You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but can you teach an old chicken new tricks? We think so. Chicken tenders have been an American classic since the late 1970s, “When American poultry processors began marketing the small, flat tender, or tenderloin, from the underside of the breast as a separate cut,” according to a David Sax, a writer for Saveur magazine. The chicken tender has since then become an American staple, rated the third most popular item on American menus in 2010 by the market research firm, Mintel Group. While the chicken tender is generally seen as a child’s menu item, it can easily be jazzed up with easy chicken recipes for a dinner that the whole family can enjoy.
New easy chicken recipes for an old chick:
- Use Panko for crust: Are you bored of the same ol’ breading? Try using panko for your chicken crust. Panko are bread crumbs used in Japanese cooking for coating fried foods. These Panko flakes are coarser than traditional breading, giving chicken and extra crunch.
- Bake chicken tenders: Instead of frying this childhood favorite, coat them in light mayo, dip them in breading, then bake them until crispy and golden. Baking your chicken tenders will make this typically fried dish just a bit healthier.
- Spicy chicken tenders: You don’t have to have breading that’s just cut, dry, and mild. Try adding hot sauce or some cayenne pepper to your favorite chicken tender recipe for an extra “kick.”
- Use cornflakes as breading: It’s time to put that extra box of cornflakes to good use. Dip your chicken tenders in flour, then crushed cornflakes and bake in the oven. There’s nothing more delicious than that!
- Turn this kid’s menu favorite into a sophisticated entree by putting your chicken tenders on skewers with thyme springs and lemon slice garnish. You can pair your fried treat with pineapple (which also tastes delicious with a crispy, fried crust).
- You can also add a bit of sophistication to your tender by combining the breading with shredded sweetened coconut to make a coconut chicken tender. Yum.
Taking your chick for a dip:
- Have you exhausted ketchup and gravy? Well, it’s probably impossible to exhaust delicious options like ketchup and gravy, but it never hurts to try something new! Try experimenting with your favorite chicken dips, taking these tips into consideration:
- Honey-dill sauces can pair well with a milder tender. All it takes is mayo, honey, and dill weed to make a great dipping sauce.
- Apricot dipping sauces can satisfy those with a sweet tooth. Just try mixing hoisin sauce with Dijon mustard and apricot jam for a wonderfully thick dipping sauce.
- Chili-Garlic sauces, using mayo as a base, can complement the flaky crust of just about any chicken tender.
Instead of eating old classics to the point of exhaustion, spice it up by making your favorite dishes in new ways. Experiment in the kitchen and try some of these easy chicken recipes for some show-stopping chicken tenders.