One of the most frequent comments I hear is some version of “Oh you are so lucky, your children are such good eaters.”
I seriously have to laugh every time I hear this comment and apologize if I have led you to believe that my four Littles are anything but normal finicky food eating kiddos. Kiddos who if left alone in the grocery store would eat nothing but M&Ms and Goldfish. Gratefully, the Littles rarely accompany me to the grocery. I will say, the Littles are adventurous eaters. And they are generally good sports about trying new foods as nearly every meal is an experiment of sorts around here. Some scoring higher points than others naturally.
According to the Littles, Maple Pretzel Chicken Tenders are a home run. I made a generous batch of these kid-friendly, mommy-approved tenders and they are still begging for more. The sweet & salty coated chicken held up great the next day for packed school lunches. Husband was traveling the night I conducted this little experiment, but I feel certain these will score high on his taste-o-meter too. I tossed one (or two) on a salad and have to admit, Maple Pretzel Chicken Tenders are finger lickin’ good. Sorry Colonel.
Maple Pretzel Chicken Tenders
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 large egg
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 1/2 – 3 cups pretzels, finely ground (I used Glutino Pretzel Twists)
Canola oil, for frying
Place chicken between two pieces of parchment paper. Flatten chicken (with your fist, a rolling pin, or kitchen mallet) to 1/2 – in thickness.
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the egg and maple syrup.
Grind the pretzels in a food processor until they are fine crumbs. If you do not have a food processor, you can crush the pretzels in a ziplock bag. Make sure to get the crumbs as finely crushed as possible. Place the pretzel crumbs in a shallow bowl.
Cut the chicken breasts into tender-sized pieces. Dredge the chicken in the maple and egg mixture until fully coated. Place the tenders in the pretzel crumbs and coat to cover.
Add oil to your skillet. The amount of oil you add will depend on the size of your skillet. You are not going to fully immerse or deep fry the tenders, but you want enough oil to cover about 1/2 of the chicken.
Cook chicken, in batches, over medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes per side or until tenders are fully cooked. Drain on paper towel.
Hints & Tips:
* The tenders held up great and made great school lunches the next day.
* I’m sure you could bake these tenders (350 degrees for 20 – 30 minutes) for healthier fare. But, I can’t promise they will hold up to the fried version’s knocked-out-of-the-ballpark reputation.
* The Littles love Glutino pretzels. I save the crumbs, salt and broken bits from the bottom of the bags in a container until I’m ready to make the tenders.
What kid-friendly foods do your Littles love?