Chicken tenders are a great weekend or party food. Kids and adults can agree upon them, and they require tasty dipping sauces. What more to love?
Sadly, they can be expensive to buy on a regular basis. Also, store bought chicken tenders lack the nutrition benefits of homemade ones. My son adores chicken tenders for snack, but often I hesitate when it comes to processed or fried foods. Plus, you can't beat the taste of homemade.
Finally, a solution: inexpensive, savory, lightly seasoned chicken tenders with a grown-up twist.
After baking, the bleu cheese is very subtle, and perfectly suitable for kids. My son dove in without a second thought. It adds a creamy texture, without overpowering the chicken. The rosemary brings out the toasted taste of the breading.
For the adults, the bleu cheese and rosemary is sophisticated enough to serve at a children's party or for a nice afternoon watching the game with some cocktails.
Step 1: Assemble Ingredients
Bleu Cheese Chicken Tenders
Active Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Cost: $10- 15
For this project, you will need the following:
12 chicken tenders, frozen
2-3 tablespoons water
1 1/3 cups panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon powdered rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz. bleu cheese (1/2 cup solid,not crumbled)
canola or vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
3 mixing bowls (small, medium, and large)
dry measuring cups
fork or whisk
Step 2: Prepare the Egg Wash
1. Crack 3 eggs into the small bowl. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water.
2. Beat the eggs with a fork until they are an even light yellow. The eggs are ready when they drip through the fork with ease.
Step 3: Prepare the Bleu Cheese Breading
1. Add the panko bread crumbs to the medium sized bowl. Stir in the powdered rosemary (if using whole, chop with a knife or food processor until finely powdered). Add the salt. Toss all ingredients together until blended.
2. With a cutting board and knife, or clean fingers, finely crumble the bleu cheese into the bowl.
3. With clean fingers, scrunch the bleu cheese and panko bread crumbs together until they form a fine powder. The texture of the panko will break apart the bleu cheese, but retain its dry texture. When all bread crumbs are an even blue color, you're ready to go.
Step 4: Defrost the Tenders
1. Quickly defrost the chicken tenders in the microwave. A speed defrost setting for 5 to 10 minutes will be enough, depending on the strength of your microwave.
Step 5: Assemble and Bake the Tenders
1. Oil the baking tray. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Line up all three bowls in order next to the baking tray.
3. Wash your hands before and after dipping the tenders. Raw chicken poses a food safety risk. Do not interrupt this task to do anything else.
4. Place a paper towel on your cutting board to dry off the thawed chicken.
5. Take a piece of raw chicken and dry it off. Dip it into the egg wash, coat it thoroughly, and let any extra drip. Dip it into the breading. Press down slightly on each side. Let any extra breading fall away. Place the breaded tender on the oiled baking sheet.
6. Repeat with the other tenders.
7. Bake the tenders in a preheated oven at 400 F for 20 minutes. At this point, they will be fully cooked.
8. For a darker crust, without drying them out, briefly broil them for 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Tenders
For a sophisticated game day party, or a nice, casual lunch with your kids, this chicken tender recipe is a great option. These chicken tenders taste particularly good when dipped in bleu cheese dressing instead of ranch.