Virginia Chicken Toes with Buttermilk Ranch

I made pasta with goat cheese and roasted red peppers for my husband and myself for dinner.  One boy despises roasted red peppers, the other doesn’t love them enough to eat them as a main ingredient.  I was trying to figure out what to do for their dinner when I realized that the package of boneless breast I thought I had purchased turned out to be an entire skinless, boneless chicken cut into pieces.  I immediately thought of making chicken fingers for the boys with the dark meat and using the breasts for our pasta. I have only made chicken fingers for them once, and rarely fry chicken on the bone because I always want it to taste like my grandmas and it never, ever does.

While we were playing in the pool with our kids last summer, my Virginia friend was telling me how to make really good Southern fried chicken.  Well she has moved back to Virginia and this summer I miss her more than I can say.  I decided to make my chicken fingers “Virginia style” using the tips my friend gave me, then I remembered that chickens don’t have fingers, so it would be ridiculous to call them chicken “fingers”.  I made chicken toes instead.

When the boys asked what was for dinner I told them.  Anytime I can get a genuine smile out of my teenager when I tell a dumb joke I feel grateful.  I know soon, anytime, I will get an eye rolling instead.  The boys loved them and said they were as good as Mc Donald’s.  Dadgummit!  Back to the drawing board.


2 each, boneless, skinless, fat-trimmed chicken wings, thighs, legs

1 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/8 tsp. ground, dried ginger

1/2 c. milk

2 1/2 c. canola oil

2 T butter

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing:

1/2 c. mayonnaise

1/2 c. sour cream

3/4 tsp. granulated garlic

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. fresh chives, minced

2 oz. buttermilk, more or less depending on how thick you want it


Cut chicken into chunks.

Sift together flour, salt and pepper, and ginger.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan.  Add butter.

Dip chicken pieces into milk.

Dredge in flour mixture and fry until golden brown.

Drain on absorbent paper.

Serve with dressing for dipping.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.



  1. whatdidyouhavefordinnerlastnight July 20, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    Probably a stupid question but what does the milk do to the Chicken, tenderise it or is it just make the flour stick to it? Thanks 🙂

    They look better than Macky D’s btw. 😉

  2. edibletapestry July 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Wow. I’ve never thought about it. That’s just how we do things down south. lol I suppose it makes the flour stick and gives it some moisture to gum up with for more of a breading than just plain flour dusting would. That’s a technical description, of course. I used an egg/milk mixture once as I’d been taught to do in cooking school, while helping my dad’s deep South, real deal sister-in-law make fried chicken for his birthday dinner. She looked at me like I’d rolled it in powdered sugar or something. I just do plain milk now for chicken.

    And as my h.s. algebra teacher used to say, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.” He’d then proceed to tell me that I didn’t need to know why I needed to do something, I just needed to do it! Grr!

    Thanks for the compliments! They are always greatly appreciated.


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