These Taco Spiced Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders are absolutely THE BEST baked, crunchy chicken tenders, with a crispy and flavorful twist with a golden panko bread crumb coating and a taco spiced seasoning! You probably have all the ingredients for the taco seasoning with you already, and making these taco spiced chicken tenders are ridiculously easy! So go ahead and make some flavor-packed crispy baked chicken tenders for dinner tonight!
(PIN IT FOR LATER)
It’s time for another edition of Freaky Friday. This is my fourth time, and each time I’ve had more fun than the previous time! Freaky Friday is a blog hop organized by Michaela from An Affair From the Heart – where several food bloggers participate and each one is assigned another person’s blog (in secret) and they have to choose a recipe they like from that blog and recreate it, photograph it and then share it on their own blog on the same day (today!), at the same time! This is Freaky Friday Spring Edition and I cannot wait to find out who got mine!
So whose blog did I get this time? …….drum roll…..drum roll…..drum roll……. Kelly’s Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen! 🙂 Kelly lives in a cottage right on a small lake in New Jersey surrounded by amazing scenery and wildlife! How dreamy does that sound? She also used to own a catering business and her own restaurant for many years too! So you know her food comes with a lot of passion as well as years and years of hands-on experience in the business. She has accomplished a lot in her life and it’s reflected in the wonderful repertoire of recipes on her blog.
So naturally, I had a tough time picking one of her recipes to reproduce for this Freaky Friday challenge. There were many that were calling out to me, and I was going back and forth between this Cheesy Beef stuffed French Bread, these Cast Iron Skillet Pork Chops, and also these Oklahoma Onion Burgers.
But in the end I picked one that sounded just too irresistible for me. We just had to try it. So Spicy Taco Wings it was! “All of the flavors of tacos, baked right into the wings”, Kelly says. How can you not like the sound of that?
I had to make a few adaptations to the recipe. To have the kind of meat to bone ratio that my hubs would prefer, I used chicken tenders (so yes, all meat and no bones, ha!) instead of wings and made them even crispier with panko bread crumbs! 🙂 I love using chicken tenders for our everyday meals. And I also have a lot of gratitude for them because chicken tenders were a life saver for me when I was a student and living by myself on a typical student budget. They are easy to cook and are the perfect size so that no cutting or chopping is required. Plus, when you cook them right, they are just so tender, juicy and flavorful.
For me, chicken tenders are like a cross between chicken breast and thigh. They have the texture of a chicken breast, with the tenderness of a thigh, and it’s definitely my favorite cut. It’s fantastic to marinate and cook or fry for some delightful crispy chicken pieces. They’re perfect as a full meal with a salad or some vegetables on the side, or as a snack or an appetizer with a tasty dipping sauce. It’s even more guilt free with Crunchy Crispy BAKED chicken wings! All the flavor – No deep frying!
With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, tacos have been on my mind and my to-make list for a while now. If regular tacos aren’t doing it for you anymore though, then you guys should definitely try this taco seasoning! 🙂 These Taco Spiced Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders with a delicious dip would be a great place to start! And just like Kelly says these are super easy to make too.
Growing up in Sri Lanka, breading was a skill that we were taught at an early age. Or was that just me? Crumbed fish, Sri Lankan fish cutlets, or these Sri Lankan Chinese rolls (don’t worry about that nomenclature, I know it makes no sense!) were a delicious and constant part of my life growing up, and I’d always help my mother and my grandmother prep them before they were fried. Fried fish was made so regularly since we loved it as kids. So I learned early on that the most effective way to prep food like this was to have a dry hand and a wet hand. One for the egg wash, one for the bread crumbs and each hand is assigned to an individual bowl. 🙂
And breading chicken tenders is even less messy because it’s only a matter of pressing each side down in the panko crumbs. I’m using panko bread crumbs here because of that amazing golden, crispy coating that they give these crunchy chicken tenders. I first learned about panko crumbs years ago while watching Alton Brown. What I understood back then was that there was a wire mesh and electricity involved in the making of panko crumbs. I remember having this image in my head of someone grating bread on an electric wire mesh!
Well, apparently that’s not how it works.
Panko derives from the two Japanese words – Pan (meaning bread) and Ko (meaning crumbs). Funnily enough, in Sri Lanka, bread is known as paan in Sinhalese. So these bread crumbs are made from a special type of bread that’s “baked” with an electric current, so they don’t have a crust, which is why panko is light in color. And from what I’ve read, this technique was discovered during World War II when Japanese soldiers wanted to eat bread out in the battlefield, so they started using the batteries in their tanks as the power source to “bake” the bread, and quickly realized that bread cooked this way was much softer and lighter in texture.
