My family eats well more often than not, but meals can admittedly be hit-or-miss. Depending on how much time I have that day, and how many leftovers are in the fridge, my loved ones may or may not get a well thought-out meal come dinnertime.
I definitely scored last night, though, as evidenced by the enthusiastic compliments tossed my way. (I kid you not, they actually used phrases such as, “this is great, mom!”) The winning meal was simple enough: a healthier version of fast-food chicken tenders compliments of Devin Alexander’s Fast Food Fix. Sliced carrot sticks and sourdough toast accompanied, but the chicken tenders were the star.
Nothing crazy-amazing–just chicken breast tenders (buy the best you can afford, as cheap chicken tends to have little going for it in the flavor department) coated in flour and spices, then soaked in an egg white-milk mixture and breaded in panko. A quick turn in the oven yielded hot, crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside chicken strips.
Offering healthier takes on fast-food favorites, Alexander’s book is a fun read and good to have on hand if you’re cooking for kids of any age. The personal pan pizza recipe went over especially well with the gaggle of 10-year-olds at my daughter’s last birthday party. (Despite the fact that my daughter begged me not to make anything from scratch. “Can’t you just buy things like the other moms do?,” she pleaded.)
Here’s the chicken tender recipe, adapted slightly from what I found in the book. Give Fast Food Fix a read if you want to re-create revised classics from Dairy Queen, Arby’s, KFC, and the like. Your family might just (openly) thank you for it!
Burger King–Style Chicken Tenders
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- Freshly ground pepper
In large resealable plastic bag, combine flour, salt, sugar, and garlic powder; shake to mix. Add chicken tenders; seal bag. Shake to coat. Refrigerate 10 minutes.
Heat oven to 375ºF. Coat baking sheet with olive-oil cooking spray or brush with olive oil. In shallow dish, whisk together egg whites and milk. Place panko on sheet of wax paper.
With tongs, transfer chicken, one piece at a time, to egg white mixture; submerge to coat. Remove from egg white mixture, letting excess mixture drip into dish. Coat chicken in panko; place on baking sheet. Lightly coat tops of chicken pieces with olive-oil cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes; remove from oven. Turn chicken pieces over; lightly coat with olive-oil cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes longer or until internal temperature of chicken is 165ºF. Serve with dipping sauces as desired. Makes 4 or so servings.