Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers make the perfect appetizer, snack, or dinner — just the right amount of spice.
We love to eat with our hands in my house. Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it’s just plain embarrassing. Sandwiches make sense; salad does not. I never established any rules for this, so we just live with the poor manners of our habits and hope no one’s watching.
If I told you that I served this chicken alongside my recent recipe for Paleo Fettuccine Alfredo, how grossed out would you be to learn that those leftovers were eaten cold the next day and with fingers, not forks…
If there’s food in the fridge that can be eaten without utensils, that’s the food that everyone goes for first. These Crispy Buffalo Chicken Fingers can and should be eaten with your hands… and not just by the vulgar people in my house! In the photo below, you can see Steve holding this awesome chicken in his hands — I had to take the picture quickly, because they were headed for his mouth quickly, even though it was early in the morning. (I wish you could see his shirt in this pic because he’s wearing a T-shirt we got when we went to “Meet The Breeds” at the Westminster Dog Show; I’ll have to take another pic of him in it!)
One of the awesome things about this recipe is that it’s so easily customizable for your particular needs and tastes. Sometimes I put hemp seeds in the coating. Sometimes I use flax seeds. Chia seeds are also good in it. And if you like sesame seeds, you can toss them in too. You can use any seeds you like, a mixture of all of them, or none of them at all. Decisions, decisions…
You should also try my recipe for Crispy Spicy Chicken for another take on a healthy version of decadent tasting chicken.
Not only are these crispy Buffalo chicken fingers delicious, but they are really healthy too:
Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…
Tapioca is a starch that comes from the cassava plant. It’s not really a flour in the traditional sense; it’s grain and gluten free. It’s good for your circulation and your digestion. Oftentimes I will make recipes with tapioca flour — it crisps things up well and it works as a great thickener too.
Hot peppers contain more vitamin C than any other vegetable and they are good at fighting off the common cold. Whenever I have a cold I eat lots of hot sauce. So, if you like spice, as I do, use a generous amount of whatever hot sauce you like. Read the ingredients on the label (as with any pre-made food) to make sure it meets your dietary requirements — there are so many hot sauces, wing sauces, and barbecue sauces out there that are gluten-free, paleo, etc. The main component of hot peppers is capsaicin. Capsaicin actually works with your body and mind to make you feel happy. It’s also good for reducing swelling and can relieve arthritic joint pain. If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before eating too many hot peppers because they can actually raise the blood pressure in some people.
In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation. This recipe uses both almond milk and almond flour, so you get a lot of bang for your buck with almonds here.
Hemp seeds are a superfood. They are high in protein, easily digestible, and contain a full complement of amino acids. They contain disease-fighting phytonutrients that are good for your blood, immune system, tissues and skin. Hemp contains a specific fatty acid that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It also helps balance hormones, making it a great choice to fight the symptoms of PMS. This super seed is also good for your liver and your brain.
Flax seeds can relieve constipation and lower cholesterol.
Chia seeds are ancient seeds that got their name from the Mayan word for “strength”. These tiny seeds have the unique ability to turn liquid into a gel-like substance when making puddings and they are great added to smoothies and shakes. They are really good for you because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber.
Sesame seeds (the black ones) are a Chinese herb (Hei Zhi Ma). Black foods, in Chinese medicine, are knows as longevity foods. This herb is good for so many things, including headaches, constipation, dizziness, and even helping with lactation. White sesame seeds also have many great nutritional benefits. They are also an anti-aging food. If you have backaches, hair thats graying way too fast, ringing in the ears, weak knees, blurry vision or general weakness, go for the sesame seeds; just sprinkle them on everything. Long ago in China, sesame seeds were ground into honey to form a paste and was taken as a medicine to counter old-age and weakness.
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless organic chicken thighs, cut into thirds vertically
- Wet ingredients:
- 6 Tbs of your favorite Buffalo wing sauce (this is one of the few recipes I buy traditional, not organic... and here's a gallon of it!)
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 3 Tbs grass-fed butter
- Dry ingredients:
- ½ cup tapioca flour
- ½ cup almond flour (I like this one)
- ¼ cup of whatever seeds you like (hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds) (optional)
- 20 grinds of fresh black pepper
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all of the wet ingredients in a small pot and heat over medium-low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and the mixture is thickened a bit, about 5 mins.
- Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
- In a shallow pie plate, combine all of the dry ingredients. Feel free to use any or all of the seeds mentioned above (or none at all). Mix well.
- Season the chicken with sea salt.
- Put all of the chicken pieces into the bowl with the wet mixture. Stir until coated well.
- Remove each piece of chicken individually, and dredge in the dry mixture and place each piece on the baking sheet in a single layer, making sure that none of the pieces are touching each other. Make sure each piece is heavily coated!
- Bake the chicken until cooked through and crispy. Mine took about 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and serve on a platter with whatever dipping sauces you like. (We never made it to the dipping sauce stage... they were all eaten too fast!)