The other day I reopened the cookbook, The Food of Latin America: Gran Cocina Latina by Marciel E. Presilla. I perused the vast index to find something to make for dinner. I found the recipe for quinoa-crusted chicken fingers that I’ve had at Cucharamama a few times & have loved. They’re a great twist on the basic chicken finger.
I know I’ll be making these again. There were no leftovers.
Recipe adapted from The Food of Latin America: Gran Cocina Latina by Marciel E. Presilla
Ingredients for the chicken:
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1 lb), cut into 3-by-1-inch strips
Ingredients for the marinade:
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I used the pineapple, orange, banana juice I had in the fridge & it worked great)
- 1 lime, juice & zest
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped & then mashed with a mortar & pestle
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Ingredients for the quinoa crust
- 1-2 cups boiled quinoa (follow the directions of the package or make it like I did here without the vinegar)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- salt & pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups corn oil
- 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- In a medium bowl, combine the orange juice, lime juice & zest, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt & pepper. Mix well.
- Add the chicken strips & toss well.
- Let chicken marinate for an hour.
- Set up your “breading” stations. In one bowl, add the flour & season with salt & pepper.
- In the second bowl, add the lightly beaten eggs & season with salt & pepper.
- In the third bowl, add only half the quinoa & add more as needed. This way if you have extra you can actually eat it if it hasn’t touched the raw chicken.
- Wipe the excess marinade from the chicken pieces & dip them into the flour. Shake them to remove excess flour.
- Add the floured chicken to the egg mixture & coat well.
- Roll the chicken around in the quinoa to cover it entirely.
- Place “breaded” chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if baking - if not baking you can skip the parchment paper).
- For baking: if you’re baking these, pre-heat your oven to 350. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. I broiled mine for the last 2 minutes on each side to ensure crunch.
- OR!! For frying: If you are frying them refrigerate them until you’re ready to fry. Once you’re ready to fry them heat the oil to 350 in a medium saucepan or deep skillet. Add the chicken in 3 or 4 batches & fry, turning with tongs until lightly golden on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Lift out from the oil with a slotted spoon & drain for 1 minute on paper towels.
- While the chicken cooks mix all the ingredients for the honey mustard dipping sauce together in a small bowl.
- Serve chicken hot with the honey mustard dipping sauce.