Chicken tenders may be a staple of kids’ menus across the country, but there’s no substitution for the quick-and-easy crunch cooked up in your own kitchen. In this recipe by food writer April Hamilton, a regular ol’ oven takes the place of boiling oil, meaning that even kids can get in on the action.
OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN TENDERS
1 cup panko
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. olive oil
4 boneless chicken breast halves, about 1½ lbs. total
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle position. Line 1 large or 2 small rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine panko with salt, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow baking dish. Stir together, then drizzle with olive oil and mix it in.
Slice chicken on the diagonal into ¾-inch strips. Toss with mustard to lightly coat each strip. Transfer chicken to dish with panko and toss well to coat, pressing crumbs into any bare spots on chicken. Arrange coated chicken strips on prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between them. Bake on middle oven rack for 10 minutes. Carefully remove sheet from oven and, using tongs, turn chicken over. Continue cooking until chicken is done, about 8 to 10 minutes longer (remove 1 piece and cut in half to ensure it’s no longer pink in the middle).
Let cool a few minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a serving platter with a sauce for dipping.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.