Sesame Chicken Fingers with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

Chicken fingers, tenders marinated in buttermilk, breaded with panko and sesame seeds, baked, served with spicy orange sauce

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (can sub a scant half cup of milk that has been mixed with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sweet orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned rice vinegar


1 Marinate the chicken: Mix marinade ingredients (buttermilk, marmalade, soy sauce) in a medium bowl. Add the chicken tenders to the marinade and stir to coat completely with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour (or longer).

marinate chicken tenders in buttermilk mixture

2 Prepare the breading: While the chicken is marinating, prepare the breading. Heat a medium sized thick-bottomed skillet on medium high heat. Add the panko breadcrumbs to the dry hot pan and spread the breadcrumbs so they are in an even layer in the pan. Lower the heat to medium and stir frequently until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.

Once you can see visible browning, stir in the raw sesame seeds. Continue to cook in the pan, stirring frequently until the mixture is a deep golden color. Remove from heat.

Stir in the olive oil and the salt and stir until all of the breadcrumbs and sesame seeds are lightly coated with the oil.

toast panko and sesame seeds stir in olive oil

3 Dredge chicken in breading: Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top. Brush or spray the rack with a little cooking oil. Place the toasted breadcrumb mixture in a shallow bowl for dredging.

Remove the chicken tenders one at a time from the marinade  (do not wipe off the marinade) and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture. Place them on the prepared rack on the roasting pan.

dredge chicken tenders place breaded chicken fingers on rack over aluminum foil lined baking pan

4 Bake: Bake chicken tenders at 400°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

5 Make dipping sauce: While the chicken tenders are baking, prepare the dipping sauce. In a small bowl stir together the orange marmalade, soy sauce, sriracha hot sauce, and seasoned rice vinegar.

Serve sesame chicken fingers with the spicy orange dipping sauce.