From day one, Laurel has been utterly (sometimes maddeningly) discriminating when it comes to the origin of her nutrients. She waged a fierce battle over taking breastmilk from a bottle (guess who ultimately lost that one…), and flat out refused to eat jarred baby food after months of exposure to homemade food. Once she hit toddlerhood, I repeatedly tried to entice her with store bought chicken nuggets (or other easy freezer items) to no avail.
One day we had little else other than chicken breast, eggs, and breadcrumbs in the fridge so I decided to make chicken tenders for the grownups. I didn't expect Laurel to respond favorably since she had shown little interest in meat, but she went crazy over them, particularly served with San-J Sweet & Tangy sauce (shown; click thumbnail to enlarge). These tenders now are a weekly staple, served with rice and vegetables.
To prepare the tenders, slice chicken breast (one whole breast – about 1 pound – is enough for 2 adults and 1 toddler, plus some leftovers) into pieces about ¼ inch thick and place in a bowl. Crack an egg over the chicken and mix to coat. Pour some breadcrumbs (we use Ian’s Italian Panko Breadcrumbs, shown) in a separate bowl and mix with a little salt. Heat a skillet at medium heat and thinly coat with olive oil (we have a terrific double burner griddle that allows us to do the entire batch at once). Coat chicken pieces in breadcrumbs and fry until golden and cooked through, about a minute or so on each side.
I can hardly blame Laurel for wanting homemade. These tenders are fabulous, and the leftovers do well either cut up in little chunks for her school lunch, or in pressed panini sandwiches layered with avocado, tomato, and cheese.