Here is yet another hit from Cook's Illustrated. These chicken tenders originally called for a coating of almonds, but I thought pecans would be a great substitution - and they were! This is an easy and fast meal, perfect for those busy nights I'm sure we're all having this time of year. They cook up nice and crispy, and the cranberry-orange dipping sauce is simultaneously sweet, tart, and tangy from the combination of cranberries, orange marmalade, and Dijon mustard.
Pecan Chicken Fingers with Cranberry-Orange Sauce
adapted from Cook's Illustrated
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup orange marmalade
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons dijon or coarse grain mustard
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pecan halves
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1/2 pound chicken, cut into tenderloins
- salt and pepper
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Meanwhile, in 2 shallow dishes, add flour and lightly beaten eggs. Set aside.
Pulse pecans in a food processor until finely ground, then combine with panko and add to a 3rd dish.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper
Working one chicken tender at a time, dredge the chicken first in flour, then egg, and finally the panko/nut mixture. you may need to press lightly to adhere the nut mixture to the chicken.
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
Cook half the chicken until golden-brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain the chicken on a paper towel lined plate. Wipe out the skillet, then repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.
Serve with cranberry-orange dipping sauce.