I'm fortunate that as a stay at home mom, I don't really have to worry about having the time to cook dinner. I can make a time and labor-intensive meal pretty much any night of the week, since I usually have the afternoon to prep (sidenote: I will be so sad when Caroline gives up naptime). However, I definitely look for quick and easy meals too - because as much as I enjoy cooking, I don't want to be in the kitchen for 2 hours every single night. We love to play outside, go to the pool, or watch a movie after dinner, so sometimes I want dinner on the table ASAP. Plus, with a new baby on the way, I know I will need some fast and easy recipes to fall back on for a few weeks.
Regardless of how much time I have to cook dinner though, I'm not one to fall back on chicken nuggets for dinner. For one thing, frozen chicken nuggets are full of preservatives and additives, and I try to avoid them. Also, I can make something far more nutritious in the same amount of time it takes for the oven to preheat, the chicken to cook, etc. Plus, have you seen that Jamie Oliver where he demonstrates how they are made?!
These chicken tenders are a wonderful alternative. They are not only incredibly easy and quick, but they are also baked - so there is significantly less fat than their deep-fried counterparts. They are also 100% chicken - you know exactly what's in them - no mystery meat here! And who doesn't love chicken tenders?!
Like I said, these are incredibly easy and quick. In the time it takes the oven to preheat, the chicken is dipped, breaded, and ready to go. And in the time they bake, you can prep your sides. I served these with cheesy zucchini rice (recipe to be shared tomorrow!), and slices of fresh watermelon. This was a hit with everyone at the table - I for one especially loved the honey-dijon flavor. Honey mustard is one of my favorite condiments, so I loved that these incorporated it into the chicken. The chicken is first dipped in a mixture of honey, Dijon mustard, and butter, and thencoated with spiced panko breadcrumbs. With this being such an easy, delicious, and fast dinner, I know we'll be enjoying it in the months to come.
Baked Honey-Dijon Chicken Tenders
adapted from The Comfort of Cooking
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 3 Tbs butter, melted
- heaping 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into vertical strips
In a pie plate, combine the panko, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne. In another pie plate, or a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the butter, mustard, and honey. Working one chicken strip at a time, dip the chicken first into the mustard mixture, then the panko. Turn and pat the breadcrumbs on all sides to be sure each piece of chicken is fully coated.
Carefully arrange the chicken tenders on the baking sheet, and cook 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden-brown and the chicken is cooked through. Serve with your preferred dipping sauce (honey mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce, ranch..).