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Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch

I admit it, I love chicken tenders from fast food joints.  Ok, so I pretty much love anything breaded and deep fried-let’s just say its one of my many weaknesses in this world!  What I don’t love about them is all the added grease (often partially hydrogenated), preservatives, and  poor-quality meat that comes from fast-food restaurants.  So I say, why not skip the deep fryer, and make it at home with good ingredients? This recipe for Panko Chicken Tenders offers a much healthier alternative than the drive through, and the best part is it actually tastes way better!  Plus, you can sit in the comfort of your own home and drink a beer alongside it.  Do they serve beer at Mc Donalds?  I don’t think so!

Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

I have to say, the Panko crumbs are what make this dish dynamic.  For years, I used regular bread crumbs to dredge my chicken, and then one day I discovered Panko crumbs, and I’ve never gone back.  If you are wondering where to find them, look in the Asian food section of your grocery store; it is a pretty common ingredient that is readily available in most stores.  These Japanese-style crumbs add a wonderful, light crunch to the chicken, and seal in the moisture to make perfect chicken tenders every time.  The secret to cooking tasty chicken tenders is all in the cooking temperature.  Don’t forget to drop the temperature down to medium-low after they start to get a good sizzle in the pan.  That way, you can continue to cook the chicken all the way through, while keeping a nice golden crust on the outside.

Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.

Mmmm, there is nothing quite like a hot chicken tender dipped ranch dressing!  Whip up the ranch dressing first, and then chill in the refrigerator so the flavors develop while you cook the chicken.

If you are in the mood for a little southwestern flavor, these chicken fingers would also pair well with Roasted Poblano Ranch, made with yogurt.  Get the recipe here.

Enjoy!

Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch. Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.
Print Recipe
Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch
Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch to these chicken tenders, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.
Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Panko Chicken Tenders with Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. Panko crumbs add the perfect crunch, while locking in juiciness! Pair with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing.
Instructions
  1. To make the buttermilk ranch: Mix buttermilk, mayonnaise, onion, garlic, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp salt, a pinch of pepper, and parsley in a bowl. Chill in refrigerator while cooking chicken.
  2. To make the chicken strips: Line up 3 bowls in a row on the counter to dredge the chicken. In the first bowl, mix the flour, 3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp oregano, and 1/4 tsp pepper. In the 2nd bowl, beat the egg and 1 TBS buttermilk together with a fork. In the 3rd bowl, add the Panko crumbs.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. When hot, add 2-3 TBS olive oil, so there is a thin layer in the bottom of the pan.
  4. Working in batches, dredge the chicken strips in the flour mixture, making sure to shake off excess each time. Next, dip the chicken in the the egg mixture. Then, dip the chicken in the Panko crumbs, and make sure all sides are coated.
  5. Add the first batch of the Panko-crusted chicken the pan, making sure there is only a single layer (do not crowd pan). Once you hear a sizzle, turn the heat to medium low, and fry chicken a couple minutes on each side, until golden, but not burned. When chicken is done (you may need to slice one open to make sure it is no longer pink inside), transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat this process until all batches of chicken are done.
  6. Serve hot with buttermilk ranch dressing. Enjoy!
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