Chicken tenders are a comfort food for many, but due to the calories added by deep-frying we usually reserve them for ordering occasionally as an appetizer at restaurants. This recipe makes it not only healthier by cutting out the oil and deep frying, but also allows you to do it in a quick and easy manner. These crispy oven-baked chicken tenders are absolutely delicious and they really are almost as crispy as if you’ve deep-fried them. Kids and adults alike will enjoy them, especially served with the suggested simple, but oh-so yummy, dip recipe! Let’s get started.
Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders – Recipe
For Crispy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders
- 1lb chicken tenders, cut lengthwise in half, washed and patted dry
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups breadcrumbs (to make your own, toast three thick slices of bread and process in a coffee grinder or food processor into coarse crumbs)
- ½ cup cheese, shredded (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp. ground dry red chilies, divided (optional)
- 2 Tbsp. mayo
- 2 Tbsp. ketchup
- 2 tsp. sriracha sauce
- 1 Tbsp. mango juice or mango jam (substitute orange jam or other similar tasting thick juice or jam)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Place on top oven rack to preheat.
- In a bowl, add chicken tenders, salt and pepper to taste and 1 tsp. of the ground dry red chilies (if using). Toss well to coat and set aside.
- Set up your dredging stations: 1. Set one large plate with flour (seasoned with salt and pepper), 2. Set a bowl next to it with two eggs, beaten, 3. Set a large plate with breadcrumbs, cheese (if using), salt and pepper to taste and the rest of the ground dry red chilies (if using) and combine well.
- Bring out the preheated baking tray, grease it with butter and set it carefully next to the 3rd dredging station. Place marinated chicken tenders before the first dredging station.
- Working quickly, dredge each chicken tender in the flour and shake off excess. Next dip it into the egg and let excess drip back down into the egg bowl and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture until well coated. Place carefully on the baking tray. Repeat for each of the other chicken tenders until there are none left. If you keep a bowl of water nearby, this will help remove excess breadcrumbs from your fingers.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then carefully turn each chicken tender over and bake for another 5 minutes. Turn off oven and remove chicken tenders to serving plate.
- While the chicken tenders are baking, mix all ingredients in the ‘dip’ section in a small ramekin or cup until combined well.
Serve chicken tenders right away with the dip on the side.