Sunday, January 29, 2012

Not-So-Boring Chicken Tenders...

I am one of those people who has a love-hate relationship with chicken.  It has to be jazz-ed up for me to truly enjoy it.  Plain old grilled chicken just doesn't do it for me these days and kind of grosses me out.  In fact, I told my husband the other night he treats me like a kid when we eat chicken...he always makes a comment like "you did pretty well tonight" when evaluating my plate at the end of the meal.  With this being said, I'm always looking for ways to add more flavor to our chicken dinners.  I've been making variations of this recipe for awhile now and I think this version is the best.  It has a great flavor, the buttermilk makes the chicken very tender, and I love the crunchy outside.  What I love is that it's very versatile:  we had it in chicken salads, but it goes perfect as a main course with your favorite side dishes as well. 

Remember my last post about being terrible at measuring things out? ... Well this is no exception, so I'm going to try  my best to give an accurate recipe... :)

Pretzel-Panko Baked Chicken Tenders
-1 package chicken tenders (about  pieces) or 1 package chicken breasts, cut into tender-sized pieces 
-1 pint buttermilk
-Panko breadcrumbs (I'm estimating 1 1/2 cups, but have more on hand in case you need it)
-1 cup crumbled pretzels (You can use a meat pounder to quickly break them up- no need to get out 
                                      the food processor)
-1 TSP garlic powder
-1/2 TSP Salt
-1 TSP Pepper
**If you are an almond lover, this breading also tastes great with crushed up slivered almonds added to it.

1.  "Marinate" the chicken tenders in buttermilk for at least 2 hours.  You can leave them in there up to about 12 hours, but don't go any longer-- it will tenderize it into mush and I don't think it's too sanitary! **Don't skip this step!  I've done it without and the tenders don't have the same flavor!
2.  Mix together in a shallow bowl (or anything you usually put breading in): Panko bread crumbs, crushed pretzels, garlic powder, salt, & pepper
3.  Take pieces of chicken from buttermilk and dip straight into the breading mixture.  You may have to press some of the mixture onto the chicken to make sure it sticks.
4.  This is where you have a choice:  I placed my chicken on a wire baking rack on a baking sheet, but if you don't have one, just spray a baking sheet.  When all of the tenders are lined up, spray them with olive oil cooking spray or if you have an olive oil spritzer- use that!  They need some sort of oil to crisp up, but don't go overboard:  keep it healthy, people.
5.  Bake @ 350 for about a half hour. (I'm also terrible at setting timers, so I hope this is accurate!)  Just make sure they've crisped up and cut into one to double-check that they are done.

ENJOY!!  -- Anyone have any other ideas on how to "jazz-up" chicken breasts?...


  1. Looks Amazing!... If I only ate chicken : / Haha!

  2. Thanks CK! ... Tofu tenders?? :) lol

  3. I found your blog on cute! definitely following. I will be making this chicken! Thanks
    Hope you visit back,
    The 3AM Teacher