Crunchy Chicken Tenders
by Missy Chase Lapine
Chicken fingers are consistently found in the top three choices on every kid’s menu and fast-food chain in the nation. They are usually deep fried and full of artery-clogging trans fats. With that in mind, I set out to capitalize on the popularity of this finger food, but to transform it from a fast food into a superfood.
The breading technique is standard—the ingredients are anything but. Using the classic “ dry/wet/dry” technique, I upgraded the flour to whole grain, then added pureed carrots and sweet potatoes to the egg batter, and enhanced the final breading with wheat germ and almonds (omit if allergic). The pureed vegetables add a hint of sweetness to the chicken, while hiding beautifully under a blanket of crunchy breading. Each time you make this recipe, you can gradually increase the amount of the Orange Puree used in the batter. They may not be able to see the veggies under the crunchy breading, but their little bodies know the nutrients are there and they thank you for the extra effort!
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, preferably whole wheat
2 large eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #2 below)
2 cups Better Breading (see Make-Ahead Recipe #12 below)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Olive oil for pan frying