Chicken Fingers – Crunchy Ranch Style (grain free)

I made dinner for Dave and Kristen on Saturday night, and it’s a good thing I prepped everything ahead of time because we dug into the wine pretty quickly. My favorite way to make chicken is by soaking it in buttermilk with ranch seasonings, and then dip it in a mixture of crushed macadamia nuts and parmesan cheese. These were a big hit again (and the next day we used the rest of the un-dipped chicken strips on the grill–that was really good too.

Crunchy Chicken Strips

2 chicken breasts (I buy the cutlets, but you could buy regular breasts and pound them out thinner yourself)
buttermilk ranch dressing or buttermilk with ranch seasoning (enough to coat/cover the chicken in a pan or dish–amount depends on the shape/size of your dish) – If I’m using dressing, I use a kind I buy at the health food store that has no questionable ingredients in it, but I also have done it with a mixture of buttermilk and ranch seasoning that I made myself (I don’t measure though, so I’ll try to next time and then report back on amounts–this doesn’t need to be precise, just enough to cover the chicken fully)
8oz macadamia nuts, crushed (I throw them in the food processor)
1/4 to 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated (I just dump some in—but this probably depends on if your macadamia nuts are salted or not… less cheese if they’re salted and more cheese if they’re not)

Cut your chicken into strips, and coat with ranch in a covered dish overnight (in the fridge, obviously).

Preheat oven to 350, dip each chicken strip in nut/cheese mixture and put on baking sheet. Bake for 20 minute uncovered. The coating on the strips will brown a bit. Don’t overcook!





I served the chicken with cheesy herb cauliflower rice… and they both thought I was crazy for serving that until they tried it. Then they both discussed how I am stupid for not writing a cookbook. ha.


I also made them ice cream.


Basic vanilla… but with less sugar (grade B maple syrup instead), and I needed to let it harden just a little bit more.


News/Notes: It has been a week since Mom and Matthew left… and I miss them! We had the best time (and obviously I wasn’t focused on being online while they were here). Matthew wasn’t interested in the beach/ocean except watching the fishermen, but we loved the zoo, the aquarium, and walking all over Santa Monica. We also had a great time with relatives and he met Dave (they bbq’d together for us, and I’ve heard since then that he told people back in NY that Dave is nice and they’ll get to meet him soon). By the way, they will get to meet him soon because I’m dragging him to NY with me in October for Matthew’s birthday. In a couple weeks we’re going to Texas to his friend’s wedding too, so lots of fun trips are happening soon!


2 thoughts on “Chicken Fingers – Crunchy Ranch Style (grain free)”

  1. I”m so glad you had fun with your mom and Mathew! Those chicken firngers look absolutely delicious. I wonder if my hubby would eat them. I’ll have to give them a try!

  2. I love using nuts to crisp up chicken. I’ve never tried cashews, but it’s brilliant!
    The ice cream sounds great too. Basic vanilla is sometimes the best, especially when it’s 80-90 degrees!

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