Sunday, April 10, 2011

Homemade Chicken Tenders Recipe

I'm always eager to try new recipes. Have you seen the new Philly's cream cheese mix-in commercial where they explain all the way to make Chicken....and that you know two. Well, sometimes that's how it feels in our house. We love our chicken, however sometimes it's so hard to be creative...and healthy -- The clincher! Since the new year started, I've been try to cook and eat in a healthier way. It's hard now that we've moved to the South. Paula Deen (ya'll) influences me with her butter, oil, deep frying, etc. I can't resist. It's just too scrumptious.

Yet, I'm trying to learn healthier ways and so far it's going okay. This recipe is for homemade chicken tenders. Now before I tell you where the recipe comes from, just try and keep an open mind. Ready? It's from Eating for Pregnancy by Catherine Jones and Rose Ann Hudson. Okay, so trust me on this one. They're really good.

These can't be eaten without my homemade mashed potatoes and broccoli!

Homemade Chicken Tenders
These are packed with protein, iron, B vitamins, and folic acid. They can be baked and enjoyed right away or frozen for a quick meal.
Makes about 10-15 strips

2 Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat flour on mine)
1 cup plain or seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
A pinch of Old Bay Seasoning, Italian herbs, or dried oregeno (I use more than a pinch of Old Bay)
2 large eggs
Canola oil cooking spray 

1. Preheat oven to 450*. NOTE: I normally set up everything first, then pop my cookie sheet in the oven while I cut the chicken breasts. Then I take out the cookie sheet right before I coat the chicken and then immediatly but the coated chicken on the cookie sheet.

2. Place the flour in a bowl and set aside. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and seasonings into another bowl and mix well; set aside. Place the eggs in a bowl and beat; set aside.

3. Cut boneless chicken breasts diagonally into strips. Don't worry too much about shape and size. I always just wing it to "tender" size. Set tenders aside.

4. Set up your workstation: chicken tenders, flour, eggs, bread crumb mixture. Using your dry hand, place about 3-4 of the tenders in the flour, gently tossing to coat all sides. Transfer the tenders to the eggs and coat them with egg using your other (wet) hand, then transfer them to the bread crumbs. Using your dry hand, cover the tenders with bread crumbs, pressing gently so they adhere, then place the breaded tenders onto the cookie sheet (Don't forget to spray with the Canola oil!). Repeat until all tenders are coated.

5. Before putting tenders in the oven, spray the tenders with the Canola spray and pop in oven. Bake for 20 minutes (or until cooked through), turning once halfway through.

And that's it! They're so easy, healthier than deep frying or ordering out some chicken strips and you can make up any sauce you want. BBQ sauce is a staple in our house but I've been known the throw mine in a bag with some hot wing sauce for an extra kick. Enjoy.

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