It was remarkable to me how crispy these chicken tenders were! I know, I know, it's in the name so you should expect it to be but typically when I make things like this, the breading kind of falls off during the cooking process. It's usually tasty but I wouldn't often use the word crispy. But the panko bread crumbs stuck remarkably well to the chicken tenders and really gave a nice crunch. Toasting the crumbs (in butter) might have helped the crumbs stay crispy in addition to deepening the flavor.
These are easy to put together and I always have the ingredients on hand but it does take a little bit of time to dip the chicken strips into the flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Not a whole lot of time (10 minutes? I've never timed myself) but I tend to underestimate how long these tasks will take.
We served this with a homemade honey-mustard sauce (about 2 Tbsp honey and 1 Tbsp of mustard combined) and BBQ sauce. We don't keep ketchup in the house but you couldn't go wrong with that, either. This would be great with a wheatberry salad as well as a salad or sauteed green beans!
Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders
Taken from: Blissfully Delicious
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter or canola oil (I used butter)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (I used white whole wheat)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 egg + 1 egg white (I omitted the egg white and it was the perfect amount)
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 lb chicken tenderloins (or boneless, skinless breasts), cut into 3/4-inch strips
- Optional sauce: serve with honey-mustard sauce (the basic ratio for honey-mustard is 2:1 although adjust to taste)
- Preheat oven to 475 F. Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and spray the rack with cooking spray (I like the baking sheet with aluminum foil for easier clean up).
- Combine the breadcrumbs and oil/butter in a 12-inch skillet, and cook over medium to medium-high heat, stirring almost constantly, until golden brown.
- Transfer the breadcrumbs to a wide, shallow dish and set aside to cool. Mix the flour, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper together in a second wide and shallow dish. Add the egg, water, Dijon mustard and thyme to a third dish and whisk vigorously.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture (shaking to remove excess) then dip in the egg whites coating both sides completely. Finally, place in the toasted breadcrumbs, turning to coat both sides. Transfer to the wire rack and repeat with all chicken.
- Spray the chicken lightly with cooking spray then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.