Upgraded Chicken Tenders with Honey Almond Mustard Sauce
When Amy recently requested chicken tenders for dinner, I discovered that Cheerios (of all things!) make a pretty good breading for oven-baked nuggets. All you have to do is grind them up and, some seasonings, and you have a bread crumbs replacement that's gluten-free. Yes, Cheerios are now GF. They are also a pantry staple for us these days - they make Des (13 months) very happy.
Because I always like to take things one step further nutritionally, I added hemp seeds (for extra protein) and sesame seeds (for bonus calcium). Using ziploc bags for coating the chicken means less time dealing with the raw chicken (a recipe winner for me!) and less clean-up.
I also boosted the nutrition and flavor of the honey mustard dipping sauce by adding ground almonds. You can dip pretzels in it for a snack if, for some reason, there's any left over.
UPGRADED CHICKEN TENDERS
1-1.5 pounds chicken tenders
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Athlete Food Green Seasoning
salt & pepper
1 cup of Cheerios
1/2 teaspoon 5 spice powder
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 large ziploc bags
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray or spread with a fine layer of olive oil.
Prepare chicken marinade by combining yogurt, Green Seasoning, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Transfer marinade to a large ziploc bag and add chicken pieces. Marinate 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In the meantime, prepare the Cheerios crumbs. Add Cheerios and 5 spice powder to a food processor and process in bursts until you have a mix of fine crumbs, but still have some large pieces of Cheerios. You can do this by hand if you want an extra workout. Transfer to the second ziploc bag and add seeds.
When chicken is ready, transfer 1-2 pieces at a time to the bag of crumbs, allowing any extra marinade to drip off first. Shake the bag to coat the chicken. Transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pieces of chicken. Note: only put a few pieces in the bag at a time to ensure that all sides get coated.
Bake for 10 minutes. Then switch oven to broil and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on the oven when broiling since some broilers are stronger than others and things can burn easily. Also, cut into one of the pieces to make sure it isn't pink. We don't like pink chicken here!
HONEY ALMOND MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground almonds (or almond flour)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Combine all ingredients until smooth.