The Chicken Fingers Recipe Approved by Jessica Alba's and Jennifer Garner's Nutritionist
The new Well + Good cookbook also includes recipes from Padma Lakshmi, Venus Williams, Elle Macpherson, Marie Kondo and Lea Michele.
Ahead of the publication of the Well + Good: 100 Healthy Recipes + Expert Advice for Better Living cookbook on April 16 (Clarkson Potter), the Los Angeles-based holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque (whose clients include Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Chelsea Handler, Emmy Rossum, Molly Sims and celebrity makeup artist Mary Phillips) shares her personal recipe for her favorite chia-and-flax chicken fingers with The Hollywood Reporter.
The cookbook makes it easier than ever to eat like the stars, with recipes from an array of other A-listers. THR learned that Elle MacPherson’s go-to breakfast is chocolate mousse with raspberries and cacao nibs and that Lea Michele’s pizza of choice is topped off with shaved Parmesan, radicchio and truffle.
Each recipe is is labeled with a particular wellness benefit, from increased digestion or more glowing skin to better sleep, and the book is broken down into six sections, including one for each meal of the day and cocktails. Known for her Be Well By Kelly consulting business and blog, LeVeque's core teachings center around turning off hunger hormones, and increasing fiber and healthy fats, as well as shutting down cravings early in the day to avoid blood sugar spikes (i.e. why supermodel Macpherson can eat chocolate mousse every morning).
Although Phillips publicly displayed her love for LeVeque’s Fab Four smoothie on Instagram and Alba has been known to transform the green protein superfood smoothie into one that tastes like chocolate peanut butter cup, it’s the wellness expert's “crowd pleasing” chia-and-flax chicken tenders that ultimately made the cut.
“I’m of the mindset that you can eat what you love [and have it] be anti-inflammatory and satisfy any dietary restrictions,” LeVeque, the author of Body Love, tells THR. “My chia-and-flax chicken tenders recipe is tried and true. Everyone loves the tasty comfort of a chicken tender, from my clients to my kids. The chicken is still crispy and crunchy from the flax and chia, there’s no flour, you bake them, and there’s added fiber. They are satisfying and healthy. I believe in real food, real ingredients, and a clean diet."
LeVeque’s recipe for the gluten-free, low-inflammation chicken tenders is published in full below. At home, Kelly serves these juicy-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside chicken tenders with an avocado hummus, but they’re the perfect partner for salads, pasta, grain bowls, and more.
Chia + Flax Chicken Tenders (serves 4 to 6)
1 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup chia seeds
1 cup flaxseed
1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs or grain-free flour
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garlic salt
Pinch of chopped fresh parsley
4 to 6 ounces uncooked chicken tenders, pounded to ½-inch thickness or less
¼ cup ghee
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Create dredging stations: On a large plate, combine the potato starch, pink Himalayan salt, and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. On a separate large plate, combine the chia, flaxseed, bread crumbs, paprika, garlic salt, and parsley.
One at a time, coat each chicken tender, first dipping it into the potato starch mixture; then into the egg mixture to coat completely, letting the excess drip off; then into the chia-flax mixture, pressing to adhere. Set the dredged piece on the prepared baking sheet and repeat to coat the remaining chicken.
Melt the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, working in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet, add the chicken tenders and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes, then use tongs to gently turn the tenders and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on the second side, until the coating is crisped and browned on both sides. Transfer the cooked tenders to a baking sheet as you finish each batch and then to the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is completely cooked through. Serve warm with your favorite dip or side.