Chicken tenders, baked with an herbed breadcrumb coating, served with simple Italian tomato dipping sauce.
- 2 lbs chicken tenders (about 12 pieces)
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning herbs**
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp butter, melted
Tomato Dipping Sauce
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 chopped garlic clove
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
*You can make a substitute for buttermilk by adding a tablespoon and a half of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 1/2 cups of milk and letting the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
**A mixture of dried herbs often used in Italian cooking such as marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil
1 Heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, stirring often, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.
2 Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes more. The tomato paste should darken to a brick-red color.
3 Add the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook this for 5 minutes if using tomato sauce, 10 minutes if using crushed tomatoes.
4 Put the sauce into a blender and purée until smooth. Hold your hand over the blender lid to keep it from popping off, and start the blender at a low setting and work up to the highest.
The sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.
1 Soak tenders in buttermilk for 15-30 minutes. While the tenders are soaking, make the sauce (see sauce directions above).
2 Mix together the breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, and salt in a shallow bowl.
3 Heat oven to 500°F. Line a roasting pan with foil. Brush the top of the foil with vegetable oil to help prevent sticking, or use a Silpat sheet. One by one, remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk and place in the bowl with breadcrumbs, coating them on all sides with the breadcrumbs. Place on the roasting pan.
4 Drizzle a little melted butter over each chicken tender. Place in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through, and the pieces are lightly browned.
Serve with a bowl of the sauce for dipping.
Yield: Serves 4-6.