For those of you wondering "What is panko?" let me tell you you're in for a treat. Panko is a Japanese style bread crumb. Panko, unlike your "normal" finely ground/dense bread crumb is a larger, more airy crumb which results in more of a lighter, crispier coating.
It's perfect for breading so many things: fish, chicken, shrimp, pork and it also makes a great crunchy topping for so many different casseroles or to add a little crunch on top of some homemade mac & cheese. Panko bread crumbs can be found in almost any grocery store, so go out, buy yourself some and give it a try!
Last night I made some homemade panko crusted chicken tenders and my little boys ate them up! I also made a roasted red pepper aioli for dipping (stay tuned for that recipe)
Let me tell you these are so much more flavorful and healthy than frozen store bought or fast food chicken nuggets that kids always tend to love.
Now I'm not saying these are a great low fat food, they are in fact deep fried, but it helps that I use lean chicken breast rather than the processed chicken "parts" that go into the store bought/fast food and even most restaurant chicken tenders.
Panko Crusted Chicken Tenders
1/2 c. of flour
1 t of salt
1/2 t of pepper
1 t of garlic powder
about 1 & 1/2 c. of panko bread crumbs
3 large chicken breasts cut into strips or nuggets and removed of all fat
about 1 & 1/2 - 2 c. of canola or vegetable oil
Make a little assembly line... first put your flour in a ziploc bag along with the salt, pepper and garlic powder and shake to mix the seasoning.
Crack your eggs in a bowl and whip with a fork.
Spread out the panko on a large plate. At the end of the assembly line have a large empty plate to place the chicken tenders on
Take your cut up chicken breasts and add them to your ziploc bag, seal and shake to coat with the seasoned flour. Add a few of the chicken strips to the egg and coat, then to the panko to coat and repeat until all of the chicken is breaded
In a large sauté pan add your oil (about a 1/2 inch deep) and heat over med-hi heat for about 8 minutes. To test if the oil is hot enough add a few panko crumbs, if they start sizzling the oil is ready. Place some paper towels on a large plate to have ready for when the chicken is done
You will need to fry the chicken in about 2-3 batches depending on how big your sauté pan is. Cook the chicken tenders for appx 2 & 1/2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through.
You may need to add more oil in between batches to keep it at least 1/2 inch deep, if you do make sure you give it a minute or two for the oil to heat up again before you add the next batch