These crunchy baked chicken tenders are life changing! The secret to truly golden, truly crunchy baked breaded chicken is to toast the breadcrumbs in the oven first. Bonus: No dirty fingers with my quick crumbing technique!
This is a reader-favourite recipe included by popular demand in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!
Really crunchy Baked Chicken Tenders
There is no feel-good story behind these crunchy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders. Quite simply, I am yet to meet anything deep fried that I didn’t love, but a) my waistline can’t afford the real thing every time I feel like it; and b) I reserve deep frying for “special occasions”. Because… well, you know.
Mess, oil wastage, gluey fingers.
Waistline. Bottom expansion.
It also irritated me no end that the breadcrumbs always came out splotchy, no matter how much oil I used.
So this is how I make baked crumbed chicken.
Baked breaded chicken – my way
Toast the breadcrumbs in the oven for just a few minutes. This is the path to truly golden, truly crunchy baked breaded chicken even with a short bake time (max 20 minutes for chicken tenders). PS Much MUCH easier than pan frying!
One dredge batter – the usual process for crumbing is flour then egg then breadcrumbs. For this quick ‘n easy recipe, I combine the egg with flour plus mustard and mayo for flavour + oil (attempt to replicate deep fried) to make a thick batter in which the chicken is dredged. This stuff is great glue for the breadcrumbs!
Clean fingers! Use tongs to transfer the batter slathered chicken into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs to cover, press down to adhere. Transfer to tray. Marvel at clean fingers!!
Give it a light spray of oil, bake for 15 minutes and voila! This is what you get:
LOOK HOW GOLDEN THEY ARE!! Just imagine that crunch when you bite into the juicy chicken inside!
It’s pictured above with a Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Just like Maccers. Only homemade. 🙂
– Nagi x
Watch how to make it
This recipe features in my debut cookbook Dinner. The book is mostly new recipes, but this is a reader favourite included by popular demand!
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Tenders
- 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (Note 1)
- Oil spray
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard (or other mustard)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Black pepper
- 500 g/1 lb chicken tenderloins (or breast cut into 2/3″ / 1.5cm thick slices, lengthwise)
- Oil spray
- Preheat oven to 200C/390F.
- Spread panko on a baking tray, spray with oil (spray vertically to avoid blowing the panko off the tray), then bake for 3 to 5 minutes until light golden. Transfer to bowl.
- Place a rack on a baking tray (not critical but bakes more evenly).
- Place the Batter ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a fork until combined.
- Add the chicken into the Batter and toss to coat.
Crumbing (see video & photo in post)
- Pick up chicken with tongs and place it into the panko bowl.
- Sprinkle surface with breadcrumbs, then press down to adhere. Transfer onto baking tray. Marvel at clean fingers, repeat with remaining chicken.
- Spray lightly with oil, sprinkle with a touch of salt (optional). Bake 15 minutes (medium) or up to 20 minutes if gigantic. Any longer = dried out chicken.
- Remove from oven and serve immediately, with Sauce of choice (Honey Mustard pictured, see Note 2) and sprinkled with fresh parsley, if desired.
Originally published April 2015, updated with new photos, video, words in post. No change to recipe, though some minor writing tidying up has been done.
More crunchy crumbed chicken
A crunchy golden crumb takes any chicken from bland to delicious!
LIFE OF DOZER
That hopeful sparkle in his eyes…. (it was false hope) (Oh wait, I lied. I gave him a bite!)