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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Parmesan Chicken Tenders with Marinara Dipping Sauce

By request, I've decided to add this meal to the blog.  This was something I threw together quickly last night with the ingredients I already had on hand.  The chicken is breaded twice to give it a crunchy texture while still keeping the meat moist.  It is imperative to use regular olive oil, not EVOO, in this recipe as it has a higher smoke point.  Or you can opt to bake these tenders; they will still come out crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. 

The marinara is quick and easy to throw together and can be jarred and stored in the fridge for up to two weeks!  This is the same marinara I used in my Lasagna Rolls recipe a few months ago.  Enjoy!


2 Chicken breasts - cut into tenders
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 cup regular olive oil


For Marinara Sauce

2 - 28oz cans Tutturoso crushed tomatoes (or your favorite brand)
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
1 tbsp EVOO
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup fat free chicken stock
fresh basil - chiffondaled
salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan, heat the EVOO over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic to the pan and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, and pepper and simmer uncovered on low for 45 minutes. 

In the last 10 minutes of cooking add the chiffondaled basil and taste.  (To chiffondale basil, lay the leaves on top of each other and roll, creating a log shape.  Thinly slice into strips) Adjust seasonings if needed.  This can be jarred and stored in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Combine flour, garlic salt and onion powder in a bowl and mix well.  In another bowl gently whisk your eggs.  In a third bowl combine the Parmesan cheese, Italian bread crumbs, and panko bread crumbs.   Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the regular olive oil. 

Dredge each tender through the flour, shaking off any excess coating.  Dip it in the egg, allowing excess to drip off, then toss in the breadcrumb mixture pressing the coating into the tender so that it sticks, and set aside.  Add the tenders to the skillet (they should not be completely covered in the oil) and cook untouched for 5-6 minutes.  Flip and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the coating is golden brown.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 3-4 minutes before serving.  

Alternative Method:

If you choose, you can also bake these chicken tenders.  Follow the instructions above for breading the chicken.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Liberally spray a non-stick baking pan with cooking spray. Place the tenders on the pan at least one inch apart.  Lightly spray the top of each tender with cooking spray.  Bake for 15 minutes and flip, cooking an additional 10 minutes, or until tenders are golden brown. 

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