Quick Chicken Parmesan Tenders

8a666b6b-54f8-43fa-a562-786ee92bb53a_zps3c41d43eHigh Fructose Corn Syrup and Sunflower seeds in Italian Seasoned Bread crumbs? Why would anyone do that? And if “natural flavorings” are so natural, why can’t they tell us what they are? And one serving is 19% of your daily sodium intake. Ick! It’s disturbing to think that these things exist in the psuedo-food we eat, and feed to our families. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that our grandmothers and great grandmothers used nothing of the sort.

So, let’s get back to basics. Its easier to simplify the ingredients that we use than most people think. More importantly, its less expensive. I am not a fan of ingredients that can only be used in one way. They tend to end up in the back of the pantry, moldy and expired. Its money down the drain!

When you buy plain crumbs that aren’t pre-seasoned with any single flavor profile, they become limitlessly versatile. Plain crumbs can be spiced for these Italian Style Tenders, or sweetened up to be used as a topping for Apple Crisp or Streusel. You can sprinkle them on top of Mac Cheese, or use them to thicken up a nice Meatloaf. The possibilities are endless, and you don’t end up with a $4 can of Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs that is expired in the back of your pantry.

I always buy whole wheat, or regular, panko crumbs. The list of ingredients are limited to what it takes to make bread, and that MAKES SENSE! It’s the same as if I took stale bread and threw it in the food processor, but much less work for me. So, build up your pantry with spices, not “food-like ingredients,” it’ll save you money, but more importantly, it’ll taste better!

With all that in mind, week nights can get crazy, kids or no kids. So this is a great go-to meal that is healthy, filling, and can be made very quickly. Serve with a side of sautéed green beans and a quick arugula or spinach salad. Here’s a super yummy option, Click Here.

Quick Chicken Parmesan Tenders, 4 servings

(Full Recipe without photos at bottom of page)

Ingredients:

1 lb Chicken Breast Tenders
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Panko
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1  Egg
3 slices Sharp Provolone
10 oz pasta sauce
 
(Chef’s Note on Chicken Tenders*- If you can’t find tenders, or they are outrageously expensive, which they tend to be, just take chicken breasts and cut them into tendersc856f1ed-0f9f-4b68-a3c8-e32bc7c574db_zps740b1b4e yourself. I tend to buy chicken breasts when on sale for $2.99/lb at Fresh market, then cut them myself. If you weren’t trained to butcher chicken, while having a partially-def French Chef screaming over your shoulder “Use ze teep of your boneeng knife!”, you can find a ton of tutorials on YouTube.)
 
(Chef’s Note on Provolone*- Just go to the Deli Department at your grocery store, order it like you would any lunch meat or cheese.  I LOVE Boar’s Head Picante Sharp Provolone. Its so rich that you only need a small amount. That reduces the fat, while increasing the flavor, and only buying the amount you need, cuts down on cost.)
 
(Chef’s note on Pasta Sauce*- What I like to do is buy a large 32oz jar of my favorite e6dde0a6-47cb-4b5e-b83d-800934daab64_zpse9f38a86sauce, Mid’s, and divide it between 3 freezer bags. Then I pull out one bag at a time as I need it. It ensures that no sauce goes to waste. As a pastry chef, I have my scale, and it comes in handy for things like this. You can see it here.)
 
 

Method:

I like to cook this in the toaster oven, but you can also do it in a regular full size oven. Line a sheet pan with foil, and set aside.

131182348-bf24-4fcc-90ef-32cf4cd49315_zps69d45bbd.  Combine Panko, and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a shallow bowl, or leak-proof paper plate. Mix well with a fork so that spices are dispersed throughout the panko crumbs.  Set Aside.

2.  Break egg into a separate shallow bowl, or leak-proof paper plate. Whisk well with a fork.

3. Dredge chicken tender in egg, then roll in panko crumbs. Lay into prepared pan. Continue until all tenders are coated.

f7b6fa08-2f41-460b-9555-a5a3b849c33d_zps1ab701e06a577ee7-7ef4-4d00-afbf-c0cde836c4dc_zpscdc6ee32

4.  Bake 320° on Fan/Bake, or 350° on bake in toaster oven, or 350° in a regular oven. Bake 12 minutes, turn over, and bake 5 more minutes, or until finished. Remove from oven, and immediately turn oven off.

4d3bb7a2-e55d-4f95-abe8-88ed9089bc8a_zpse300fe22

5.  Lay Provolone over Chicken Tenders, and place back in TURNED-OFF oven. It’ll still be warm enough to melt the cheese.

d30f1771-a3c8-42af-b59a-dd9148d719ee_zpsd1d780146.  While cheese melts, heat pasta sauce in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Spoon over melted cheese, and serve!

18f04733-e46a-4a06-a4f9-dc50531e91dc_zps1468652b

Quick Chicken Parmesan Tenders, 4 servings

(Full Recipe without photos)

Ingredients:

1 lb Chicken Breast Tenders
3/4 cup Whole Wheat Panko
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt
1  Egg
3 slices Sharp Provolone
10 oz pasta sauce
 
(Chef’s Note on Chicken Tenders*- If you can’t find tenders, or they are outrageously expensive, which they tend to be, just take chicken breasts and cut them into tenders yourself. I tend to buy chicken breasts when on sale for $2.99/lb at Fresh market, then cut them myself. If you weren’t trained to butcher chicken, while having a partially-def French Chef screaming over your shoulder “Use ze teep of your boneeng knife!”, you can find a ton of tutorials on YouTube.)
 
(Chef’s Note on Provolone*- Just go to the Deli Department at your grocery store, order it like you would any lunch meat or cheese.  I LOVE Boar’s Head Picante Sharp Provolone. Its so rich that you only need a small amount. That reduces the fat, while increasing the flavor, and only buying the amount you need, cuts down on cost.)
(Chef’s note on Pasta Sauce*- What I like to do is buy a large 32oz jar of my favorite sauce, Mid’s, and divide it between 3 freezer bags. Then I pull out one bag at a time as I need it. It ensures that no sauce goes to waste. As a pastry chef, I have my scale, and it comes in handy for things like this. You can see it here.)

Method:

I like to cook this in the toaster oven, but you can also do it in a regular full size oven. Line a sheet pan with foil, and set aside.

1.  Combine Panko, and next 7 ingredients (through salt) in a shallow bowl, or leak-proof paper plate. Mix well with a fork so that spices are dispersed throughout the panko crumbs.  Set Aside.

2.  Break egg into a separate shallow bowl, or leak-proof paper plate. Whisk well with a fork.

3. Dredge chicken tender in egg, then roll in panko crumbs. Lay into prepared pan. Continue until all tenders are coated.

4.  Bake 12 minutes, turn over, and bake 5 more minutes, or until finished. Remove from oven, and immediately turn oven off.

5.  Lay Provolone over Chicken Tenders, and place back in TURNED-OFF oven. It’ll still be warm enough to melt the cheese.

6. While cheese melts, heat pasta sauce in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Spoon over melted cheese, and serve!

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