It is no surprise that children love chicken tenders- but lets be perfectly honest here.... so do us adults! Especially when they are super crunchy, totally healthy and with a little kick of smokey spice. These Baked Chipotle Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders are just that. Do you see how amazingly crunchy they are?! There is seriously no need to fry these guys thanks to the panko bread crumbs. The flavor of the Chipotle chiles adds just the right taste profile to satisfy us grown-ups. If you aren't familiar, Chipotle chiles are smoke dried jalapeños. Just a sprinkle gives no heat just smokey flavor. But go a little too heavy handed and you will be in for a surprise. So please be sure to taste this stuff before seasoning too heavy. The heat can catch up on you! You can definitely leave the Chipotle chili spice out if your children are sensitive to strong flavors, but my 4 year old loved them. Don't be afraid of introducing your kids to new flavors. You will be surprised at just how complex their tastebuds can be if you give them a chance!
Baked Chipotle Chili Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast tenders (if you can't find already prepared tenders use chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thin and cut into 1 1/2" wide strips)
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper spice (I love McCormick's brand)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with foil and lightly spraying with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
In a shallow dish, add the flour and season with salt and pepper. In another shallow dish, season the eggs with salt and pepper and lightly beat. In a third shallow dish, combine panko breadcrumbs with oregano, chipotle chili pepper, garlic salt, and pepper.
Dredge tenders in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess flour. Dip the floured chicken tenders into the egg and then coat the chicken tenders with the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips.
Bake chicken tenders for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping once part way through the cook time. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.