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Chicken fingers (party-sized)

I make fried chicken fingers periodically, but that's a very small serving for one. This is a larger batch, family-sized or as a party snack.

Normally I use a quart of oil in a pot on my induction hot plate, but this is a job for the big deep fryer!

It holds a gallon of oil. Many cooks swear by peanut oil, but I usually use this inexpensive vegetable oil.

The fryer requires a special 20 amp 240 volt outlet, and can bring a gallon of oil up to frying temperature in 8 minutes. It's pretty awesome.

This is about 1.5 pounds of chicken breast tenders. They're less expensive than breast and conveniently sized for chicken fingers.

Here they are cut up and seasoned with salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and a little cayenne pepper. While I make it for myself I use more cayenne.

This is a good size when serving on plates, but I cut them into even smaller one-bite pieces if it's a grab-and-eat sort of situation, mainly to discourage people from double-dipping in the shared sauce.

Breading station: All-purpose flour, egg (thinned with a little water or milk) and seasoned bread crumbs. Those are 4C brand, but any brand is fine, or even better yet, homemade. That's one egg pictured, but I ended up having to add another.

Dredge the pieces in flour, egg, then crumbs. Here they are all done.

Ready to fry, 2:30 at 360°F. I can easily fit half in the fryer at once without over-crowding.

Vigorously frying.

All done!

With the big deep fryer I filter and reuse the oil a few times. There's a stainless steel hotel pan that I use to store the oil, sitting in my sink, with a wire filter holder and a paper filter on it. Great care is required, because you can cause some very serious burns with a gallon of oil at 360°F! Those paper filters are designed to filter hot oil and don't really work right once the oil is cold.

Here are my sauces, honey mustard and barbecue. While I often make my own barbecue sauce, this is just Stubbs sauce from a jar.

The honey mustard is Alton Brown's recipe:

5 tbsp. honey (this might be too much) 3 tbsp. mustard 2 tbsp. rice vinegar

It didn't really occur to me at the time, but I have two kinds of honey, one that's liquid and one that's solid at room temperature. The solid would probably work better and make a thicker sauce, though refrigerating the liquid honey sauce helps.

I like to use Maille hot Dijon mustard. It gives the sauce a nice slightly spicy kick.

It's really hard to mix, so a stick blender works wonders to getting it combined and not lumpy. That's why it's so bubbly in the picture.

I cooked the chicken ahead of time, cooled it on the wire rack above, then put them into a container and refrigerated.

These insulated carriers are great to take food to pot lucks, parties, etc.! They come with hot/cold packs that you can freeze ahead of time, or heat in the microwave just before using.

There is a selection of nice covered dishes that fit inside. The big one fits in the bottom compartment and the little ones fit in the top compartment. They're insulated separately so you can make one level hot and one level cold, too.

I transferred the chicken in the 9x13 Pyrex dish and heated it in the oven, 20 minutes at 225°F, covered with aluminum foil.

That's it! Tasty and always a hit.

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