Your New Favorite Way to Cook Chicken Fingers (Plus Wine!)
Chicken tenders are too often left in their bland state—fried and served to kids—but this salad recipe shows how flavorful and juicy they can be
These healthy recipes are all created to pair with wine (which has 120 to 150 calories for a 5-ounce glass)—all for 600 calories or fewer.
Using soured milk for marinating chicken is popular not only in the South, where it’s often soaked in buttermilk before making fried chicken, but also in India, where cooks create a spicy yogurt marinade before cooking meat in the tandoori oven. Inspired by that intersection of food, I marinated chicken tenders in a spicy curried buttermilk. To complete the salad, I used okra, a vegetable that’s popular in both the South and India, and is absolutely delicious grilled.
This salad is great with a white wine that has both body and acid. I opted for a fruity French Chenin Blanc.
Curry-Spiced Chicken Tenders with Okra, Spinach and Buttermilk Dressing
Total: 30 MIN PLUS 1 HR MARINATING
1½ cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon curry powder
½ teaspoon cayenne
12 chicken tenders (about 1½ pounds)
8 ounces okra
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
5 ounces baby spinach
1. In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of the buttermilk with the curry powder, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and the cayenne. Add the chicken tenders and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 4 hours.
2. Light a grill and preheat for at least 10 minutes or preheat a grill pan. Brush the grill grates well with oil. Skewer the okra on double-pronged skewers (you’ll need about 6), brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a small bowl, mix the remaining ½ cup buttermilk with the sour cream and the scallion greens and season with salt and black pepper.
4. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Grill the chicken tenders and okra skewers over moderately high heat until the chicken is well-browned on the bottom and pulls off the grates easily and the okra is blistered in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip and grill until the chicken is cooked through and the okra is tender, 3 to 5 minutes longer.
5. Remove the okra from the skewers. Arrange the spinach on plates or in large bowls and top with the chicken tenders and the okra. Drizzle the buttermilk-scallion dressing on top and serve.
One serving 295 cal, 9.5 gm fat, 2.8 gm sat fat, 10.2 gm carb, 3.8 gm fiber, 43.6 gm protein.
Wine A fruity Chenin Blanc, such as 2013 Réserve des Vignerons Saumur Blanc
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.