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Oven-Baked Chicken Fingers With Chipotle-Honey Mustard Recipe

A much healthier—and spicier—version of the comfort food, perfect for all ages.

Whether shaped like nuggets, stars, crowns, or fingers, deep-fried chicken bites do a major disservice to one of the planet's best sources of protein. Let the restaurant coat it in one of their special sauces, and you could be downing nearly a full day's worth of calories on a food designed for children. Make the switch to this oven-fried version once a week, and you'll shed 25 pounds (and cut out 210,080 milligrams of sodium) in a year, while still enjoying your favorite childhood food.

Our sweet and spicy sauce kicks the taste up a notch, too, so you'll get a satisfying crunch from the panko bread crumbs, plus a mouthful of flavor.

Nutrition: 250 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 350 mg sodium

Serves 4

You'll Need

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups panko gluten-free bread crumbs
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp chipotle pepper purée (This dish is perfect for chicken finger-loving kids. Just be sure to cut the chiles from the sauce.)
1 Tbsp honey

How to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the egg whites in a shallow bowl. Place the crumbs on a plate and season those, too.
  3. Dip the chicken tenders into the egg, then toss in the crumbs, being sure to coat fully.
  4. Place the breaded chicken pieces on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crumbs have browned and the chicken is firm.
  5. Combine the mustard, chipotle, and honey in a large bowl.
  6. Toss the cooked chicken tenders in the mixture so they are all evenly coated with the spicy-sweet sauce.

Eat This Tip

Most oven-fried foods lack the satisfying crunch that comes with a long soak in bubbling fat. But trade in your blue canister of flavorless bread crumbs for this Japanese variety, and you'll have the delicious crust of fried chicken without all the calories. Panko bread crumbs are coarse and flat, and can be gluten-free too. They also provide an enduringly crunchy crust on any food they coat. Find a box in the international section of your supermarket or score them online.

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RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

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