Monica's favorite gear for
making Chicken Tenders
These Japanese-style bread crumbs add extra crunch to the breading.
These are normally used in the kitchen, but they work great for removing the tough tendons from the chicken tenders.
I use this versatile pan daily. It's the perfect size for baking a batch of chicken tenders or nuggets.
This durable rack is perfect for cooling baked goods. It conveniently fits inside a half-sheet pan, turning it into a baking rack for these chicken tenders and nuggets. Oven and dishwasher safe.
This economy-priced thermometer gives an ultra fast temperature for checking different parts of the turkey for doneness. (click below for my awesome Thermapen that is preferred by chefs)
These pasta or sald bowls are a great size for dipping batter and breading.

Healthy, Baked, Crispy Chicken Tenders or Nuggets


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Here are a few gift guides I made to help:

Baked Chicken Tenders or Nuggets

By Monica              3-4 servings
A whole-grain, crunchy breading and moist, tender interior results in healthy and delicious baked chicken tenders and nuggets. Make-ahead convenience, too. From TheYummyLife.com #chicken nuggets #chicken tenders #healthy #baked #kid food #appetizers #whole grain

A whole-grain, crunchy breading and moist, tender interior results in healthy and delicious baked chicken tenders and nuggets. Make-ahead convenience, too.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenders, tendons removed; for nuggets, cut chicken into 2" pieces
  • FOR BATTER:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • FOR BREADING:
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko crumbs (may use regular panko crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (optional for easy clean up). Place rack inside baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

MIX BATTER. In shallow bowl, combine batter ingredients: buttermilk, mayonnaise, egg, flour and salt. Whisk with a fork until evenly combined. Add chicken pieces to bowl of batter, tossing to completely coat. Set aside to marinate while mixing breading ingredients.

MIX BREADING. In second shallow bowl, combine breading ingredients: panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, pepper and salt. Stir with fork until evenly combined.

BREAD CHICKEN. Lift up a chicken piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Place in bowl of breading ingredients, cover completely with breading and press down to adhere breading to chicken. Use tongs to tranfer breaded chicken piece to prepared rack/pan. Repeat with remaining chicken.

BAKE 15-18 minutes (12-15 in for nuggets) until internal temperature of 165 degrees F and browned. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

SERVE WITH ranch or blue cheese dressing, ketchup or ketchup mixed with sriracha, marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, or other favorite dipping sauce.

TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE, place breaded, uncooked chicken pieces in single layer uncovered on pan/plate in freezer for 3-4 hours until frozen solid. Transfer to plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, freeze for up to 2 months. Follow baking directions above, extending baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.

REFRIGERATE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS. Cool baked chicken completely and place in sealed container. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat chicken in single layer on baking sheet at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. A toaster oven works well for small portions.

Today's recipe is a healthy version of oh-so-popular chicken nuggets and tenders. Unlike the fast-food fried versions, my nuggets and tenders are baked with a healthy whole grain, seasoned breading that is crunchy and flavorful. The chicken pieces have a moist, tender interior. These are so good that they're not just kid food in our house--my husband loves them! He was a very happy taster as I made test batches of nuggets and tenders for this recipe.

These can be a dinner main coarse for kids or adults, and the nugget version also makes a tasty appetizer. Serve a platter of nuggets with a dip or two, and watch them disappear in a flash! They're great for Game Day snacks. I also like to top a salad with this healthy, crunchy chicken.

Make-ahead convenience, too! You can make these ahead and refrigerate or freeze them. I'll explain how easy it is.

Step-by-step photos for making
Baked Chicken Tenders or Nuggets

 

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients.

  • chicken breast tenders 
  • whole wheat panko bread crumbs (you can substitute "regular" panko bread crumbs)--Why panko? They are extra crunchy!
  • all-purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • buttermilk
  • mayonnaise
  • olive oil
  • egg
  • parmesan cheese, grated
  • seasonings: kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder

view on Amazon:  whole wheat panko bread crumbs,

collage_ingredients_resize1400_titled_tm.jpg

Step 2: Remove the white tendon that runs through the chicken tenders. The tendon is tough and unpleasant to eat.

