I’ve made these tenders before, but it’s been a while, and I don’t know that I put enough emphasis on the positive aspects of the technique involved.
The usual 3 dish (seasoned flour, beaten egg and seasoned bread crumbs) method for preparing these tenders/fingers, or even chicken cutlets, usually ends up with flour and beaten egg to discard. By combining the flour and egg (only ONE) into a single step, along with some flavourings, the wastage is minimized. You can easily batter up to one pound of chicken pieces in the batter. You may also reduce the crumb wastage by judicious addition of the crumbs over the top of your chicken pieces. Another feature of this technique is the addition of the mustard, for flavour, and the mayonnaise, for moisture retention. In the past, I’ve spread mayonnaise or Miracle Whip over the top of a skinless chicken breast and then dipped the breast into seasoned bread crumbs and baking. This is incorporated into the technique.
Battered, Crumbed and Baked Chicken Tenders – for 2
250 gm /1/2 lb chicken tenders or skinless and boned thighs, cut in half, try to get all your chicken about the same thickness
~ 1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
Batter – makes enough batter for 500 gm/1 lb of chicken tenders
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard (or any other mustard of choice)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
oil spray or vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 200C/390F, spray a baking sheet with vegetable spray or brush on a thin layer of vegetable oil. If using parchment paper, to reduce cleaning, you should still use the spray/oil as it will help promote browning.
In a metal pie tin, add your bread crumbs and set aside.
Place the batter ingredients in a medium sized, shallow bowl (a 1 lb margarine tub works for me) and whisk with a fork until combined.
Add the chicken pieces, a few at a time, to the batter, using a fork to turn the chicken over to coat both sides, and letting the excess drip off. Transfer the chicken pieces, still using the fork, to the bread crumbs and shake the pie tin back and forth gently to help coat the bottom of the chicken with the crumbs. With clean dry fingers, sprinkle some of the bread crumbs over the top of the chicken pieces, then gently turn them over to make sure all sides are crumbed.
Place the crumbed chicken onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on thickness. You may want to turn over the pieces about half way through the baking to get both sides crisped and slightly browned. Don’t bake too long or any thinner parts of the chicken will dry out.
Serve immediately with dipping sauce of your choice. ie honey mustard, ranch dressing or spicy Sriracha mayo.
Sriracha Mayo – serves 1
1 tbsp of your favourite mayonnaise
Sriracha, to taste
Since I’m cooking for one, I utilize whatever mixing vessels are available, nearby … usually in my draining board.
The price tag was to remind me that I bought 0.856 kg of boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $10. The cutlets below served three and I have over a half kilogram chicken left.