Crunchy Chicken Tenders

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Hi Missy,

I'm stuck!  My 10 year old will not eat any meat.  We've tried all kinds made all ways.  She will eat disgusting store bought frozen chicken nuggets, but not homemade chicken cutlets or nuggets.  Do you have any tips for getting her to get protein & iron in?

Dear Georgina,

I would first recommend trying my Crunchy Chicken Tenders and see if they work. They get rave reviews from most kids the age of your daughter. I'll paste the recipe below (from my first book).

Regarding your questions about protein and iron: spinach, and other dark greens, are a great source of both. You'll find spinach in my purple puree and in my recipe for green juice. Tofu, beans and nuts are significant sources of protein. And some grains, like millet, are very high in iron.

Enjoy in good health!



You can gradually increase the amount of the Orange Puree used in this batter. Your kids may not be able to see the veggies under the crunchy breading, but their little bodies know the nutrients are there because overall, they just feel more energized. You can pan fry these in a little heart-healthy olive oil or oven bake them if you are short on time in the kitchen.

Makes 4 to 6 servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour, ideally whole wheat
2 large eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_)
2 cups Better Breading (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Olive oil for pan frying

Season chicken tenders with salt. Place flour in a shallow dish or on a plate. Beat eggs with Orange Puree in shallow bowl and place next to the flour. In a third shallow dish or on a paper plate, combine the Better Breading with the Parmesan cheese.

Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, shaking off excess, then the egg mixture, and then the Better Breading mixture. Press the breading evenly onto both sides of the chicken. Put on wax or parchment paper and store in the refrigerator for cooking tomorrow or proceed to cook immediately.

Pan-fry method:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add a few strips at a time, pan frying on one side until the crumbs look golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Watch for burning, and turn down heat if necessary. With tongs, turn the pieces over and lightly brown the second side until golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue heating chicken until cooked through, about another 10 minutes. Blot cooked tenders on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Oven-bake method (not as brown and crisp, but quicker):

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place breaded tenders on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn chicken tenders over once with tongs, then return to oven for another 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through.


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