Here's a short video that shows you how to remove the tendons from the chicken using a fork and needle-nose pliers:

Click here to see it in action
Click to pause

Step 3. MIX THE BATTER. In a shallow bowl, combine buttermilk, mayonnaise, egg, flour and salt. Whisk with a fork until evenly combined.

view on Amazon:  shallow bowls (great for salads and soups, too)

IMG_2352_resize1400tm.jpg

Watch me mix the batter in this short video:

Click here to see it in action
Click to pause

Step 4. Add the chicken to the bowl of batter, tossing to completely coat every piece. Set aside to marinate while mixing the breading ingredients. 

collage_chickeninbatter_resizetm.jpg

Step 5.  MIX THE BREADING. In a second shallow bowl, combine panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, pepper and salt. Stir with a fork until evenly combined.

collage_breading_resize_tm.jpg

Step 6. Place a rack inside a baking pan and spray with cooking spray. Set tray near bowls of batter and breading.

view on Amazon:  half-sheet (13x18) baking pan, cooling rack (fits perfectly inside baking pan)IMG_2373resizetm_1.jpg

Step 7. BREAD THE CHICKEN. Use tongs to lift up a chicken piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Place it in the bowl of breading. Use a fork to toss breading onto the chicken, covering it completely with breading and pressing down with back of fork to adhere breading to chicken. Use clean tongs to transfer breaded chicken piece to prepared rack/pan.

This short video demonstrates how to batter and bread the chicken:

Click here to see it in action
Click to pause

For maximum crispiness, space the chicken pieces on the tray so they don't touch and the oven heat can circulate around them.

IMG_2401resize1400tm.jpg

Step 8. BAKE THE CHICKEN. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15-18 minutes until the chicken has reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and is browned. Use an instant-read thermometer to test temperature. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.

view instant-read thermometers:

collage_bakedtenders_resizetm.jpg

TO MAKE NUGGETS, cut chicken into 2" pieces before breading and baking following the same procedures. Bake nuggets for 12-15 minutes.collage_nuggets_resizetm.jpg

TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE, place the breaded, uncooked chicken pieces in a single layer uncovered on a pan/plate in freezer for 3-4 hours until frozen solid. (I line the pan with a silicone mat to prevent sticking.) Transfer to a plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible; freeze for up to 2 months. Follow baking directions above, extending baking time to 20 to 25 minutes. (NOTE: There's no need to thaw the chicken before baking.) By flash-freezing the chicken pieces first, they won't stick together when added to the freezer bag. That way it's easy to remove and reheat as many pieces as you want.

collage_freezing_resize1400tm.jpg


REFRIGERATE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS. Cool baked chicken completely and place in a sealed container. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. A toaster oven works well for reheating small portions.

collage_leftovers_resize1400tm.jpg

SERVE WITH ranch or blue cheese dressing, ketchup or ketchup mixed with sriracha, marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, or another favorite dipping sauce.

squareIMG_1189resize1400tm.jpg

For lunch, I love to slice one of these tenders to enjoy over a salad--yum!

squareIMG_1381resize1400tm.jpg

Every bite is tender and moist on the inside and crispy on the outside. You can enjoy all that without the added fat and calories of the fried version.

squareIMG_2430resize_tm.jpg

Make it a Yummy day!

Monica

Link directly to this recipe
Baked Chicken Tenders or Nuggets
By Monica              Servings: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. chicken breast tenders, tendons removed; for nuggets, cut chicken into 2" pieces
  • FOR BATTER:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • FOR BREADING:
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko crumbs (may use regular panko crumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil (optional for easy clean up). Place rack inside baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

MIX BATTER. In shallow bowl, combine batter ingredients: buttermilk, mayonnaise, egg, flour and salt. Whisk with a fork until evenly combined. Add chicken pieces to bowl of batter, tossing to completely coat. Set aside to marinate while mixing breading ingredients.

MIX BREADING. In second shallow bowl, combine breading ingredients: panko crumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, pepper and salt. Stir with fork until evenly combined.

BREAD CHICKEN. Lift up a chicken piece and allow excess batter to drip off. Place in bowl of breading ingredients, cover completely with breading and press down to adhere breading to chicken. Use tongs to tranfer breaded chicken piece to prepared rack/pan. Repeat with remaining chicken.

BAKE 15-18 minutes (12-15 in for nuggets) until internal temperature of 165 degrees F and browned. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.

SERVE WITH ranch or blue cheese dressing, ketchup or ketchup mixed with sriracha, marinara sauce, barbecue sauce, or other favorite dipping sauce.

TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE, place breaded, uncooked chicken pieces in single layer uncovered on pan/plate in freezer for 3-4 hours until frozen solid. Transfer to plastic freezer bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, freeze for up to 2 months. Follow baking directions above, extending baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.

REFRIGERATE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS. Cool baked chicken completely and place in sealed container. Refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat chicken in single layer on baking sheet at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes. A toaster oven works well for small portions.



Posted on Monday, November 4th, 2019

Looking for holiday gifts for the foodie in your life?
Here are a few gift guides I made to help:








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