Chicken tenders are a favorite of both young and old. They are easy to make and delicious. They make great finger food for a party or can also serve as a main course for dinner. I have included two popular sauces, honey mustard and sweet and sour. These are also good served with a marinara sauce.
1 – lb. chicken cutlet
3/4 – cup seasoned bread crumbs
3/4 – cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 – cup grated pecorino romano cheese
1 – cup all purpose flour
1 – egg
1/4 – cup milk
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
Rinse the chicken in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into strips and season with salt and black pepper. Set aside until ready to bread. Make an assembly line to bread the chicken. Place the flour on a flat plate; then whisk the egg, milk, a little salt, and black pepper in a bowl or deep dish that will accommodate the size of the meat. On a flat plate mix together the bread crumbs, pecorino cheese, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Take the seasoned chicken and lightly coat with the flour. Shake off any excess flour and dip in the egg mixture making sure to coat the chicken completely. Next, roll the chicken in the bread crumbs to cover the entire surface. Press down the meat firmly in the crumbs so they adhere to the meat. Place the breaded pieces on a plate, cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The cold helps the crumbs to become more firm and they adhere better to the meat. This will help to prevent the breading from coming off during frying.
Heat a little canola oil in a large skillet. Add the chicken, but do not over crowd the pan. Cook on a medium flame until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Check that the center is cooked through. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the tenders.
Sweet & Sour Sauce
3/4 – cup water
1/3 – cup brown sugar
1 1/2 – tbls. ketchup
3 – tbls. cider vinegar
1 – tbls. soy sauce (low sodium)
1 1/2 – tsp. corn starch
Pinch of salt
Put the water and brown sugar in a small sauce pan and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking on a simmer and stir until the ketchup is completely incorporated.
In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in about 2 tbls. water. Drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the sauce pan and stir constantly to avoid lumps. Continue cooking until it starts to thicken a little (the sauce should not be too thick, it should still run freely). This should only take about 3 minutes or so. Pour into a small bowl or container and let cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Honey Mustard Sauce
1/3 – cup mayonnaise
1 – tbls. Dijon mustard
2 – tbls. Honey
1 – tsp. Lemon juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.