On the treadmill at the gym yesterday, I caught an episode of Guy Fieri’s “Off the Hook” on the Food Network. It inspired me to go home and make my own version of what he was cooking. He was using crushed pretzels and almonds to coat chicken strips. “Brilliant!” I thought. I had chicken tenders in my refrigerator at home, pretzels in the cupboard, and a four-year-old son who wants to eat chicken nuggets every night anyway. So I adapted his recipe to my liking and gave it a whirl. Guy Fieri’s full recipe can be found here: Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders with Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce.
My version is slightly different. I didn’t have buttermilk on hand nor did I have time to let the tenders marinate for long, but the results were still great and my 4-year old actually cleaned his plate (which I neither require nor encourage, but still).
This was the first time I was truly successful at keeping the coating on something frying. Was it the milk that made the difference or the fact that the coating was made of such granular pieces? I’m not sure, but it really worked.
Ingredients (4 servings)
1 package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders (about 1.5 lbs)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground Garlic Pepper
1 Tbsp Spice Islands™ Spicy Chicken Seasoning
1/2 cup mini pretzels
1/2 cup roasted, salted, almonds
1 cup of 2% milk
1/2 cup olive oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan with 1/4 inch depth)
1. Sprinkle chicken tenders with salt, garlic pepper and Spicy Chicken seasoning on both sides. Put in large zip lock bag and add milk. Shake to coat with milk. If you have time, pop it in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
2. Put pretzels and almonds in a food processor and grind for about 15 seconds. I used my new Cuisinart Mini Prep, which made it really easy.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy bottom frying pan over medium-high heat, until oil is almost smoking. Meanwhile, dredge chicken strips in coating and place on a plate.
4. Once the pan is hot, place the strips carefully into the oil. They should sizzle immediately. Do not crowd the pan. I put 4-6 strips in my pan at one time. Fry for four minutes, then use tongs to turn them over gently. Fry for another four minutes. They should be golden brown on both sides.
5. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towel. Drain fat, then serve immediately.