Cooking On A Budget: Easy Weeknight Chicken Tenders

Friday, October 30, 2015

Easy Weeknight Chicken Tenders

Using a spicy panko breading, these Easy Weeknight Chicken Tenders are on the table in 30 minutes.

I am so impressed with the flavor of this panko breading mix. In fact I use the same one in my recipe for Shake and Bakish Pork. It has everyday spices you'll certainly have in your pantry and when mixed with the panko crumbs gives you a delicious and crunchy coated chicken.
Originally my thought was to re-create a chicken nugget because for some reason, kids love them. But I can't stand all the chemicals in the processed foods and frankly I think the breading on a national brand is just horrid in every sense of the word! These chicken tenders contain no chemicals and there's enough spice in the breading to lift up the flavor of the chicken. Let's face it chicken can be so boring on it's own - it needs some love. What happened was I switched gears and I really think your kids will love these too.

This dinner is on the table in 30 minutes from start to finish and it's a family recipe that everyone is going to really enjoy. Convenient, quick, easy, and because it's baked (there's only a little bit of oil in the recipe), and it's served with a salad it's a healthy way of eating. At the bottom of the post you'll find out just how inexpensive this meal is as well.

The oil used in the recipe not only helps the crumbs adhere to the tenders but it also helps in the browning process. That is why you do not need to turn the tenders over during the cooking process.
  • 8 chicken tenders
  • 1 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs or plain regular bread crumb
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
  • 1-2 tbsp. oil (vegetable is fine)
  • 1 tsp. salt (plus a little extra for the chicken)
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper (plus a little extra for the chicken)
  1. In your food processor combine the panko and all of the spices. Blitz until you have a fine crumb and the oil is fully incorporated and not a mass of clumps. 
  2. Be sure to prepare the chicken tenders properly. Rinse them under cold water. Remove any of the silver skin and that pale yellow looking tendon. You don't want to bite into that.
  3. Wet the chicken with water and then lightly sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Remember you need to season the meat itself.
  4. Place the coating in a zip lock bag and shake until they are well coated. You could also use a dish and dredge them that way.
  5. Bake on a foil lined baking tray at 425° for about 18-20 minutes. They should be a wonderful golden brown and the internal temperature at 165°.
Prep time: 8-10 minutes
Cook time: 18-20
Servings: 4-6

The chicken comes out perfectly cooked. It's tender (no pun intended) and it's moist. 

The on sale price at the store for tenders gave us a package of 16 tenders for $6.66, each chicken tender would then cost 41¢. We split our pack up with 8 in each one. The other went in the freezer for use later on. You can feed your family these chicken tenders and salad (a bag mix) for $7.63! Feeds four for $1.84. We felt we did not need a starch with this.

Serve these Easy Weeknight Chicken Tenders with your favorite dipping sauce(s). The one I made is just a combination of some mayonnaise and ketchup. Easy, peasy.

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