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!
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.
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.