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baked chicken tenders



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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total: 40 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Set the oven racks to the middle and lower position. Heat to 425°F (218ºC).

Step 2

Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place a wire rack on top, spray with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly coat with oil. Set aside.

Step 3

Remove the white tendon attached to the chicken tenderloin. Use a paring knife to cut it out. Alternatively, hold the end of the tendon with one hand, place the tines of the fork in between the tendon and chicken to hold down the meat, then firmly pull the tendon until it releases. It helps to hold the tendon with some paper towel if it becomes slippery. Transfer chicken to a plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Step 4

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, paprika, and 1 teaspoon salt.

Step 5

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Step 6

In another medium bowl, whisk together eggs and olive oil.

Step 7

Set up a breading station starting on the left with chicken, followed by the flour mixture, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs.

Step 8

Bread the chicken as follows: Use the left hand to place chicken in the flour, coat well and shake off excess. Use the same hand to dip into the egg mixture, fully coating the chicken. Place in the breadcrumb bowl. Use your right hand to coat and firmly press the breadcrumbs into the chicken, turning over as needed.

Step 9

Gently shake off any excess crumbs and place the breaded chicken on the baking rack. Repeat with other pieces. You want to make sure that the chicken is coated as much as possible to achieve a crunchy texture. If any excess coating falls on the baking sheet after breading, lift the rack and discard the crumbs. The high temperature may cause those bits to burn if left in the pan.

Step 10

Bake on the center rack of the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and use your fingers to flip. It’s warm to the touch but not hot. Tongs may cause the coating to flake off.

Step 11

Bake for another 3 minutes, until the bottom is lightly golden brown and crisp. Remove the chicken from the oven.

Step 12

Turn the oven setting to broil, once the heating element is on, place the chicken in the lower position. Broil until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure to check every minute and keep a close eye on color change.

Step 13

Flip the chicken over and broil until crisp and the thickest part of the meat reaches at least 165°F (74ºC), about 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 14

Allow it to cool 5 minutes before serving.

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