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Old 08-19-2015, 12:38 AM   #1
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Chicken tenders

I'm struggling to find a good seasoning and breading for chicken tenders. I made a large batch today.

4# boneless skinless chicken breast
3T paprika
2T black pepper
1T salt
1T garlic
10 oz panko bread crumbs


I used a traditional 3 stage breading process. Flour, eggs, and then the bread crumbs.

I used a cast iron skillet with a layer of canola oil--enough to go halfway up the tenders and fry both sides.

The result?

I ended up with unevenly flavored chicken tenders that had a huge breadcrumb layer on the outside. There was just too much breading and not enough chicken. My concerns are that if I make the chicken thicker, I'll burn the outside before the inside gets cooked. I want to make a thinner batter, but I don't want a fried fish batter. Is there somewhere in between?

I'm wondering if there's a flour mixture that will still hold a seasoning and could be thicker than I think. Maybe something more doughy.

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Old 08-19-2015, 05:22 AM   #2
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I do mine in the oven, very similar to these.

Oven-baked Parmesan Chicken Strips Recipe - Food.com

I don't really use a recipe, just a shake of this and a pinch of that. One thing I always add is a big pinch of cayenne pepper.

I like making these for road trips and picnics instead of the traditional fried chicken.
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Old 08-19-2015, 08:43 AM   #3
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I use salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders. Some cayenne will also help. Cayenne can add a good flavor note without being hot if you just add a little.

If you make the tenders thicker, just reduce the heat so the outside won't burn and the meat will be done.
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Old 08-19-2015, 10:30 AM   #4
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The way I do chicken is to use Bisquick and Lawry's seasoned salt. I chunk the chicken into nuggets because they cook faster. Add about 1 cup of Bisquick, Lawry's and a little water on top of the nuggets in a bowl and stir. I've never measured the water. I just make sure there is no dry biscuit mix and it's a thick paste a little thinner than sticky dough but still kind of thick. It doesn't matter if the pieces are evenly covered, just be sure they are all covered, no bare chicken showing. Then I fry them up. They take just minutes to cook since they are nuggets and the coating puffs up nice and light. Lots of chicken flavor comes through since there is only the seasoned salt.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:17 PM   #5
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I happened upon a breading mix recipe that guarantees it will not get soggy in a warm oven.
I have yet to meet a breading mixture that will stay crispy in a warm oven.
The key is supposedly using ground up Arborio rice and wheat flour.

1/3rd cup Arborio rice flour.
2/3rd cup Semolina.
1 cup AP flour.
Salt and pepper.

The chef says any rice can be used to make the rice flour, but that he prefers Arborio.
Put at least 1 cup of rice in blender or processor and mill until ground but not to a powder. You want it to be a bit coarse.
If this mix will allow me to keep crispy fried food crispy in a warm oven like the chef says it will, I plan to make a batch to have for whenever I need it.
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Old 08-19-2015, 02:20 PM   #6
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Ever tried using a batter instead of breading?
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll_Bones View Post
I happened upon a breading mix recipe that guarantees it will not get soggy in a warm oven.
I have yet to meet a breading mixture that will stay crispy in a warm oven.
The key is supposedly using ground up Arborio rice and wheat flour.

1/3rd cup Arborio rice flour.
2/3rd cup Semolina.
1 cup AP flour.
Salt and pepper.

The chef says any rice can be used to make the rice flour, but that he prefers Arborio.
Put at least 1 cup of rice in blender or processor and mill until ground but not to a powder. You want it to be a bit coarse.
If this mix will allow me to keep crispy fried food crispy in a warm oven like the chef says it will, I plan to make a batch to have for whenever I need it.

Are you doing this with an egg dip or flour beforehand?
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Old 08-20-2015, 01:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Ever tried using a batter instead of breading?
I think it would come out too much like fried fish. Bland and boring.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:29 AM   #9
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Never had this happened, having too much breadcrumbs that is. Though I use regular seasoned bread crumbs that I make myself. As far as seasoning goes, I guess you just have to season both sides evenly. One thing I can say, there was way too much oil, and I especially hate canola oil, but that is a personal preference.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:30 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
I think it would come out too much like fried fish. Bland and boring.
Not true at all. Season your batter.
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:40 AM   #11
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I cook chicken breast halves in a sauté pan with no breading, just seasoning. They cook through fine. I don't see why you couldn't make the tenders thicker.

Also, I would suggest seasoning and cooking a smaller batch till you're happy with it. Then you can scale up the recipe.
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Old 08-20-2015, 12:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
I think it would come out too much like fried fish. Bland and boring.
Season the tenders and let them sit for a 1/2 hour or so before dipping and frying. I was thinking along the lines of tempura batter.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Ever tried using a batter instead of breading?
Not for tenders. I guess it would be fine. Just not traditional.

Quote:
Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
Are you doing this with an egg dip or flour beforehand?
Chef says dip in buttermilk first, then dredge.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:54 PM   #14
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I do my chicken parts very simple. I usually do wings or drumsticks, but I also do breast strips this way too. I season thoroughly first with the chicken just damp enough to hold the seasoning. I will sometimes use thyme and rosemary for a savory, traditional poultry seasoning, or cajun or jerk seasoning for a spicier strip. Most anything you like will work, but do your seasoning thoroughly before you bread or flour the chicken.

My favorite for wings and drumsticks is Savory Spice Shop Jamaican Jerk dry seasoning. I use it liberally and season all pieces before dredging in flour. After dredging I let them sit for about 10 minutes until the flour is tacky, Then into a frying pan with oil heated on medium heat. I don't deep fry, just normal fried chicken - oil about half way up the chicken parts - use less oil for smaller pieces. I will usually turn them a couple of times to get them evenly browned. Drain on a rack or paper towel and eat.
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