Friday, February 11, 2011

A Healthy Take on Chicken Nuggets: Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce

Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Americans, particularly American children, love chicken nuggets. I know that I grew up lusting after the golden-brown, crispy chicken bits (my mother was a health food guru and rarely allowed them in our house).

However, they aren't the healthiest choice--they're usually breaded and fried, and made of a chicken composite material that would make you gag if you saw it come out of the factory (check out this video where Chef Jamie Oliver shows a group of kids how chicken nuggets are made).

But there's no need to fear--you don't have to go cold turkey (no pun intended) on chicken nuggets. Here's my healthy take on this beloved dish.

Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
I start with organic chicken tenders, dust them with a little garlic powder and encrust them with panko (Japanese breadcrumbs). Then, I bake them in a 375 degree oven for thirty minutes (they come up nice and crispy).

I serve these lovely, golden-brown tenders with a homemade honey-mustard sauce that I whip up using whole grain mustard and raw honey (but regular honey works great).

Serve with Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Parmesan or Kale with Currants and Pine Nuts

Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Print Recipe

1 pound chicken tenders
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and freshly ground pepper

honey-mustard sauce
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Rinse chicken tenders and pat dry. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and salt and pepper. Working with one at a time, coat the tenders with flour, shaking off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, also shaking off the excess. Finally, coat with the panko breadcrumbs.

Place on a cookie that's lined with parchment paper or sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat with the remaining tenders. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, to make the honey-mustard sauce, whisk together all the ingredients.

Place a few chicken tenders on a plate along with a cup of the honey-mustard dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Source for Ingredients
organic chicken tenders, whole grain mustard, panko breadcrumbs, and organic lemons from Trader Joe's

organic raw honey, spelt flour, and garlic powder from Whole Foods

organic eggs from West Hollywood Farmers Market


  1. Have you figured out a good gluten free alternative for these?? Have been craving them. :)