No there is no vodka in this recipe! I thought I’d make that clear right from the start in case you were wondering, justifiably so. These Smoky Chicken Fingers with Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce are suitable for adults and children alike! My own children have surprised me on several occasions with their high tolerance threshold when it comes to spicy foods, and this recipe got their full approval (the dipping sauce is moderately spicy, but you can adjust the amount of Tabasco to suit your individual preference).
Chicken fingers are very popular in my house, not just because they are easy to make (important from my perspective), but also because everyone loves them (my own children and their friends too)! So everyone is happy. The everyday version is plain, with only salt and pepper, but I thought the smoked paprika would be just the thing to go with this spicy tomato sauce.
As for the sauce itself, it includes all the classic Bloody Mary flavours, such as Tabasco Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and celery, plus a few additional ingredients which in my opinion give this sauce more depth and richness of flavour. Initially I thought of using raw vegetables but in the end decided to roast them first in case the sauce turned out to be more of a vegetable smoothie. Roasting brings out more flavour and makes vegetables taste sweeter, which is ideal in this recipe. By the way, if you are not a huge fan of raw celery try roasting it – it tastes sweet and nutty and quite different than raw.
This sauce can be used with any other dish that calls for spicy tomato based sauce – burgers, nachos, tacos, seafood or raw vegetables.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do (I equally enjoyed making and eating it). Let me know your thoughts:) Thanks!
If you’d like to know how to make homemade breadcrumbs click < HERE >
You may also like my Salmon Lime Fish Fingers
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- For the Chicken Fingers:
- 500 g chicken breast, skinless
- 40 g breadcrumbs
- Salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste (according to preference)
- Olive oil for frying (about 3 tablespoons per batch using a medium size pan)
- For the Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce:
- 2 large vine tomatoes (or 3-4 plum tomatoes), cut into quarters
- 2 celery sticks, cut into chunks
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
- 10-12 dashes Tabasco sauce
- 6 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
- 1/2teaspoon onion granules
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Place the tomato (skin side down) and celery pieces, and garlic on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt, drizzle with oil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- In the meantime prepare the chicken fingers. Cut the chicken breast lengthways into strips, about 2 cm thick, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with smoked paprika (use a little or a lot). Coat in the breadcrumbs.
- Once the vegetables have cooled combine all the dip ingredients and puree to obtain a smooth mixture (the juice from roasting the vegetables can be added to soups or sauces, do not add it to the dip as it might make it too runny). Taste the dip and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Heat up some oil and (about 3 tablespoons) and fry the chicken fingers on a medium heat for about 1.5 - 2 minutes on each side.
- The sauce can be served hot or cold.