Cheddar-crusted chicken fingers

How Sweet It Is

Serves: 2-3

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 3 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup seasoned regular bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 ounces of cheddar, freshly & finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

2-4 hours before serving (or even overnight), add chicken to a baking dish and cover with buttermilk. Let soak.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, flour, salt (quantity should be adjusted to taste given the amount of salty cheese), pepper, mustard and paprika and stir with a spoon. Fold in cheese. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray with non-stick spray.

Remove each piece of chicken from the buttermilk (it should have a think layer of milk around it), and dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Lay on the wire rack and repeat. Before baking, hit each chicken tender with a spray of non-stick spray or mist of olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then gently flip using kitchen tongs and spray the other side. Bake for 10-12 minutes more, then remove from oven and serve with dips of choice.

*Chef’s note: I think these could have benefited from a dipping sauce, as suggested on How Sweet It Is (LOVE this blog. Thanks to my gal Alyssa for introducing it to me!). (She used a bacon ranch with added chili powder.) And I should have cooked them longer to get them nice and browned and crispy.  That would have made the dish. I was afraid they would dry out, but the buttermilk really does keep that from happening. Otherwise pretty tasty. I may have even added more sharp cheddar! NOTE: This amount of breading (said to serve 2-3) coated 2 pounds of tenderloins for me with almost half left over, so plan accordingly.

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