Easy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders
What is Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders
Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders are a delicious and healthier chicken dish. In this preparation process chicken tenders are coated with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture and then baked in the oven until they are crispy and golden brown. The use of the oven instead of deep-frying reduces the amount of oil needed, making it a lighter and less messy option.
Here’s a simple recipe for Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Cooking spray (olive oil or non-stick)
1/ Marinate the Chicken
- Place the chicken tenders in a bowl and pour the buttermilk over them.
- Let the chicken marinate in the buttermilk for at least 30 minutes, or you can refrigerate it for a few hours or overnight for more flavor.
2/ Preheat the Oven
- Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
3/ Prepare the Coating
- In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
4/ Coat the Chicken
- Remove each chicken tender from the buttermilk, letting the excess drip off.
- Dip the chicken into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat each side evenly. Press the breadcrumbs onto the chicken to adhere.
5/ Place on Baking Sheet
- Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and lightly coat it with cooking spray.
- Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the wire rack.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the coating is golden brown and crispy.
- Once done, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Serve the oven-fried chicken tenders with your favorite dipping sauce.
Enjoy your delicious and healthier oven-fried chicken tenders!
Tips and Tricks for Making Perfect Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders
Marinate in Buttermilk
- Marinate the chicken tenders in buttermilk before coating them.
Seasoned Breadcrumb Mixture:
- Create a flavorful coating by adding a variety of seasonings to the breadcrumb mixture. This can include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
Preheat the Oven:
- Ensure your oven is fully preheated before placing the chicken tenders inside.
Use a Wire Rack:
- Place a wire rack on the baking sheet. Elevating the chicken tenders allows hot air to circulate around them, promoting even cooking and crispiness on all sides.
Lightly Coat with Cooking Spray:
- Lightly spray the coated chicken tenders with cooking spray before baking.
- Arrange the chicken tenders on the baking sheet without overcrowding. This ensures that each piece has enough space for the hot air to circulate, preventing sogginess.
Flip During Baking:
- Flip the chicken tenders halfway through the baking time. This ensures even browning on both sides.
Check for Doneness:
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. It should reach 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s fully cooked.
Serve with Dipping Sauce:
- Prepare a tasty dipping sauce to complement the flavors of the chicken tenders. Popular options include honey mustard, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing.
Experiment with Coatings:
- Get creative with coatings by incorporating different herbs, spices, or grated cheeses into the breadcrumb mixture for added flavor.
Let Them Rest:
- Allow the oven-fried chicken tenders to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Some Common Mistakes To Avoid
Skipping the Buttermilk Marinade:
- Skipping the buttermilk marinade can result in less flavorful and less tender chicken. Take the time to marinate the chicken for better taste and texture.
Not Preheating the Oven:
- Preheat the oven before placing the chicken inside. Starting with a hot oven helps achieve the desired crispy texture.
Using Dull Breadcrumbs:
- Ensure your breadcrumbs are fresh and not stale. Using dull breadcrumbs can result in a less crispy coating.
Overcrowding the Baking Sheet:
- Avoid overcrowding the baking sheet. Overlapping or overcrowding can lead to uneven cooking and a soggy exterior.
Forgetting the Wire Rack:
- Using a wire rack allows air to circulate around the chicken, promoting even cooking. Skipping the rack can result in a less crispy bottom.
Skipping the Cooking Spray:
- Lightly coat the coated chicken tenders with cooking spray before baking. Skipping this step may result in a less crispy coating.
Not Flipping Halfway Through:
- Forgetting to flip the chicken tenders halfway through the baking time can lead to uneven browning. Flip them to ensure both sides get crispy.
Not Checking Internal Temperature:
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. Undercooked chicken can be unsafe, and overcooking can lead to dryness.
Using Too Much Oil or Butter:
- While oven-frying is a healthier option, using too much oil or butter in the coating can negate the health benefits. Stick to a light coating.
Not Letting Them Rest:
- Resist the temptation to dig in immediately. Let the chicken tenders rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute and keep the meat moist.
Not Experimenting with Seasonings:
- Experimenting with different seasonings can enhance the flavor of your chicken tenders.
Overlooking the Dipping Sauce:
- A good dipping sauce complements the flavor of the chicken tenders. Don’t overlook this extra touch for added enjoyment.
The nutritional content of oven-fried chicken tenders can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. However, here’s a general idea of the nutritional profile per serving (assuming a standard recipe and serving size)
Nutrition Facts for Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders (per serving, approximately 4 ounces):
- Calories: 250-300 kcal
- Protein: 25-30g
- Carbohydrates: 15-20g
- Dietary Fiber: 1-2g
- Sugars: 1-2g
- Fat: 10-15g
- Saturated Fat: 2-4g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 4-6g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 2-3g
- Cholesterol: 70-90mg
- Sodium: 500-700mg
- The actual nutritional content can vary based on factors such as the specific brand of ingredients, the amount of coating applied, and the exact size of the chicken tenders.
- Using leaner cuts of chicken and opting for whole wheat breadcrumbs can contribute to a healthier nutritional profile.
Enjoy Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders