I'm always on the hunt for easy, healthy dinners my whole family will eat. I have two toddlers and you never know when their favorite dinner is suddenly the worst possible thing you could ever serve them! (If you have a toddler, you know what I mean...) My last attempt at serving a breaded baked chicken did not go well, so I wasn't hopeful with this one. I am pleased to say this was a HIT with my whole family. For the first time in a long time, all four of us ate the same dinner. That's huge.
I used panko-style bread crumbs for a lighter, crispier coating. This was the first time I've cooked with panko (Japanese style bread crumbs) and I loved the way it turned out! Will definitely do that again. You can find panko breadcrumbs in the Asian food section at your grocery store. We also loved the "dunkers" (reserved dipping sauce) - a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, a lot bit delicious. Served this with my "easy sides" (rice and roasted veggie - this time it was asparagus).
Yields: about 24 tenders
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours (including 30 minutes marinating time)
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (I used Panko style bread crumbs)
Olive oil or canola oil cooking spray
1. Combine barbecue sauce, mustard and honey in a large bowl. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce in a small bowl. Cut any large chicken tenders in half lengthwise, then add all the tenders to the large bowl with the remaining sauce; stir to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray (or cover with parchment paper).
3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Lightly beat eggs in another shallow dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow dish.
4. Coat each tender in flour, shaking off any excess. Dip in egg and let any excess drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess. Place the tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
5. Generously coat both sides of each tender with cooking spray.
6. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn each tender over and continue baking until the outside is crisp and the tenders are cooked through, about 10 minutes more.
7. Serve with the reserved sauce for dipping.