Baked Lemon Chicken Tenders

My hunt for 1001 ways to cook chicken seems never ending.  After I finished cleaning out my freezer a few weeks ago, I discovered that I had frozen more chicken over the last six months than any one family could possibly consume in the next six months.  So we’ve been eating a lot of chicken.  It’s been grilled, baked, sauteed, poached – you name it.  We’re a little tired of the same old, same old.  It was time to think of something new.

Sometimes I think someone’s going to revoke Thomas’ toddlership because he just doesn’t really do chicken nuggets, at least not at home.  But I do know that he will eat homemade breaded baked chicken.  I wasn’t in the mood to struggle with Dolly chicken tonight (see entry for 2/11/12) because I had just baked banana bread (also 2/11/12, weirdly) and the kitchen was a little warm.

I didn’t go fancy on this, but it still came out really well.  The breading was crisp, the chicken had a slight tang to it.  Thomas ate two helpings, even after he spilled his cranberry and seltzer on the second one.  I’ll call that a win every day of the week.

I served this with haricot verts (steamed, then tossed with 2 tbsp butter, dash of salt, dash of pepper, and lemon juice squeezed over it) and pasta (elbows cooked to al dente, tossed with a small amount of Bertolli’s Vidalia Onion saunce and a couple spoonfuls of the Philadelphia Cooking Creme – the garlic and herb one).  I went easy on the pasta and probably ate nearly a pound of green beans – so good.

Apologies for the lack of photographic documentation, but I can’t find the charger for my camera battery.

This is a recipe that’s easy to double.  We had leftovers of the chicken, so I’m throwing the rest into a caesar salad tomorrow.

Baked Lemon Chicken Tenders

  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into strips (or 3/4 to 1 lb chicken tenders)
  • 1 egg, beaten with water
  • 1 1/2 cups plain breadcrumbs (possibly more, I didn’t measure)
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.

In a shallow dish, pour out your breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Zest your lemon and stir zest into breadcrumbs.

Dip your chicken into the egg and water mixture, shaking off the excess.  Roll chicken in breadcrumb mixture, then place on baking sheet.  Once all tenders have been laid out on the sheet, sprinkle evenly with lemon juice.

Bake in a 350 oven for 20-30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and tenders are slightly browned.  I don’t know if this made the difference, but I had the banana bread on the upper rack and the tenders on the bottom for rack.  The tenders were on the bottom rack for about fifteen minutes before I moved them back up to the top rack for another 5-10.

You can serve this with dipping sauce, if you like (Thomas ate his with ketchup), but I liked it with just a little squeezed lemon juice out of the oven.


About Kristin

I never thought I would love to cook. I did everything I could to avoid learning to cook. But somewhere along the line, cooking became less of a chore and more of a way to relax and be creative. Not everything I make is a smashing success, but I've had more successes than failures. After months of trading recipes with my friends through Facebook and email, I've decided to collect all my favorites here and also document my attempts at new adventures in cooking, too.
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