Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spicy Crispy Chicken Tenders - (Cereal is the secret ingredient)

This was a recipe that I created last year on a "faux chopped" challenge over at my favorite recipe site, Just a Pinch.  The secret ingredients for that particular challenge was "captain crunch cereal, feta cheese and hot sauce"...
I know right?
So I put my *thinking cap on* and came up with this amazing recipe.  The chicken is crispy, tender and just bursting with flavor.  Spicy and slightly sweet... you have the best of both worlds!!  Then add the creamy dipping sauce, it was literally out of this world!!I have since made this dish using various cereals as well.  The above picture is I believe a crunch flake of some kind and rice crispies cereal.  I left the rice crispy chunkier and it gave it such an amazing crunch!!
This recipe has literally become a family favorite.

Frugal tip:  You know when the kids (or hubby), leave just a little cereal at the bottom of the box?  Is it just my  house??  There is never enough for a serving, and you just hate to waste it...  I now place the various cereals in a tuppeware container and stick it in the freezer to use when needed.  

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go:

1-1/2 lbs or 3 medium size boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 cups buttermilk, (or make your own using the 1 cup per 1 tbsp acidic ratio)
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco)

3 eggs
3 Tbsp water
1 cup cereal
1-1/2 cups flour *divided*
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup seasoned panko bread crumbs (or bread crumbs of your choice)

1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled fine
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 Tbsp Greek seasoning
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
**See cooks note**

Start by filleting the chicken breasts. Once you have achieved 6 breast slices, slice the the chicken breasts vertically into strips. Slicing them as thin or thick as you like. Place in a bowl.
To bowl add; seasonings, hot sauce and finally buttermilk. Place in fridge to marinate for approximately 1/2 - 1 hr.

Meanwhile, as chicken tenders are marinating, prepare you dip. In a small bowl add crumbled feta, blue cheese dressing, mayonnaise, sour cream, seasonings and parsley. Combine thoroughly and pour into a pretty bowl and set in fridge to chill till ready to serve.

In a mini food processor or large one, add the 1 cup of cereal and pulse till desired consistency, you can make as fine or bits of pieces, I prefer the later. Set aside.
Let's prepare our dredging station.  Using three plates add;
#1: Add 1 cup of flour, paprika and the onion powder, mix till thoroughly combined.
#2: Add the eggs and water.
#3: Add the cereal, Panko bread crumbs and the other 1/2 c of flour, mix till thoroughly combined.
Set aside.  

At this point, the chicken tenders should be ready, let's get ready to RUMBLE!!! I have no clue how that popped into my head, but alas it did!! :-)
Heat your deep fryer or favorite pan with enough oil to deep fry, usually about 1" deep.
Bring temperature to medium high heat.
Drain the marinated chicken tenders. Using tongs or fingers. Dredge the chicken tenders, first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally into the cereal/panko bread crumb mixture.

Add to frying pan and fry for a few minutes on each side till nice and golden brown.  Remove onto paper lined plate and keep warm.  Continue cooking  the rest of the chicken tenders.

Serve with dip, veggies or your favorite side dish.  I served them with battered fried zucchini and fresh cucumbers and tomato slices.

Have to share with you a picture of the delectable battered zucchini bites, HEAVEN!!!  Light and crispy and it married perfectly with the spicy chicken tenders!

I leave you with a comment; sometimes "odd ingredients", create the best dishes...

Cooks note:  You can certainly use your favorite dipping sauce for this recipe.  I have to be honest with you though, this dipping sauce is absolutely delicious!!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi


  1. O M G...speechless...so yummy, and love the sauce...I WILL be making that one soon!

    1. Let me know sissy... you know we have the same loves!!!

  2. These look so yummy Didi...and the zucchini looks awesome too...I want that recipe also.

    1. Thank you so much "unknown"! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!