I must admit chicken tenders have never been in my regular dinner rotation, for a couple of reasons. When the kids were young, it was a treat to go to a restaurant, made even more special when ordering something that we normally didn’t cook at home. Back then anything to get the kids excited about food, and behave in a restaurant was a win-win for all of us.
Last week knowing we had a hectic few days ahead of us, I found myself in the grocery store searching for something quick, easy and filling for dinner. I wandered the store a few times, looking for that elusive dinner item. Then, I spied the chicken tenders, the perfect size – ready to be tossed in a flour mixture, dragged through beaten egg (or coconut cream if you are dairy free) then pressed into gluten free panko and coconut to make them perfectly crispy – even though they are baked and not fried.
With a nice dipping sauce and salad on the side, dinner solved! Well, for today at least …..
- 4 5 tablespoons unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 12 boneless skinless chicken tenders or 4 chicken breasts cut into strips
- 2/3 cup corn masa flour or 1/3 cup coconut flour + 1/3 cup potato or tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large eggs beaten or 1 15 oz can of coconut cream
- 1/3 gluten free panko
- 1/2 shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise or vegan replacement
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tbsp white vine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Place butter or coconut oil on a large rimmed baking tray and melt in oven for a few minutes. Remove and set aside.
In a large zip-top freezer bag, combine the flour, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and pepper.
Add the chicken and shake well to coat, set aside.
In a large shallow bowl, add the eggs or coconut cream, set aside.
In another shallow bowl combine both types of coconut, panko, basil and parsley.
Remove the chicken from the bag and dip in the egg/cream to coat well, I use tongs for this.
Then roll around in the panko coconut mixture until well coated.
Place on heated sheet pan and slide into oven on the bottom rack and bake for about 12 minutes, or until underside is browned and crispy, then using clean tongs turn over and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes to brown the underside.
If not nicely browned place on higher rack and broil a few minutes more.
Remove chicken to large plate lined with paper towels.
Add all ingredients for dipping sauce to small bowl and whisk until mixed well.