This bread is then dried and shredded to form exceptionally light and airy bread crumbs. This is why panko has a texture unlike any other kind of bread crumbs. So because of that light and airy texture, panko crumbs become wonderfully crispy when fried or baked, and do not retain oil either. And of course that means healthier as well. 🙂
These taco spiced chicken tenders are baked until they are super crispy, and they are certainly healthier than their fried counterpart. And they are juicy and so flavorful thanks to that amazing taco seasoning, you’ll be looking for reasons to make these again and again. I also made a lime and herb sour cream dipping sauce for these taco spiced chicken but it’s optional. There’s so much flavor in these crispy baked chicken tenders, you can eat them just like that. So go ahead, treat yourself with some taco chicken on Cinco de Mayo this year. And maybe while you’re at it, make yourself a glorious margarita float that is now on the blog!
(tune in on Monday for the recipe for this incredible margarita float guys. You will NOT be disappointed!) . 🙂
Alrighty then, let’s get to the recipe shall we?
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The Best Taco Spiced Crispy Baked Chicken Tenders
Taco Seasoning (makes more than what's required for this recipe)
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp paprika powder
- 1 tbsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp crushed chili flakes/crushed red pepper optional
Crispy Chicken Tenders
- 2 lb / 900g chicken tenders about 12 tenders
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning
- Panko crumbs
- Oil spray
Spiced Egg Wash / Mix
- 2 eggs
- Approximately 3 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp sriracha sauce
Lime and Herb Sour Cream Dip
- ½ cup sour cream
- Zest of 1 lime
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbsp chopped chives
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley curly or flat
- generous pinch of Black Pepper
- generous pinch of Paprika
- Salt to taste
- Mix contents of the taco seasoning together until well combined. Store in an air tight jar and in a cool dry place until needed.
Crispy Chicken Tenders
- Place the chicken tenders, milk and taco seasoning in a bowl and mix well to combine. Leave it aside for about 1 hour (up to overnight) to marinate. This is optional, but recommended for more flavorful chicken.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F. Prepare a baking tray with parchment paper or foil and place a wire rack over it. Spray the wire rack with oil spray. Set aside.
- Whisk together all the ingredients of the spiced egg wash, in a bowl. Place the panko crumbs on a plate.
- To crumb the chicken tenders, use one hand for the wet coating, and the other for the dry coating. You can easily use tongs or a fork instead for the wet coating.
- Place one chicken tender in the egg wash. Coat it with egg wash on both sides using one hand or tongs. Now transfer it to the plate with panko crumbs.
- With your dry hand, sprinkle some of the panko crumbs over the chicken tender piece and press them down gently. Flip the tender over and sprinkle more panko crumbs and press down gently to ensure it's completely coated. Place it on the prepared tray. Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders. Do not overcrowd the tray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 7 minutes until panko crumb coating turns golden. Flip the tenders over and bake for another 7 - 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool down on the rack.
- Serve with a herb and lime sour cream dip.
Lime and Herb Sour Cream Dip
- Mix all the ingredients together, and season with salt to taste.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
So what did we learn today?
We learnt that Panko crumbs are better than regular bread crumbs because they are crispier, lighter and have incredible texture!
We learnt a little about the history of panko crumbs too!
Plus I showed you an easy, less messy way of crumbing your chicken tenders (or almost any food item for that matter) 🙂
Don’t forget to check out all the other awesome bloggers who are participating in Freaky Friday!
An Affair from the Heart – http://www.anaffairfromtheheart.com/
A Dish of Daily Life – http://www.adishofdailylife.com/
Aunt Bee’s Recipes – http://www.auntbeesrecipes.com/
The Devilish Dish – http://thedevilishdish.blogspot.com/
Full Belly Sisters – http://fullbellysisters.blogspot.com/
Cooking on a Budget – http://pattyandersonsblog.blogspot.com/
A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures – http://www.akitchenhoorsadventures.com/
LeMoine Family Kitchen – http://www.lemoinefamilykitchen.com/
Life Currents – http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/
The Flavor Blender – https://www.theflavorbender.com/
The Foodie Affair – http://www.thefoodieaffair.com/
Wildflours Cottage Kitchen – http://wildflourskitchen.com/
Take Two Tapas – http://taketwotapas.com/
Belle of the Kitchen – http://belleofthekitchen.com/
Who Needs a Cape? – http://whoneedsacape.com/
Big Rigs ‘n lil Cookies – http://www.bigrigsnlilcookies.com/
Pic Nic – http://picnicnz.blogspot.com/
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FoodieFriDIY | Friday Favorites | Fiesta Fridays | Saucy Saturdays
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