We could all use more comfort food right now, and if you can find chicken breasts, you can’t do much better, comfort-wise, than a batch of homemade, pantry-friendly chicken tenders.
Typically, breaded chicken, whether it be in tenders or any other form, gets what’s called a “standard breading”: some type of flour, followed by a dip in beaten eggs, and then finally a crunchy topping, which is often some form of breadcrumb. If you’re counting, that already takes us up to four ingredients, and we haven’t even considered seasonings or dips.
Instead, I’ve trimmed down the breading ingredients to two — sour cream and crushed potato chips. The sour cream functions as a glue in the same way as the flour and eggs, and it can do double duty as the main ingredient in a quick dip. The potato chips, well, those bring crunch and plenty of seasoning to the dish. The only other ingredient I’m adding to the chicken tenders themselves, other than salt and pepper, is garlic powder, which complements the salty tang of the chips and adds complexity to the mild flavor of the chicken, without the additional prep time that fresh garlic cloves would add. Garlic powder also makes an appearance in the dip, along with smoky chipotle chiles in adobo, which I stir into sour cream while the chicken cooks.
Speaking of cooking the chicken, it will take the bulk of our 30-minute window, so it is imperative to make it easy to get the tenders into the oven. Simply toss the chicken tenders in a bowl with the sour cream and seasonings, then add to a large zip-close bag filled with crushed potato chips. (You can crush the chips with your hands or a rolling pin.) Seal and shake it all together, then spread out the tenders on a wire rack-lined baking sheet. The rest of the cooking is hands-free, in the oven. If you need a side dish, steam some broccoli or cauliflower while the chicken is baking — the florets will also be great dipped in the sauce.
Potato Chip Chicken Tenders
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