Many years ago, I’d often store a bag of frozen breaded and fried chicken tenders in the freezer, just for those hectic, over scheduled days when I didn’t want to put a lot of effort into dinner preparation.
Those days are a very distant memory now, since I’ve learned it’s nearly as easy to make breaded, baked chicken strips at home.
This recipe is quick and simple to prepare (ready in about 30 minutes), and the chicken strips are every bit the comforting, crispy, flavorful dish I tend to crave the most on those crazy days.
The chicken is coated with a thin layer of Dijon to keep it tender and moist.
And the crispy golden breading is filled with freshly grated parmesan and a couple of key seasonings for lots of savory flavor.
While the chicken bakes in the oven, I throw together an easy, 3-ingredient honey Dijon dipping sauce that’s a really tasty complement.
But the best part, in my opinion, is the fact that, unlike processed chicken strips, I know and trust every ingredient that goes into this dish.
That’s got to be one reason homemade always tastes so much better!
Here is the complete, printable recipe:
- Serving size: 4
- Calories: 327
- Fat: 11.9g
- Saturated fat: 2.4g
- Carbohydrates: 10.4g
- Sugar: 7g
- Sodium: 841mg
- Fiber: .7g
- Protein: 35.8g
- Cholesterol: 87mg
Hands-On Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 20 ounces organic, pastured (grass-fed) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- ¼ cup organic Dijon mustard
- ⅔ cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- ⅓ cup parmesan, freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2½ tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons organic dijon mustard
- 1½ tablespoons organic honey
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut chicken breasts into evenly-sized strips (ensuring that chicken strips are equally sized will allow them to cook evenly in the oven).
- Spread a thin layer of Dijon over each side of each chicken strip.
- To a large dish or tray, stir and combine the panko, grated parmesan, thyme, and garlic powder. Place each chicken strip in panko mixture, flipping, ensuring every side is well coated with breading.
- Arrange chicken strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Pour olive oil all over the tops of each chicken strip. Season chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.
- Cook in the oven until tops are crispy and lightly browned, about 24-26 minutes.
- Meanwhile, as chicken is cooking, prepare Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce: add the three ingredients (dijon, honey, and thyme) to a bowl and stir until well combined. Serve alongside chicken tenders.
And for the step-by-step instructions…
…Begin with these key ingredients.
And preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Begin by grating some fresh parmesan cheese (a large 4-sided grater makes this job so much faster).
Then grab some skinless, boneless chicken breasts.
For the most natural, most nutrient-rich, and most sustainable and humane chicken, look for USDA certified organic, pastured (also called grass-fed) chicken.
Remove any excess fat, then cut the chicken into evenly sized strips.
It’s helpful to try to get the chicken strips as equally sized as possible so that they’ll cook evenly in the oven.
Next, grab some Dijon mustard and spread a thin layer over every side of each chicken strip.
You won’t taste a ton of the Dijon flavor in the chicken strips (that’s what the Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce is for!), this ingredient is to help keep the chicken moist and give the breading something to cling to.
Then grab a large dish or tray and toss in some whole wheat panko breadcrumbs, the grated parmesan, a bit of dried thyme, and some garlic powder.
Use your hands to stir until everything is well combined.
Then, one at a time, toss each chicken strip into the panko mixture, flipping, making sure that every side is well coated with breading.
Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the chicken strips so no two are touching.
The parchment keeps the bottoms of the strips from sticking or burning.
Measure out a bit of olive oil and gently pour a bit over each piece of chicken.
Try to get the tops well coated with oil – heart-healthy and antioxidant-rich olive oil is the key ingredient that helps the breadcrumbs turn crispy and golden in the oven.
Also important: be sure to season each piece of chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper for flavor.
Toss the chicken into the oven to cook until the tops are crispy and lightly browned.
In the meantime, prepare an easy Honey Dijon Dipping Sauce.
Just grab a small bowl (here’s the rameken I use) and mix together a bit of Dijon mustard, some organic honey, and a pinch of thyme.
It’s a super simple, really flavorful, slightly sweet complement to the savory chicken strips!
This is a crowd-pleaser and a go-to recipe for me when I’m craving comfort food and I don’t have the patience to put much time into dinner.
And it’s been a long, long while since I’ve turned to processed frozen or greasy takeout chicken strips.
This healthier recipe is just too easy and just too delicious!