cool.
- Place all the ingredients for the feta dip into a food processor and blitz until completely smooth.
- Serve the chicken with the feta dip on the side and garnish with a handful of chopped chives or spring onions.