Thursday, November 7, 2013

Parmesean Crusted Chicken Tenders

Some nights call for comfort food- like nights where it gets dark at five fifteen and the cold of winter starts to set in.  One of my favorite semi quick comfort foods to make are definitely chicken tenders. Easy and versatile, once you get the recipe down you can make it a bunch of different ways.

Tonight- it was quick chicken parmesan.
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
two sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of thyme (if you have fresh, use that- I just didn't)
garlic powder
1 egg beaten with water
vegetable oil
1. Salt and pepper the chicken tenders and trim off any nasty bits.
2. Set up an assembly line that consists of a scoop of flour seasoned with salt and pepper, the egg beaten with a bit of water. In the third pan mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, spices, and chopped up fresh herbs together.

3. Now comes the time to bread the chicken- use one hand for the wet and keep one dry. It prevents gummy fingers. First dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg, then roll it in the bread crumbs and pat them on to coat the chicken.  Once they are coated let them sit for a few minutes to allow everything to stick.  I just leave them on the cutting board until the oil gets hot.
4. Put about an inch to an inch and a half of oil in a pan and heat it over medium heat.  Once the oil ripples, it should be hot enough. You can test it by dropping a little piece of the bread crumb mix in and see if it starts to bubble.  Put about three chicken tenders in the pan at a time, allowing them to cook for five to six minutes turning if needed.  If they get very brown very fast, your oil is too hot.
5. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a cooling rack over a foil lined cookie sheet and after the tenders cook for five to six minutes remove them and place them on the cooling rack and place them in the oven.  It keeps them warm while you're cooking the other batches and makes sure if they need a minute or two more to cook through you're good to go. As you finish more batches, add them to the batch already in the oven.
Once they have all cooked through you're good to go.  I usually serve them with tomato sauce, cheese and a side of pasta for a quick chicken parmesan. You can also serve them with roasted potatoes and veggies- just coat the potatoes with time and rosemary so the flavors carry through.  
I love this recipe because from start to finish it takes maybe thirty minutes, and if you use paper plates for the flour/egg/breadcrumb mix and line the pans with foil it makes for a quick clean up. Its also fun to play with different herbs in the bread crumbs, like crushed red pepper and garlic for spicy tenders or really any combo of flavors you'd like.  

Try them- you wont be disappointed!


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