Homemade Chicken Tenders – A Healthier Version

A healthy alternative to every kids favorite

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As any busy parent knows time is a precious commodity, the more efficient you become with your time the less stress you will have. For this reason I like to bulk cook whenever possible. For instance if I am making homemade chicken tenders I make 3 or 4 times the amount needed. The left overs I simply freeze in individual servings for later use. It may add a few minutes but will save you hours down the road. Other times I do this is with macaroni and cheese, meatballs, soup and pretty much anything else.

Today we are Talking Homemade Chicken Tenders

Every kid loves them and every restaurant loves to make them as unhealthy as possible. There is no need to buy frozen and there is no reason to fry. In this example I will be using Panko bread crumbs however please note that they can be replaced with crushed corn flakes, plain special K or any similar cereal even crushed almonds. The substitutions are just as good and you more then likely have in your house already, also usually cheaper.

How to

First thing I do is place the skinless boneless tenders in a large bowl filled with plain Greek yogurt. If possible let them marinate overnight but if you do not have that time it is OK. The yogurt not only acts as a batter but it also will make the chicken moister. In the yogurt I add Italian seasoning,  garlic powder (not garlic salt) and basil to taste. I also squeeze the fresh juice from one lemon and then mix together.

Second I pour the bread crumbs of my choice on a plate and roll the tenders until covered completely. For a crunchy coating follow the instructions below. If your child does not prefer a crunchy out layer then place the chicken.

NOTE: Panko are Japanese breadcrumbs which are larger than standard breadcrumbs. Nowadays they are available in all major supermarkets, usually in the Asian section, and cost just a fraction more than ordinary breadcrumbs.

It is well worth using because the breadcrumb pieces are bigger so they create a far better “crunch” than standard breadcrumbs.

FOR CRUNCHY: PAN FRY the breadcrumbs with a bit of oil.

Finally I place a rack on a baking tray, not critical but bakes more evenly, and bake for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. Chicken should be 165 degrees and cooked thoroughly.

DIP: I use a packaged seasoning mix usually Ranch and make it with Greek Yogurt instead of sour cream. I use Hidden Valley

Family Activity?

This is also a great recipe because my daughter can make this with me. There is nothing to cut  or dangerous to do. Of course I do not let her use the oven but all the prep work can be done together. Its a great for bonding time and gives her a gift for life –  the ability to cook.

*always teach your kids kitchen safety including washing hands thoroughly  after touching raw meat