Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

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There are many benefits to making a freezer-aisle staple like chicken tenders at home: not only do you get to control the ingredients in the recipe, but it can be a fun project to master this classic three-step breading process of flour, egg, and breadcrumb coating. Once you’ve got the hang of this method, it works with a variety of meats and vegetables. For example, if you wanted to make chicken-fried steak (well… an oven-baked version in this case), this method would work. Eggplant would work equally well, too. Bonus: This big-batch recipe makes 12 servings so that you’ll can get a few different dinners out of one session of cooking.

Chicken Tenders
Photo: Greg DuPree
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Yield:
3 to 12 batches of tenders

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray 

  • 3 pounds chicken tenders or skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into ½-in.-thick strips

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ teaspoons paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 large eggs

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 4 cups Panko breadcrumbs, divided 

  • ½ cup mayonnaise

  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard

  • 3 tablespoons honey 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

  2. Whisk flour, paprika, ground mustard, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Beat eggs and milk in another large bowl.

  3. Melt half of the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add 2 cups Panko and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a shallow baking dish. Repeat with remaining butter and Panko; transfer to baking dish. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper.

  4. Working in batches, dredge tenders in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg wash, letting excess drip off, and coat with Panko, pressing to adhere. Bake or freeze.

  5. To bake one batch: Place 12 tenders on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden on undersides, 6 to 8 minutes. Spray tenders with cooking spray, flip, and cook until golden and crisp all over, 6 to 8 minutes more. Stir together mayonnaise, Dijon, and honey. Serve with tenders.

  6. To Freeze: Arrange uncooked tenders in a shallow baking dish with parchment paper between layers. Freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Transfer to resealable freezer bags and freeze for up to 1 month.

  7. To bake from frozen: Place frozen, unthawed tenders on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden on under- sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Spray tenders with cooking spray, flip, and cook until golden and crisp all over, 12 to 15 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

400 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 21%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 154mg 51%
Sodium 548mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 31g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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