There's nothing I enjoy quite as much as a challenge on the grill. When I was asked to come up with a grilled version of the classic breaded chicken finger I certainly had my work cut out for. It's hard to compete with a deep-fried favourite that children love to devour.
Luckily, not only is this a healthier way to prepare chicken fingers, it turns out all three of my kids loved them! They have great flavour, a great crunch and when dipped into the dipping sauce are just undeniably delicious.
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups Panko crumbs
Combine barbecue sauce, vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Set aside 3/4 of the sauce in a bowl. Add all the tenders to the bowl with the remaining 1/4 of the sauce and stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly beat eggs in another small bowl. Place breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Removing each tender from the marinade, shake off excess sauce then coat in flour. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off, then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on a baking sheet. Lightly coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
Refrigerate breaded fingers for an hour to set coating.
Spray the cold grill with cooking spray to prevent the breading from sticking to the grill. Heat the grill to medium-high heat.
Place the breaded chicken on the grill's grate and close the cover. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken, but should range from five to 10 minutes per side. Flip the breaded chicken only once to avoid ruining the breading.
Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.