Quick Dinner: Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Fabulous freshly made, but, make a double (or triple) batch, and save in the freezer either baked or unbaked for a quick dinner.  Or breakfast, if you’re like my daughter who’s often willing to eat lunch for breakfast.

Note: Dairy, egg, and easily gluten-free by replacing the bread crumbs with all pecans.

  • 1 pound chicken tenders, breast, or thighs, boneless, skinless, cut as needed
  • a tablespoon or two of olive oil, to coat the chicken (to help things stick)
  • 1 tablespoon yellow or Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning of your choice, we like Paul Prudhomme’s Pork and Veal Seasoning
  • 1 high-fiber english muffin, processed into bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped fine in mini-chopper (with bread crumbs is fine)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

**Note- If you want to avoid the wheat and/or gluten, you can use gluten free breads, or simply use a cup or so of pecans in place of the bread insteads, and thus have simply pecan crusted tenders (which taste even better, but I don’t think my daughter would eat them.  We’re working in that direction.  Don’t tell her!)

Place the tenders on a plate or in a bowl.  Drizzle the olive over and mustard over, and sprinkle with your choice of seasoning.  Mix well using your hands or tongs to distribute the oil and seasonings evenly.

Process the muffin or other bread finely, and then the pecans.  Transfer to a plate or bowl.  One a a time, dredge each tender or nugget into the coating, pressing firmly to get the crumbs and pecan bits to stick.  The olive oil and mustard really do a great job of helping the coating to stick.  And, by baking them instead of pan-frying them, there’s never an issue of the coating falling off.  Don’t feel guilty for the little bit of oil used in the breading technique, it’s far less fat than in the traditional breading (flour/egg) and then pan-frying it in oil.  And the end result is great.  The all-pecan (or almond, even) is great, too.   Just be very careful not to overbake them, as the pecans will burn easily once “done”.

Bake for 15 minutes.  at 350 degrees……At the end of this baking time, check the underside for sogginess.  If they are soggy, flip the tenders/or nuggets over and bake for another 5 minutes at 350 degrees.   Do not leave longer than 5 minutes or they may burn.

I made an easy little honey mustard sauce that my friend likes.  She’s been trying to make a copy a version that a local restaurant makes for a pecan-crusted chicken spinach salad, so, I’ll find out on monday if I even got close.

Creole Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Zatarain’s Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning

Mix well and let sit for 1 hour before serving.  Refrigerate well.

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Chicken tenders, olive oil, yellow mustard, seasoning

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Bread crumbs made from 1 high-fiber English muffin, some pecans, and seasonings…

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Ready to go in the oven

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A close-up…

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Dinner is ready in 20 minutes.

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One thought on “Quick Dinner: Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

  1. Pingback: Creole Honey Mustard Sauce | icookforleftovers

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