These next words may get me in trouble given that I happen to live in the South, where golden brown, crispy fried chicken is a culinary staple, but these oven-baked chicken tenders are just as tasty, flavorful and texturally-fantastic as their fried counterparts.
The trick is the light coating of herbs, Parmesan and panko – or Japanese-style bread crumbs – which creates the required crunch (without the fat and grease of oil and chicken skin) and helps keep the chicken moist and juicy while it cooks. The result is an out-of-this-world little chicken nibble, that’s healthier and actually easier to make. No giant vat of splattering cooking oil here, folks. Try them alongside my classic buttermilk blue cheese dressing, or pair them with your other favorite dips or sauces.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken tenders (purchased, or thinly cut from chicken breasts)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, thoroughly whisked
- 1-1/2 cup panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs), usually found in the Asian section of supermarkets
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill one mixing bowl with the flour, another with the whisked eggs, and a third with the panko, Parmesan, rosemary, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to evenly combine the panko mixture.
- Dredge each chicken piece in the flour, until evenly coated, then dip in the egg mixture, and finally in the panko mixture, pressing the panko gently against the chicken to thoroughly coat.
- Place the chicken on an oven-safe rack on a sheet pan, and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Smaller tenders will cook more quickly. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.