baked chicken tenders

We didn’t go to restaurants all that often growing up, but anytime we did, you could pretty much guarantee that I would order the chicken tenders. There was one restaurant, in particular, Peppers on the Falls, in San Marcos, TX, where I vividly remember always ordering the chicken strip basket and a Cherry Coke. I’m pretty sure this was before Cherry Coke was an actual “thing” (does that age me?), so it was a coke with cherry syrup and a few actual cherries thrown in. Peppers on the Falls closed down while I was a pre-teen (which totally bummed me out since I ended up attending college in San Marcos), but my love for chicken strips lived on.

That is until I decided to quit fried foods.

That decision came sometime between my 18th and 19th birthdays, and while it’s not a “rule” I stick hard and fast to, it’s definitely one of my well-established habits. I’ve tried a few baked chicken strip recipes over the years, some of them pretty good, some of them terrible, but I’m always on the lookout for a new recipe to try. I stumbled across this Oven Fried Chicken recipe on Baked Bree and decided to turn it into oven fried chicken strips.

I won’t lie, I’m not a huge fan of buttermilk, so this recipe ended up just “okay” in my book overall. Weirdly, the chicken tasted great dipped in ranch dressing, but just so-so by itself or dipped in ketchup, mustard or barbecue sauce. I did love how crispy it ended up being, but the buttermilk flavor did me in. Next time I try these breaded and baked chicken tenders, I’ll probably experiment with marinades and do something that’s a little more spicy or lemony.

Note #1: The prep time does not account for the time it takes to marinade the chicken! You should leave yourself at least four hours to allow the chicken to marinade.

Note #2: The first six ingredients make up the marinade. If you want to experiment with marinades, switch out these ingredients for the marinade of your choice.

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Preparation time

15 minutes

Cook time

45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 to 12 chicken breast strips (or 4 chicken breasts cut into strips)
  • 4 cups corn flakes or wheat chex
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Mix the first six ingredients together in a bowl to make the marinade. Place the chicken tenders into a large freezer bag and pour the marinade over the top. Seal the bag and place it in the fridge for approximately four hours. Shake the bag to coat the chicken tenders thoroughly in the yogurt.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place an inexpensive cooling rack across the top of the foil.
  4. Crush the Corn Flakes or Wheat Chex, mix them with the olive oil, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper, to taste. Place the mixture in a bowl.
  5. Take the chicken out of the marinade and place each chicken tender in the cereal mixture. Use a fork to flip the chicken over until each piece of chicken is fully breaded. Place each chicken tender onto the cooling rack.
  6. Bake chicken tenders for 30 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Coating should brown slightly, but should not burn. Keep an eye on your chicken as it cooks - cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken strips.
  7. Serve with various dipping sauces. This recipe tastes best with ranch dressing, but experiment with whatever you have on hand.

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