Chicken tenders and nuggets – three ways

A year or so ago I was watching an episode of Rachael Ray (that’s what I did when I was unemployed) and she made chicken tenders by breading them in crushed pretzels. Zach and I thought this looked awesome, so we tried it, and they tasted great. The problem with them is that they dirty a LOT of dishes.

The other day I decided to make honey sesame chicken, and the recipe that I based mine around used a different method to the breading.

Last night I tried to incorporate that new (actually very old) method into regular chicken tenders.

All three taste great. The pretzel chicken is interesting, but I’m honestly not sure it’s worth the extra mess, unless you’re going to be making a lot of them. They are fun because you can buy so many different flavors of pretzels now, that you can really vary the taste of the chicken tender.

On all of these you want to start with good quality chicken. It’s the main part of this recipe, don’t buy stuff that looks nasty.

We’ll start with the Pretzel Chicken recipe and move on from there.

Pretzel Chicken

Raw chicken tenders
Flour
Milk
Egg
Pretzel crumbs (food process works great for this)
Spices (garlic, onion powder, Bojangles seasoning, salt, pepper, anything that sounds good to you!)
Olive oil for cooking

Rinse the chicken tenders and pat dry. Pour the flour into a bowl, the milk and egg in a bowl, and the pretzel crumbs in a third bowl. Dip the chicken tenders into the flour, then the milk/egg, then the pretzels. You can repeat this if you want a thicker crunchier coating.

Pour olive oil into a large skillet until it is deep enough to come more than halfway up the sides of the chicken tenders. Heat on medium high. Drop a little piece of the breading into the oil to see if it’s hot enough, it should immediately start sizzling like crazy.

Lay a single layer of chicken tenders in the skillet, being careful not to crowd the pan. Let cook for aproximately 5 minutes, you want it to be nice and golden brown. Flip the tenders and cook until the other side is golden brown. You want a meat thermometer to read at least 165. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, then cut a tender open and see if there is any pink left.

Place the chicken tenders on a towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken.

If you feel like the outside is cooking too quickly and the inside is not done yet, you can finish these off in the oven.

Chicken Tenders recipe 2

Raw chicken tenders
Wochestershire sauce
Garlic powder
Paprika
Cornstarch
Flour
Olive oil for cooking

Place chicken tenders in a bowl with enough wocestershire sauce to cover the bottom. Sprinkle with a heafty dash of garlic powder and paprika (I also used a heafty dose of bojangles seasoning, but I’m assuming most people don’t have any of that). Let them marinate for at least 10 minutes, an hour or two is better.

Give them a sprinkle with a tablespoon or two of cornstarch (don’t drain them or take them out of the wocestershire sauce!). Then start adding flour by the handfull (or scoop full), making sure to thouroughly coat the chicken and absorb the wocestershire. If you want a thicker breading, then drizzle some melted margarine or some chicken stock on top, and then coat with more flour. Don’t worry about putting too much flour, any excess just won’t stick.

Follow the directions from the pretzel chicken for cooking.

chicken tenderschicken tenders

Honey Sesame Chicken

Raw chicken tenders cut into chunks that are aproximately 1 inch square
Soy sauce
Garlic powder
Paprika
Cornstarch
Flour
Olive oil for cooking
Sesame Seeds
Altered polynesian sauce

Follow the directions from the chicken tenders recipe directly above, but substitute soy sauce for the wocestershire.

Alter the polynesian sauce recipe by using soy sauce instead of wochestershire. If you have any bell peppers on hand, saute a handfull of minced bell pepper, and add it to the sauce. If it is too runny, sprinkle some corn starch in it and stir well.

After they are cooked, drizzle them with polynesian sauce to coat. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Serve over rice with whatever veggies sound good. Maybe brocolli (if you like that evil flower), bell pepper slices, and water chesnuts.

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