Chicken tenders are always on the kid’s menu, but it really should belong on everyone’s menu – no youngins in my household but we make sure to always carry tenders. Between the breast and the tenders, I will always go for the tenders (unless there’s a noticeable price difference). Its name literally describes its taste… chicken tenders are tender! Of all the quarantine meals, this was the one that I kept coming back to. Why? Because it’s SUPER easy, tasty and is a crowd pleaser. I’ve made this meal three times in quarantine and I don’t plan on stopping after!
Without further adieu (because I’m just so excited for you to try it yourself!) – I give you the recipe.
Crispy Chicken Tenders
I N G R E D I E N T S:
- 6-8 Chicken Tenders (or cut up 2-3 chicken breasts into strips and pound)
- 1 Large Egg
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Lemon
- 5 Garlic Clove Minced
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp pepper
- ½ Tbsp Dry Parsley
- Hot Sauce * (I’ve always wanted to add hot sauce to this mix but forget so if you want to try spicy tenders – add some hot sauce)
- 1 Cup Panko
- ½ Tsp Paprika
- ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ Tsp Onion Powder
- ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese* (optional if you have, if you don’t is okay. Can use cheddar cheese or any other shredded cheese)
I N S T RU C T I O N S:
- Mix all ingredients for Wet Mix together then marinate the chicken in it for 1 hour, if not however many minutes you can before cooking is ok. Marinating makes for softer tenders. I marinate them in a ziplock bag so I can slosh around to make sure the wet mixture coats all the chicken.
- Mix together all dry ingredients together in a bowl with a wide opening .
- Take each tender out and press into the dry mix to coat the chicken.
- Pop into the air fryer and lightly spray with cooking oil for a golden-brown finish. Cook at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Flip half way.
- The time and temp is for the Cuisine Art T60 Air Fryer which runs a little hotter than most basket ones. For the basket air fryers 400 degrees at 15 minutes should be good.
- Spraying the cooking oil on the tenders before baking is not necessary but it is does get a nice golden brown color perfect for the gram.
- I’ve used chicken breast in lieu of tenders (the breasts were cheaper than tenders at the grocery store!) and they worked out fine as well. I cut each breast into 2-3 pieces depending on the side of the breast. Then I pound down each piece so that they are uniform in width to insure even cooking, and follow the same process I would for tenders.
- If you don’t have an air fryer you can easily do this in the oven! Add the chicken on top of a wire rack with a baking pan below. Cooking the panko-crusted tenders on a wire rack vs flat on a baking sheet will make them crisp evenly. Laying flat on a baking pan may cause the bottom layer to be a little soggy.
- Eat these alone with your favorite sauce, accompanied with sides, or even on top of a salad. The chicken tenders are versatile and can be repeats for different meals. I’ve made this for the fam with a honey mustard sauce, with mac and cheese and broccoli, and even on top of a brussels sprout salad! All three times it was well received. You can’t go wrong with some plain ol ketchup and bbq sauce either!
- TSA Approved: Carry these tenders on with you to any flight, they make for a great pre-flight, in-flight, or post-flight meal. If you are eating with a dipping sauce, make sure the quantity is 3oz and below.