Monday, August 30, 2010

Baked Panko Chicken Tenders with Basil Aioli

Normally I shy away from these kinds of recipes. I don’t mean the tasty, crispy, dippable kind. I mean the dredge in flour, dip in egg, coat in bread crumbs kind of recipe. Because we all know what can happen when you do the whole dredge, dip, coat thing – a big gummy mess. On your fingertips, on the dishes, on the counter tops… and hopefully on the chicken. (I know there are methods you can employ to reduce the mess – tongs and whatnot – but let’s be honest, some mess is unavoidable.)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of making a mess in my kitchen. (Cue Stan laughing – and perhaps suggesting that is an understatement.) I just prefer the mess to be less stuck on me and more stuck on the dishes. Regardless, for a good recipe, I’m willing to get my hands dirty… literally. And this is indeed a good recipe.

Finger food is always fun, and these chicken strips are no exception. The chicken is coated with a lightly spiced panko crust. The crunchy exterior keeps the strips moist and juicy on the inside. Creamy and slightly tangy, the basil aioli is a perfect dipping sauce. This chicken makes a great, finger-friendly lunch or dinner. It would also be a great appetizer or party food, served on a big platter with a bowl of aioli alongside.

Baked Panko Chicken Tenders with Basil Aioli
Adapted from Love and Olive Oil

For Chicken Tenders:
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. chicken tenders or boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips (I used thin-sliced chicken cutlets and sliced them into strips. They were the perfect thickness.)

1/2 cup flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For Basil Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray them with cooking spray.

In a small, shallow dish, add the flour. Season it to taste with a little salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, add the eggs. In a third shallow dish, add the panko, basil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Dredge the chicken strips in the flour, coating well. Shake off any excess.

Dip the flour-coated chicken into the egg, again coating well. Allow any extra to drip off.

Place the egg-coated chicken into the panko mixture and coat completely with the crumbs.

Place the chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once during cooking, or until the chicken is cooked through and the crust is golden brown. (Mine took 12 minutes.)

While the chicken is baking, prepare the aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the chicken tenders immediately (so the crust doesn’t get soggy) with the basil aioli alongside.

Serves 6 for a main course, more for an appetizer.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds absolutely scrunched



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