OMG, Baked Chicken Tenders
Simple to execute but complex in flavor, with almost all the crispy goodness of frying thanks to mayonnaise (which subs in for the oil and eggs, and supplies refreshing acidity). Our OMG blend lends a zip of flavor in the breading and marinade. And using shio koji (one of my favorite wonder ingredients), instead of buttermilk, keeps it dairy free.
The tenderloin in a chicken breast really is a great piece of meat if it's cooked right, and is perfect with some OMG honey mustard. I just wish sometimes that my son Max was more into them like other 3 year olds are, go figure!
OMG Baked Chicken Tenders
1 pound of chicken breast tenderloins (there are usually 9-12 in a pound)
2 Tbsp shio koji or 2 Tbsp buttermilk plus a big pinch of salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-4 tablespoons honey (wildflower is what I usually use)
1/4 cup mustard (I like a mix of whole and smooth dijon)
O.M.G. to taste
OMG Honey Mustard
Prep the chicken
Remove any stray pieces of fat or sinew from the chicken breast tenderloins. If you cannot easily find them you can substitute sliced pieces of chicken breast, but the results will be, unsurprisingly, a bit less tender.
Mix the tenderloins with the shio koji or buttermilk/salt, the 1 tablespoon of OMG, and the mayonnaise, and stir well to combine. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Shio koji is a Japanese product made from fermented rice, and will enzymatically tenderize the chicken much like buttermilk does.
Make the honey mustard
Mix all ingredients of the sauce together, starting with a pinch or two of OMG. Taste and adjust to your preferences. You can also add a bit of vinegar or lemon juice if you want more acidity. Can be kept for two weeks in the refrigerator. If you like it smoky, add a teaspoon of Cataluña N22.
Cook the chicken
Preheat your oven to 400°F and prepare a sheet pan with a wire rack.
Combine a cup of panko with a few big pinches of OMG in a shallow dish and mix well.
Remove the chicken pieces one by one and dredge them in the breadcrumbs, pressing to coat. Then remove them to the wire rack, leaving space between them.
Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 15-20 minutes (will depend on the size of the tenders). Allow to cool on the rack for a few minutes, then enjoy with the honey mustard.
Variations and Ideas:
• I find that the browning is pretty decent on these thanks to the shio koji (which contains some glucose from the fermented rice), but if you'd like to go darker try these two things:
Pre-toast your breadcrumbs in the oven for about 5 minutes. You can use the same baking sheet you'll use later for the chicken.
Give the breaded pieces a light coating of cooking spray before baking.
These are both especially great ideas with gluten-free panko, which I find tends not to brown as well.
• And an (also dairy-free) serving idea. Make a double-batch of the arugula salad from my other OMG chicken recipe:
1 pack of baby arugula (5 ounces), tossed with a dressing made by blending 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar or lemon juice (up to you), 1.5 teaspoons OMG, 4 teaspoons pine nuts, and a big pinch of salt. Chop the cooked tenders into small pieces and use to top the salad. Or use honey mustard for the dressing and a crunchier green like shredded iceberg.
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