Making breaded chicken strips at home doesn’t have to be a challenge. You can make crispy dip-ready chicken tenders, without worrying about deep frying and feeding your family something unhealthy. With just a few basic ingredients and a turn of the knob on your oven, you’ll have a dinner that pleases even the pickiest of eaters on the table in no time.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a sheet tray or two -- depending on how many you’re making -- inside your oven to warm up while you’re prepping.
Make a coating mixture. You can purchase bread crumbs and toast them up in the oven beforehand for extra crunch. Another option is to crush up dried rice cereal or a dried flake type of cereal in a food processor, or place the cereal in a sealed plastic bag and roll over it a few times with a rolling pin. Season the mixture with dried or fresh herbs, your favorite spices and a touch of salt and pepper.
Set up a standard breading procedure station. You’ll need three separate bowls for your mini assembly line -- think dry, wet, dry, when setting up your bowls. The first one should have flour; the second bowl is for the egg wash mixture and the final bowl is for your crusty coating.
Pat dry all of your chicken cutlets with a clean paper towel. You need to remove the excess moisture so all of your coating can stick.
Coat each chicken tender in the flour and shake off the extra powder, using tongs or a gloved hand. Quickly dip the flour-coated chicken piece in the egg wash and then place the wet chicken in the coating mixture. Ensure that all sides are completely covered with the crust.
Place the battered chicken tender on a large platter or plate. Continue to coat the remaining pieces of chicken in the same manner until all tenders are coated.
Remove the hot sheet tray from the oven and carefully place each coated chicken cutlet on the tray. Using a heated sheet tray helps make your chicken a bit more crispy. Leave a couple inches between each piece so they can each thoroughly cook. Once the tray is full, place it in the oven to bake.
Check the temperature of each piece of chicken, with a probe, after about 12 to 15 minutes in the oven. Insert the probe into the thickest part of each tender. All cuts of poultry need to reach an internal temperature of 165 F to prevent food-borne illnesses, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services advises.