This dish is flavorful and welcomed alternative to fried chicken strips. Chicken tenders are coated in freshly grated Parmesan cheese, a touch of lemon zest and fresh bread crumbs and baked to crunchy perfection. Serve alongside TAK’s Basil-Lemon Honey Mustard Sauce or marinara for dipping.
I’ve got an issue with soggy bread. I. Just. Don’t. Like. It. For instance, I’ve tried many of times to make myself like French Onion Soup. I’ve got no beef with soup itself, but it’s the bread part of the dish I can’t bring my tastebuds to accept. This same textural issue applies to crust of any breaded chicken as well. If it’s not crunchy and crisp, I’ll likely have to pass. Growing up, I can recall my dear momma’s many attempts to make a healthier version of fried chicken via the shake and bake/oven method. Inevitably, at least one side of the chicken’s coating was waterlogged.
To escape any chance of one-sided mushiness, I put these tenders upon a rack and hit them up with a generous drizzle of olive oil. And, guess what? It worked. Hallelujah, it worked! Enjoy these flavorful baked tenders, in all their crunchy glory.
- 1 1/2 lb Chicken Breasts or Tenders
- 1 cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper separated
- 4 Egg Whites beaten until frothy white (about 1 minute)
- 2 1/4 cups Fresh Bread Crumbs
- 1 1/4 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Zest of 2 Lemons
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400° and have ready a large baking sheet fitted with a baking rack. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray.*
If you are working with chicken breasts rather than tenders, cut 1” strips against the direction of the grain and cut in half if desired for smaller pieces. Set aside until ready to use.
Place three breading trays, pie plates or shallow bowls in an assembly line. In the first tray, whisk together flour, salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add frothy egg whites to the second tray. For the third tray mix together fresh bread crumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest and 1teaspoon of pepper. Coat each strip evenly and thoroughly in the flour mixture, followed by the egg whites then the Parmesan and breadcrumb mixture.
Place each tender on the oiled rack, spacing them evenly apart so that there is room for air to circulate around each strip, promoting even cooking. Drizzle the strips evenly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turn over and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons. Bake for a total of 30 minutes.
Carefully remove from the rack almost immediately after coming out of the oven, serve alongside Basil-Lemon Honey Mustard and enjoy.
*As the parmesan cools down, it will likely stick to the baking rack, therefore oiling the rack is essential to making this recipe work. Transferring the strips quickly to a platter or serving plates will also aid in keeping the tenders from sticking.
Try Dipping in:
Would pair well with:
Creamy Parmesan Caesar Salad, Roasted Baby Dutch Potatoes, Wild Rice & Broccoli Casserole, Antipasto Pasta Salad, Baby Broccoli with Blender Bearnaise, Mascarpone Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Creamy Tomato & Basil Soup