What is it about chicken tenders that we think they are only for kids, teenagers or fussy eaters? I’m well past being a teenager and I’m not that fussy of an eater but man I love me a really great chicken tender. Now don’t get me started on those commercial ‘processed’ things they call chicken strips/tenders/what not. I don’t do fake anything and I’m CERTAINLY not doing a thing that is called a chicken strip/tender that is made from parts of the chicken that is ground up, processed and ‘formed’ into a chicken-type shape. Um no.. YUCK!
THIS is real chicken folks. Made from 1 single cut of chicken. Nothing mushed, pressed, formed, or whatever they do.
Since I tend to eat a very high protein diet, chicken is a staple in our house that we have at least once to twice a week. However you get bored with the same ol same ol. Now granted I have about 900 bajillion chicken recipes but even I get bored. Well this was one of those times. Remember the other day when I posted that Pecan Crusted Honey Dijon Tilapia? Well I love fish in a big way but for me, this glaze made the dish. And if you’re like most folks you either opt for ranch or honey mustard to dip your chicken in. Well I decided to go the honey ‘mustard’ route but adultize it by swapping out the yellow mustard for fancy schamncy Dijon. By itself, I can’t eat the Dijon stuff. It’s just too strong for me. But in this glaze the balance of heat and sweet pair so beautifully that it’s almost as perfect as my marriage to Mr. Fantabulous *wink*.
Now while I love me some fried foods (and my thighs loving them even more) I rarely ever fry something. However I’m human – I need that crunch factor. The best way to get killer crunch from a baked anything is to use Panko breadcrumbs. Combine that with a cooling rack, some cooking spray you’re on the train to Crunchville!
So put on your Engineer’s Cap, pull the train whistle and let’s go chugging down the track to Crunchville on the Flavor Express!
OMG.. yeah, I know that was just beyond corny! LOL BUT.. it made you giggle… and roll your eyes just once. But you’ll remember this post and this dish!
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 3 Tbl dijon-style mustard
- 2 Tbl honey
- 1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 8 thick chicken tenders
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Combine butter, honey and dijon in a small bowl.
- Line a pan with foil and place a baking rack on top.
- Spray the rack with non-stick spray.
- Pat the chicken dry.
- Coat both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.
- Lay the chicken on the rack and brush the tenders with the honey-mustard mixture lightly.
- Sprinkle the panko crumbs over the tenders coating them evenly and well.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the temperature reaches 165F.
- In the 1-2 minutes of baking put the oven to broil and the rack to the very top rung.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and drizzle 1-2 Tbl of the Honey Dijon glaze on top.
- Broil for 1-2 minutes or until the panko crumbs are golden brown and crispy.