Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of dukkah, and now it seems to be everywhere (I even saw jar of it at Trader Joe’s the other day). Hmm…is this proof that the folks at McCormick really can tell the future of flavor?
You see, I first learned of dukkah (an aromatic Middle Eastern spice and nut blend), when I did this sneak preview of McCormick’s Flavor Forecast 2013. A dukkah spice blend was featured as part of the “Empowered Eating” trend, which is all about not sacrificing flavor for healthfulness.
I was immediately intrigued by the aromatic blend of toasted nuts and seeds. Dukkah is traditionally sprinkled on olive oil-dipped pita bread, but it can also be used as a versatile topping, sprinkled over roasted vegetables, pasta, or even as a crust on fish or meat. And then the light bulb went off.
Hello, Dukkah Crusted Chicken Tenders.
Fried chicken fingers get a healthy and flavorful makeover with this baked version. You still get that chicken strip crispy crunchiness you know and love, but the taste factor is punched up with toasted hazelnuts, sesame, coriander, and cumin.
It’s crazy how much flavor you get from this mixture of nuts, seeds, and spices. Toast them up to get them really aromatic, and then give them a whir in the food processor to grind it all up.
I kept some larger pieces of nuts in the mix for extra crunch in the crust.
And then the process is just like making regular fried chicken. Dust the chicken strips in seasoned flour, give it a lovely buttermilk-sage bath, and then roll it in the dukkah to give it a tasty, nutty crust.
If you are in serious detox mode, you could even forego the flour dredging and buttermilk bath and use egg white instead. A bit of olive oil gives the chicken that oven-fried goodness without the guilt.
Dip these chicken tenders in honey-mustard, or try a cucumber yogurt tzatziki. Liven up your salad with them. Or make a “fried” chicken sandwich and serve with your favorite slaw.
How would you eat these fancified chicken tenders?
Chicken fingers get a healthy and flavorful makeover with this baked version that is encrusted in dukkah (an aromatic Middle Eastern blend of spices and nuts).
Recipe Source: LickMySpoon.com.
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Disclosure: This post was sponsored by McCormick & Co.