I found this great recipe for Parmesan Chicken Tenders by one of my favorite Food Network chefs, Giada De Laurentiis. I've made several of her recipes in the past and they always turn out good, especially this one! I like this recipe because you bake the chicken, which is healthier than frying, and you marinate the chicken in buttermilk making the chicken really moist and tender. It was a very easy recipe to follow and even made great left overs the next day for lunch! The best part of the dish was the balsamic vinaigrette you make for the dipping sauce, it gave the chicken a gourmet twist and very flavorful with the fresh garlic, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I served the chicken with a nice mixed greens salad, simple and pretty healthy!
(Courtesy Giada De Laurentiis,
found on the Food Network website)
- 4 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, about 18 pieces ( I only used 8 chicken tenders because it was just me and Jim, but I did follow all the other measurements for the recipe and it was perfect. So, depending on how many servings you need, you may need to modify the amount of tenders you use.)
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced (this is for the vinaigrette, if you like a lot of garlic stick with the 3 cloves, if you're not a big fan of garlic you might want to only use 1-2 cloves)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan ( I use the fresh Parmesan in a tub from TJ's found in the cheese section, really good)
- 3/4 cup Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs ( I like the Progresso brand Italian bread crumbs)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each of 1-2 baking sheets. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and stir to coat. Let stand at least 15 minutes and up to 30 minutes. I marinated the chicken for the full 30 minutes because I wanted them really tender and moist.
While chicken is marinating, mash the garlic with the salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vinegar and then the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with pepper. Transfer the vinaigrette to a small serving bowl.
Stir the Parmesan and bread crumbs in a pie dish. Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and dredge them in the bread crumb mixture to coat completely, pressing to adhere. Arrange the coated chicken tenders on the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the chicken tenders and bake until they are cooked through and golden brown, about 12 minutes. I cooked mine an additional 5-7 minutes to make them a little crispier.
Transfer the chicken tenders to a platter and serve the vinaigrette alongside for dipping.