Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pretzel Chicken Tenders

Remember how I mentioned that Chris' favorite meal was his Grandma B's Chicken a la King...with exception to perhaps Chicken Tenders?  Well my hubby is one lucky guy because in a single week I made him BOTH meals! 

The first time I ever tried pretzel chicken tenders was at one of our favorite chain restaurants, O'Charleys.  Their regular chicken tenders are seasoned deliciously as well but pretzels just gave the tenders that special crunch and boost of saltiness.  Since then, I've been hooked!

Quite possibly my LEAST favorite part about making any sort of breaded chicken is all the dipping into various ingredients that is involved.  I also hate frying anything.  I don't deep fry and I seldom pan fry food.  I just hate the greasy smell (despite having an awesome exterior venting hood over our stove) and greasy feeling on my skin that's left behind after slaving over the pan.  Plus, I know I put a certain amount of oil into the pan and yet when I'm done, it's all gone.  To me, that means it's still stuck in that breading...which is gross and bad for your health!  All in all, it was fun to give this one a whirl and turned out deliciously but I think I'm willing to go ahead and let others handle the breading and frying for me!

This recipe is modified to use chicken tenders instead of whole chicken breasts as originally written.  You can also just use chicken breasts and then cut them into strips for tenders or cubes for nuggets before coating.  The original recipe also used a Honey Mustard by Alton Brown across the top of the finished chicken.  Since I had previously whipped up a batch of Paula Deen's Honey Mustard Sauce and Chris absolutely hates anything remotely mustardy, I served Paula's Honey Mustard on the side for me and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ for him.

Pretzel Chicken Tenders
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Yields: 4 Servings

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups crushed or processed pretzels*
  • oil for frying
  • 1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
  • salt and ground pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
* The pretzels can actually be any hard pretzel - thin sticks, standard pretzel shapes, pretzel rods, etc. Place them in a food processor and process until you get the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. If you want more texture for your chicken coating, pulse the pretzels down to coarse crumbs instead. (I went with the coarse texture!)

Directions
  1. In a shallow dish, whisk the egg with the 1 tablespoon of water.  In another shallow dish, place the flour.  In a shallow dish, place the crushed/processed pretzels.
  2. Coat bottom of skillet with oil and heat over medium low heat.
  3. While oil is heating, season both sides of the chicken tenders with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Dredge the seasoned chicken breast in flour and shake off excess. Dip the chicken tenders in the egg wash and then press it into the crushed pretzels to cover all sides.
  4. When oil is hot, carefully place the crusted chicken breasts in the hot oil and fry until browned on both sides, about 5 -7 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken.
  5. Serve hot with dipping sauce(s) of choice.  I served with Paula Deen's Honey Mustard and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce.
Source: Modified from Joelen's Culinary Adventures

1 comment:

Joelen said...

Looks great and I like how you have a more coarse coating! I'll have to try Paula Deen's honey mustard recipe the next time I make this :) Thanks for trying the recipe!