Chicken Strips, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Fingers. Whatever name you decide to call them, these crispy crunchy homemade chicken tenders crusted with quinoa and almond meal make for the perfect snack or dinner anytime! The chicken fingers are gluten free and do not have any questionable ingredients! You can decide exactly what spices and flavors you want when you make them yourself, making this a very versatile recipe.
Hi to all my chicken loving friends, this post is for you (and Dave). Not to worry vegetarians, this is actually an amazing crust for zucchini and eggplant Parmesan as well 🙂 It’s probably no surprise to any of you that visit us here at PancakeWarriors, but we don’t eat much fried foods. So when Dave declared he wanted chicken tenders the other evening, I had to come up with a gluten free version of this childhood favorite!
My first thought was to do an almond meal crust, but was afraid it would get too “cakey” and wouldn’t have the right texture. I did a homemade fish stick recipe using quinoa and Dave actually liked it (he’s not a huge fan of fish), so I figured if he like it on fish sticks, he might just love it for chicken tenders as well. Once I had a recipe in mind, I asked him to help me in the kitchen so I could deem this an “easy to make” recipe. And it was a success. 🙂
I can happily say that Dave cut and breaded all the chicken tenders beautifully! I took the supervising role, it’s sometimes what I’m best at 🙂 The coating stuck well to the chicken and he really enjoyed them! I added just a little bit of thyme to the breading and of course salt and pepper to make sure things had flavor. This whole process was pretty painless actually.
What Dave really loved about this recipe was that we were able to control the quality of the chicken as well as the ingredients. Like I’ve mentioned before, he tends to have a gluten sensitivity, and that keeps him from enjoying some of his old “favorite” foods. Luckily he can add chicken tenders back to his list of foods to enjoy whenever he wants without tummy troubles!
The list of ingredients isn’t very long and the process isn’t very difficult, as long as you don’t skip a step! Flour, egg wash, breading! Unfortunately, I have no idea how to do this without dirtying up a few pans, but that’s just the name of the game when you are making chicken tenders at home. That’s what the dishwasher is for I guess!
- 3 large chicken breasts, cut into tenders
- ⅓ cup oat flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg white
- Juice of one lemon
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ⅔ cups almond meal
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- In a medium sized saucepan, cook ½ cup dried, rinsed quinoa with 1 cup water. Bring to boil and let cook until all water is evaporated. Will take about 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Cut chicken breast into tenders and place in a bowl or container.
- Wash hands and make 3 stations: flour, egg wash and coating.
- You will also want to line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil and spray it with nonstick spray (coconut oil).
- The first station: ⅓ cup oat flour, pinch of salt and few cracks of black peper
- The second station: 2 eggs and one egg white mixed with the juice of one lemon. Pinch of salt and few cracks of black pepper
- The third station: 1 cup cooked quinoa, ¼ cup coconut flour, ⅔ cup almond meal, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme and a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper.
- Once stations have been set up:
- Take one tender, place it in the flour, be sure to lightly coat it in the flour then transfer it to the egg wash.
- Make sure all sides are covered in egg wash by flipping the chicken tender over in the egg wash. Transfer to the coating.
- Using a fork, cover the chicken tender in the quinoa coating, pressing down on the coating from the top. Make sure both sides are covered. Transfer to cookie sheet
- Line up chicken tenders on the cookie sheet leaving a little bit of space around each so air can circulate.
- Once all tenders have been covered, spray the tenders with olive oil or coconut oil on the top. This will help both the top and the bottom brown equally.
- Place cookie sheet in the oven for 30-35 minutes. Internal temperature of chicken should reach 165. You should choose the thickest piece of chicken and use a thermometer to ensure the chicken is thoroughly cooked through (make sure the thermometer isnt touching the pan when you are taking the temperature).
- If you don't have a thermometer, you can use the "cut test" which is you choose the thickest tender and cut into it. No part of the chicken should be pink at all.
Linking up today with Karly
What about you?
- Do you have a childhood favorite recipe you hope to make healthier so you can enjoy it more often?
- Have you made chicken tenders or fish sticks at home before?
- What is your favorite thing to dip chicken tenders in?