So this is something I’ve mostly had to give up after being diagnosed with a gluten allergy. But! Applegate does make gluten-free chicken tenders, which I do indulge in fairly often.
Growing up, when we would go out to eat, I would order chicken fingers every time. I begged to go to Colonial Williamsburg for the full Revolutionary War–era experience, but when we got there and went to the traditional restaurants serving old-fashioned meals, I ordered chicken fingers and fries (much to my parents’ dismay). My dad used to tell me that I should write a book called “Chicken Fingers of the World,” since I’d eaten them at restaurants far and wide. Eventually I did become daring enough to try new foods, and I have since discovered some delicious new things to eat, but still, I always maintained a certain affection for a good batch of chicken fingers.
For me, life is a balance between keeping a constant, steady rhythm of good, comfortable habits and pushing the envelope to explore new things. Mostly, I am a creature of habit, and I think it’s okay to have certain “comfort” items in life—whether they are foods, places, routines, etc.—but there’s also a time to step out of your comfort zone. It’s good to know what you like and have a sense of stability in that, but if you never explore beyond it you won’t know what you’re missing. At the same time, once you’ve established what you like, what makes you happy, and what helps you to be your best, it’s good to build a routine around those things.
Anyway. All this to say: chicken fingers are great. But they are no longer my staple meal at restaurants, and I’m perfectly okay with that. However, if I come home and want to eat something that reminds me of my childhood, I can heat up some gluten-free chicken fingers—they’ll always be a comfort food for me.