Marinate, toast, bread, and bake.
That pretty much sums up this easy homemade chicken tender recipe. If your children are like mine, chicken fingers could be served daily.
Getting these homemade tenders flavorful and with the right amount of texture was tricky. What gives our chicken tenders restaurant-like authenticity is the crunch. Baking the panko breadcrumbs is a must. Throughout the recipe testing process we tried a handful of different marinades and the teriyaki was our family favorite every time. If you're not a fan of teriyaki, you can substitute just about any marinade and herbs to your liking.
What makes these teriyaki tenders healthy? They're baked not fried, they contain 'real' white meat from the chicken breast, and they're seasoned by you. Bonus, cleanup cannot be easier. One baking sheet is all you need. Now that's easy home cooking.
• 1 ½ c panko breadcrumbs, toasted
• ½ c teriyaki marinade
• 1 ½ lb chicken breast tenderloins (boneless and skinless)
• 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
• sea salt, to taste
• pepper, to taste
1. Place the chicken tenders in a Ziploc baggie with the teriyaki marinade and refrigerate for at least an hour. The longer the chicken marinates the tastier.
2. Set oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly coat with no-stick coconut spray.
3. Spread the breadcrumbs out on the parchment paper and season with sea salt and pepper.
4. Toast the breadcrumbs for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the breadcrumbs to cool for 5 minutes. Using the same baking sheet and parchment paper, add the fresh cilantro to the toasted breadcrumbs.
5. With a fork, evenly coat both sides of the chicken tenders with the breadcrumbs. Lay each tender flat on the baking sheet.
6. Place the tenders in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip the tenders, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until a cooking thermometer reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Serve immediately with your favorite healthy sides.
~Healthy Happy Eating!
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Helen Agresti is Registered Dietitian and founder of Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC, and The 24_7 dietitian app. Through her private practice, she provides Personal Nutrition Coaching (in person, via email, and FaceTime), cooking demos, lunch & learns, and corporate wellness presentations.
Helen has educated the public on healthy eating for over 16 years. Her passion is to convey the importance of eating real food and exercising regularly. Her current initiative is encouraging families to bring healthy dinners back to the table while dispelling the myth that it is difficult and time consuming.