So, you got a box of cornflakes on the fridge, right? And some chicken in the fridge? Typical. What kind of college student doesn’t?
Here’s what you’re gonna do with those things: make some cornflake-crusted chicken tenders. They take less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish and they are also freakishly healthy. Forget deep-frying chicken. I don’t want you to Kentucky Fry Chicken your ass — I want you to eat well and look trim for these summer months, so do me a favor and make them for tonight’s dinner.
Here’s what you need:
Some chicken breasts, a few eggs, lots of (unfrosted) cornflakes, and spices! Grab garlic powder, salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and dried parsley.
First thing’s first. Pre-heat that oven to 400 degrees F. Then, dump about 5 cups of cornflakes into a large ziplock bag, squeeze out all the air, and seal the bag. This is where you take your anger out. Did you fail a final recently? It happens. Let it all out!
Crush the cornflakes with a rolling pin, wine bottle, beer bottle… whatever you have on hand. We want small uniform pieces of cornflakes to crust the chicken. But please don’t crush it to a fine powder.
The crushed cornflakes should look like that. Not too small, not too big. Since we’re not frying these bad boys, you need some crunch factor from the cereal. You should end up with roughly 2 cups of crushed cornflakes. Then pour it all into a deep dish and mix in yo’ spices: garlic powder, cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper, dried parsley, and some salt.
In another dish, maybe a pie dish (?), whisk two large eggs together with a few teaspoons of water, just to make it runny so you can dip the chicken strips in it.
For your chicken breasts, rinse them under water and pat them super duper dry with paper towels. Throw those paper towels away pronto — we don’t want to contaminate your kitchen! Starting with one breast, place it on a cutting board with a piece of plastic on top. Using a meat mallet or frying pan, pound that poultry!
Pound it evenly, please! Maybe 1/2 inch thickness all around.
Then cut your chicken strips. You should cut 1-inch wide strips that are roughly the same size, and you’ll get maybe 5-7 strips per breast.
Are you curious what a chicken tender actually is? Sometimes you can buy chicken breasts with the tenderloin still attached. Check it out.
Flip a new chicken breast over, and if you see a little flap that looks like the above, that’s the actual chicken tenderloin, aka chicken tender. We’re making it simple by cutting strips (or, fake “tenders”) out of chicken breasts, since most people tend to have chicken breasts on hand.
Remove the tenderloin by cutting it off. It’s totally edible and looks just like the chicken strips, so use it! It’s the most legit chicken tender.
Grab a large baking sheet and drizzle on a few teaspoons of olive oil.
Evenly coat the sheet, please.
Time to bread the chicken tenders/strips/whatever they’re called. Start with about 5 and dunk them in the egg wash.
Shake all that excess egg off the chicken.
Then coat the chicken in the cornflake mixture.
Evenly coat it. You want a crispy chicken tender, right? Right. Shake off that excess coating, too.
Btdubs, feel free to use a fork instead of your hands, especially if you don’t want breading all over you.
Then lay them all out neatly on the greased baking sheet. Leave some space between them. Place them in the preheated oven for about 6 minutes to cook the first side…
Remove them from the oven after six minutes and flip each strip over using tongs. This is crucial, my friend. We aren’t frying, so we need some way to evenly brown and crisp them.
After another 6 minutes in the oven for a total of 12-15 minutes of cooking time, you should have juicy chicken tenders that kick Wendy’s ass. Sprinkle on some more salt to your liking. Serve ’em up with your preferred dipping sauce: ketchup, ranch, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, etc. Enjoy!
Cornflake-crusted Chicken Tenders in under 30 minutes
Total time: 27 minutes
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 12 min
Yield: 4-5 servings
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
5 cups cornflakes cereal (makes 2 cups crushed cornflakes)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Ketchup or ranch dressing, to serve
Adjust rack of your oven to the middle level and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rinse chicken breasts under running cold tap water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard paper towels. Place chicken breast on cutting board and cover with large layer of plastic wrap. Using a mallet or a small pan, pound the chicken breast to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Cutting lengthwise, slice chicken breasts into uniform 1 inch-wide strips. You can get about 5-7 strips per breast. Set aside.
In a large ziplock bag, add cornflakes. Squeeze out as much air as possible and then seal bag. Using a rolling pin, roll over cereal, crushing the cornflakes into small uniform pieces for coating chicken tenders (try *not* to pulverize cereal into a fine powder). You should end up with about 2 cups of crushed cornflakes. In a large deep dish, mix crushed cornflakes with garlic powder, dried parsley, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper until thoroughly combined. In another deep dish, whisk together eggs and 1 tablespoon of water until evenly mixed.
Using a few teaspoons of olive oil, even coat a large baking sheet. Working with about 4 chicken strips at a time, dip chicken in egg mixture, shaking off excess, then coat with seasoned cornflakes, pressing mixture to help them adhere to chicken. Shake off excess coating. Place coated chicken strips on greased baking sheet, leaving about 2 centimeters of space between each strip.
Bake chicken tenders for about 6 minutes, and then flip over on other side using tongs. Bake for another 6-9 minutes (for a total cooking time of 12 to 15 minutes) until golden brown, crisp, and cooked through. Sprinkle with a little salt before serving, if desired. Serve with ketchup or ranch for dipping.