Even if you’re not eating French fries for a whole year, deep fried and heavily battered chicken tenders, while absolutely delicious, can still ruin a perfectly good diet.
On a health kick, my father threw together baked chicken tenders, and, if done right, it’s a healthy and delicious way to eat chicken.
When I retire and open a bar in 40 years, we will serve these little bundles of joy —
Dish #4 — Virtually Fat-Free Chicken Tenders
40 minutes — About $15
You can save a few dollars buying whole boneless chicken breasts and cutting them yourself, but they sell handy tenderloins, already cut up.
Pre-heat a traditional oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
You need two things to bread meat: a batter and a breading.
To prepare the breading, pour about half a standard-sized canister of Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs into some kind of flat container that’s large enough to fit the chicken pieces. Add a teaspoon of salt, tablespoon of ground black pepper, two teaspoons of cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of paprika, and two teaspoons of parsley. These are rough estimates. Just shake some in.
Shake it up.
You can be creative here. You can crush Ritz crackers or saltines or even Cheese-Its!
To prepare the batter, pour some liquid egg whites into another flat container. Add a quarter cup of water and a few teaspoons of olive oil. Mix well.
You can use whole eggs, but you are adding a bit more fat and cholesterol. I use whole eggs usually, because I have them lying around. Liquid egg whites are amazingly useful but a bit expensive.
The eggs and olive oil are the only real fats in the chicken. The olive oil is needed because it helps brown up the chicken. You can take it out if you’re really concerned about the fat, but it’s all good, trust me.
Take each chicken piece and trim any visible white stuff (fat and some tendons).
Now, this next part is very important.
Crumbs, egg, crumbs!
Flip the chicken over in the crumbs. Then place it in the egg and make sure all surfaces are coated. Allow the excess to drip off. Then flip it a few more times in the crumbs. With two fingers, pat the breading firmly onto the chicken. Flip. Repeat.
Place each chicken tender on a non-stick baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Flip the chicken over at the 15 minute mark. Make sure both sides are browned, and serve.
If you did it right, you’ll have delicious, crispy, tender, browned chicken tenders that only have a drop of healthy olive oil baked in.
Not fried. You’ll feel good afterward. Enjoy!
These go great with a cup of brown rice or some sauteed peppers and onions. I’ll be showing you how to make both in a few weeks!
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