Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Homemade Chicken Tenders (or nuggets)

I had on the menu to make leftover chicken tenders tonight so I put together all my leftover crumbs that I had been collecting.  If you don't know what they are, I highly recommend them to everyone to try.  First, whenever you have leftover cracker crumbs, chips or other crunchy things, put them in a bag and set them aside.  I used stale tortilla chips before and made super yummy tortilla chicken tenders with mexican rice.  Today's leftover crumbs were cheese its and sun chips. Other ideas include Captain Crunch cereal (done at Planet Hollywood- they are soooo yummy), Ritz cracker (for the nice buttery flavor), and Pringles (one recipe through Hungry Girl recommends BBQ pringles for a spicy kick).  I like to keep my scraps apart so that we have a few of one kind of tender and a few of another but for those of you who can have food touching on a plate and be okay with it, mix up all those crumbs and have at it!!!!  :)

I got everything out on the counter and put crumbs in one bowl and egg mixed with water in the other.  If you are going for a more low fat version, you can use egg beaters or fat free milk (just note that with milk, the crumbs don't always stick as well).

I mixed the crumbs with bread crumbs this time because I am trying to use up containers of bread crumbs so that I can use all the homemade ones that I haven't used in the freezer.  I like to dip in the small breadcrumbs first and then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumb mixture (breadcrumbs and cracker crumbs).   It is super easy and super fast to put them together. 

Then you have to cook the chicken tenders.  There are two ways to cook the chicken:

1. Pan Fry (which was the choice that I made tonight)- Put a little bit of oil in the pan and heat it up.  Put the chicken in and flip when the edges start get looked cooked.
2.  Oven Fry-  I used to do this a ton because it is more healthy cooking.  Get all the chicken ready, spray a pizza pan with holes (with a paper towel under it or you will have a messy counter), put the chicken on the pan, spray again and then put in the oven.  It will get nice and crispy.  If you don't have a pizza pan, you can use a regular pan but you have to flip the chicken tenders half way through the cooking.  It takes a little longer to cook the chicken through this way so make sure you leave time.

I had a tough day with a sick kid so I took the extravagant choice of pan frying but both turn out great :)  I put them on that same pizza pan in the oven with some tater tots to cook through/stay warm.  Dinner will be ready in no time.  Great to serve with a salad so that everyone can have their choice of how to eat it or separate with a dipping sauce. 

I hope that you make leftover chicken tenders sometime soon!!!  You are sure to not have leftovers :)

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