1. Using a chef ’s knife, cut the chicken breasts into “fingers,” about 5 per breast. Tap the thicker parts with the side of the knife to even out the thickness. They should be about ½ inch thick at most.
2. In a medium-size container with a lid, combine buttermilk, 1 teaspoon of the Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon of the salt, ½ teaspoon of the pepper and the paprika; stir well. Add the chicken strips and turn to coat. Cover the container tightly and refrigerate the chicken for at least 6 hours or overnight.
3. Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly brush a wire rack with oil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. In a small saucepan, melt butter gently over medium heat. Keep a close eye on it as it foams and changes to a light golden colour. It will smell slightly nutty. Be careful not to let it burn. Remove the browned butter from heat.
5. Combine panko and browned butter in a small bowl and stir well to coat the crumbs. Transfer to a pie plate or shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs with the remaining ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. In a third bowl, combine the flour with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.
6. Drain the chicken, discarding the buttermilk. Using tongs and working with one strip of chicken at a time, dredge chicken through the flour to coat, then the egg, and lastly the buttery panko. Place the crumb-coated chicken on the prepared rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken, allowing at least 1 inch of space around each chicken strip.
7. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the panko is pale golden and the chicken is cooked through. Finish under the broiler for an extra-crispy, dark brown coating. Serve hot with a dollop of mustard or a drizzle of honey.
2 to 4
Excerpted from Aimee Wimbush-Borque's The Simple Bites Kitchen cookbook.