My husband loved chicken tenders. I think more because they’re usually deep fried than for their texture which I find generally to be stringy because they’re often overcooked. I found an adaptable recipe online so I decided to give them a try. It’s quite an easy recipe to make but I’d suggest you make the sauce first so the tenders don’t sit around after frying waiting for the sauce. Like most things that are fried, once dipped in the sauce, they will quickly lose their crunch so serve immediately after you finish preparation. Makes 2 servings.
First, put the oil on to heat. In a deep 12″ skillet heat over medium high heat:
approximately 3/4″ of oil (I used a mix of olive and avocado oil)
Next prepare the sauce. In a small saucepan, whisk together:
1/3 cup soy sauce substitute
1 tablespoon date sugar
1/2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon pumpkin seed butter (or any butter you like – sunflower, peanut, tahini, etc.)
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
2 tablespoons water (more may be added if the sauce gets too thick)
1-2 teaspoons arrowroot (I used 2 and the sauce got much too thick)
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic puree
Cook over medium heat until thickened. I had to add about 1/4 cup of water to thin mine out and I think now that I probably should have made it even thinner so that the sauce wasn’t as thick on the tenders but I didn’t mind it since the sauce is so delicious!
Next coat ONE POUND of chicken tenders. Mix together in a shallow dish:
1 cup gluten-free panko bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika (or if you want them really spicy, use red pepper flakes instead)
In a separate shallow dish add:
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
Dip each tender into the milk to coat and then into the crumb mixture. Gently place in the oil that should now be at 350 degrees (after you add the tenders if the oil is still at temperature, reduce heat from medium high to medium). Cook on the first side for approximately 3-4 minutes before turning and browning on the other side for another 2-3 minutes or until firm. Remove from fat. Be sure not to crowd the tenders in the skillet. Drain on paper towels. When all the tenders are fried, dip each one into the sauce making sure to coat evenly. Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh cilantro or green scallions.