Gluten-Free Corn-free Egg free chicken fingers nuggets

Crispy chicken fingers actually taste better than the gluten containing version.

Chicken fingers are on kids menus everywhere. When the school cafeteria serves them kids try to come back for thirds. Yet there are currently no commercially available gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free and egg-free varieties.

I have another recipe that uses egg, but after doing further research I learned that while now we see a lot of egg in tempura and fried chicken, it is neither necessary nor particularly traditional. This recipe uses only a few ingredients, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, rice based flour blend, and of course, chicken.

Frying is kind of messy. So in the interest of efficiency and cleaning my kitchen only once, I try to do this sort of cooking in bulk. I cook three pounds at a time and freeze virtually all of it in a zippered freezer bag to be heated up next time I am home late and need a fast dinner that requires little effort on my part.

The recipe is written for chicken fingers. To make nuggets simply cut the meat into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces.

3 lbs white meat chicken strips (about 1 -2 inches wide by about 6 inches long)
1 cup rice flour based all purpose gluten-free flour blend
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder (the rice flour will deaden this so you barely taste it
Safflower or other safe high smoke point oil sufficient for frying (not olive oil)
about 2 cups ice water (it is fine if there are even bits of ice in it at the beginning
Potato starch or gluten free flour blend for dredging chicken (do NOT use tapioca starch, the results are oddly rubbery)

Frying pan large enough to hold three chicken fingers that are cooking simultaneously
Small bowl for dredging chicken
Large bowl for holding batter
Measuring cups and spoons
Fork for mixing batter and dunking chicken
Plate for setting chicken aside to cool
Cookie sheet for freezing chicken
Gallon plastic zipper freezer bag for storing frozen chicken

Put about half a cup of potato starch or flour in dredging bowl
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and garlic powder in the large bowl stirring well with the fork
Put oil in pan on medium high heat (about 7 out of 10)
Add the ice water to the flour mixture and stir. It will be lumpy which is a good thing. It shoud be about the same consistency as pancake batter. Do not try to get rid of all of the little lumps.
Dredge chicken in potato starch then dunk in the batter
Carefully, using the fork and being wary of spatter, lower the batter coated chicken into the hot oil
Repeat with two more pieces of chicken
Flip each piece over with the tongs as it becomes crispy and every so lightly browned on the bottom.
Cook chicken until firm, crisp and a bit brown (see the photo) and then remove from heat, shake off excess oil and set aside on the plate to cool
Repeat process with remaining chicken
As chicken pieces cool set them on the cookie sheet and freeze them in batches while you cook up the rest of the chicken fingers.