The kids took over the kitchen today, and made some absolutely incredible crispy buffalo fingers dipped in a sweet and mild buffalo sauce, then topped with some old sharpe Ivanhoe cheddar cheese with a ranch drizzle. They knocked it out of the park for us tonight!
I’d like to open with a warning: we are going down my favourite rabbit hole, my kids. It’s so important to me that kids get in the kitchen more. I think the reason my kids favourite foods are things like calamari with hot peppers is because they’ve always been exposed (and helped to create) a wide variety of foods. It’s normal to them, and it makes eating in this house so much more fun.
So, if you’d like to skip all the “oh my god look how adorable they are”, feel free to just scroll down to the recipe at the bottom (it’s awesome). But seriously, the kids are SO ADORABLE, so you’ll totally be missing out!
Oliver will always be the original. He was the original one to sit in his highchair and laugh at me while I cooked, dancing to whatever song was stuck in my head. As soon as he could hold and chew though, he became my taste tester (these were cookies for a thanksgiving / birthday party we were going to).
It didn’t take long though, by the time he was two, he was in the kitchen with me (he also really loved this chef’s hat when he was helping!).
I mean, obviously I wanted all the freshly chopped basil in the can of crushed tomatoes.
Then I got him a little hand mixer to try out on his own…
And in no time he was using the electric one. That wasn’t the only new thing though…
And then there were two…
As soon as Anna could walk, she wanted in on whatever her brother was doing.
Once she could get up on the chair or stool, she had a spoon or a whisk in her hand too.
Here Oliver and I are teaching her how to shape bagels.
And here are all four of us (yep, I’m pregnant with Sophie), rolling out chocolate truffles.
The original kitchen helper still got some extra special duties though, like injecting the turkey for Thanksgiving.
And then there were three…
Yes, rain boots can be appropriate kitchen wear.
Anna slowly started getting more independent in the kitchen…
And so did Sophie.
And about six months ago anna made our entire dinner (pasta shells and a pie), with hardly any help from me.
Which brings us pretty much up to date, and to today’s awesome recipe. First up, the kids got everything ready in the breading station.
Tonight the kids got their first taste of breading meat, and by first taste, I mean that it took them all of two minutes to get the hang of it, and then they flew threw the pile of chicken. Even with the extra bit of clean up, it was still WAY faster than if I had done it myself!
These are kids that have fun in the kitchen!
LOTS of fun!!
And they were so proud of themselves for doing it on their own! That’s the most important thing – they were bursting with pride having been able to do this themselves, there’s a level of independence that they feel, and while I don’t always want to admit that they’re growing up on me, I’m pretty damn proud of them too!
After that I gave the chicken a quick pan fry until they were golden brown, and I warmed up the sauce that the kids mixed together.
Anna went to work shredding my favourite cheese for me. I am a cheese person, I LOVE good cheese, and there is such a huuuuuge difference between great cheese, and average grocery store cheese. You absolutely can’t beat a good aged cheddar. This Ivanhoe old sharp cheddar literally melts in your mouth, it’s absolute heaven!
We dipped the chicken tenders into our sweet and mild buffalo sauce, then the kids took turns sprinkling on that Ivanhoe cheddar cheese.
A quick trip under the broiler, then a drizzle of our favourite ranch dressing, and they were good to go. Oh, I also stuck a wooden skewer in the bottom of them, because kids LOVE eating food off a stick!
These are so insanely good. The panko breadcrumbs really grab onto the sauce, and that old sharpe cheddar adds the extra bite you need to counter the sweetness in the sauce.
I’ve got the three cutest taste testers around too 😉
Buffalo Cheddar Chicken Fingers
- 3 medium chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2" strips, then pounded to 1/4" thickness
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 cup grated Ivanhoe old sharpe cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup ranch dressing
- Set up a breading station: the flour in one dish, the breadcrumbs in a second dish, and the whisked eggs in a third dish. Take your first piece of chicken and dredge it in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip the piece of chicken in the eggs, coating both sides, and finally put in the bread crumbs, covering both sides well. Place the breaded chicken on a plate, and repeat with the remaining pieces.
- Put about 1/2" of oil in a high sided skillet, and place over medium heat. Place the chicken into the skillet in batches, cooking on both sides until a deep golden brown. Remove the chicken to a cooling rack lined baking sheet.
- While the chicken is cooking, you can make the sauce. Add all the ingredients to a small pot set over medium heat, and whisk until it comes to a boil, then just keep warm.
- When all your chicken is cooked, dip each piece in the sauce, then return it to the rack on the cookie sheet. When all the chicken in sauced, sprinkle on the grated cheddar cheese.
- Place under the broiler, set to low, until the cheese is melted. This just takes a minute so watch carefully. Drizzle with your favourite ranch dressing, and enjoy! You can also stick a skewer in them to make them easier (and less messy) to eat.
Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Gay Lea and I received Compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.
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