Enjoy a pub fare favorite at home

Courtesy photo
Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – Certain foods are more popular than others, and chicken tenders certainly fall into the “more popular” category. Few people can resist chicken tenders, which make for popular pub fare and great additions to any buffet table at informal gatherings of friends and family.

While many people only indulge in chicken tenders when they’re out of the house, this simple, beloved dish can be enjoyed at home as well. The following recipe for Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Yogurt Dill Dip from Michelle Dudash’s “Clean Eating for Busy Families,” published by Fair Winds Press, is a delicious, low-calorie alternative to the fried chicken tenders available at many bars and restaurants.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Yogurt Dill Dip

Serves 4

For the chicken:

  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 pound chicken tenders, larger pieces cut in half lengthwise

For the dip:

  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

To make the chicken:

Preheat the oven to 475 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Blend pecans, flour, paprika, dry mustard, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper in a food processor until pecans are ground to a powder or about 30 seconds. Drizzle in the oil with the motor running, blending completely. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and stir in the panko bread crumbs.

Beat the egg in a second shallow dish and add the chicken tenders, coating them completely. Transfer each tender to the breading, turning to coat evenly. Arrange the chicken on the prepared pan. Bake until golden brown and nearly firm, about 8 minutes.

To make the dip:

Stir all the dip ingredients together in a small bowl. Enjoy the cooked chicken immediately with the dip.

Note: Chicken tenders come from the undersides of chicken breasts and are naturally portioned into strips, saving time in cutting them. To substitute chicken breasts, cut into 4- x 1-inch strips.

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