Peeps, these are so easy and worth the few (quick!) minutes of prep to get them done. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your fridge and pantry. Not to mention they are healthy, fun to eat, and great for kids.
They take a few minutes longer than popping frozen nuggets in the oven, but they are SUPER easy, and you can feel good knowing what's in them! I promise they'll take you just about 10 minutes of prep time!
First, you get some stress relief by pounding out two chicken breasts, then slicing them up.
Dredging in the batter is as easy as 1-2-3! Here, I'm starting with my seasoned whole wheat flour mixture.
Egg/milk mixture is next.
And then, the panko flakes.
My recipe is below, but you really don't even need a recipe; you can just get the gist of what ingredients you'll need, then have at it!
Baked Chicken Tenders
*makes approx. 1 dozen chicken tenders; serves 2 adults for dinner or several kids
2 chicken breasts, trimmed of skin/fat
approx. 3/4 c all purpose or whole wheat flour
splash or two of milk (buttermilk would work great too)
approx. 3/4 c panko bread flakes
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper, optional (you could even do finely chopped rosemary leaves instead)
Preheat oven to 350.
Set up your dredging station. Get out three medium to large dishes or soup bowls and lay them side by side. Put the flour in the first one, adding approximately 1 t of salt and 1/2 t pepper. If using cayenne pepper, add now. Shake the dish or stir so the ingredients combine. Put the two eggs and a splash or two of milk in the second one; gently beat together. In the last one, pour in the panko flakes. Add a dash of salt and pepper (and cayenne or rosemary) if desired. Set dishes aside.
Spray non-stick cooking spray on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; set aside.
Get out two large pieces of wax paper and lay one on your cutting board. Put your two chicken breasts down, a few inches apart, on the wax paper. Cover the chicken with the other sheet of wax paper. Using a kitchen mallet (or small cast iron pan), beat the chicken breasts several times each until they have a relatively even flatness, about half an inch thick.
Remove top sheet of wax paper and slice the chicken breast into approximately 1 x 4 inch pieces, or whatever size you desire. Once all your chicken pieces are lined up, you're ready to dredge. Using one hand only (you'll want to keep the other one clean), dip the first chicken piece into the flour, being sure to cover all sides completely, and shaking off any excess batter. Then dip in the egg/milk mixture, and then in the panko. Place battered chicken tender on the baking sheet. Repeat with all chicken pieces.
Bake at 350 for approximately 20-25 minutes, until tenders are golden brown and cooked through. When you remove them from the oven, sprinkle a little sea salt on top of the hot tenders. Serve with fun dipping sauces such as BBQ, honey mustard, aioli, etc.
For a quick weeknight dinner, we paired ours with steamed artichokes. It was a dipping sauce kind of night.
I really hope you give these a try! Let me know if you do :) Enjoy!