I have no problem repeating the fact that my favorite childhood meal, and to this day, is fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn. To me, that meal just screams comfort food. I make it for my kids about once every two weeks. I do not do the fried chicken all that often, but I do put in a nice baked whole chicken to replace the fried component. There is something, however, that I have not admitted to anyone on Simple Comfort Food, and that is the meal that I began requesting, I think, in middle school and throughout high school, for my birthday meal.
The meal itself did consist of chicken, however it was my mom’s chicken little fingers recipe that I simply craved. These are not your boring old tenders that you bring out of the frozen section and pop in the oven for 14 minutes. These are indeed the real deal, almost adult-like if you will, and packed with really great flavors. As my birthday recently passed, I decided to make these chicken tenders, sharing the memories of my middle and high school cravings along the way.
Let’s get started.
- 6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch strips
- 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp worchestershire sauce
- 1tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1tsp poultry seasoning
- 1tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 1/2 cups of regular bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 butter, melted
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, melted
To a large bowl, mix the buttermilk, lemon juice and all of the seasonings. Basically everything but the bread crumbs, seeds, butter, and shortening. Once mixed, add in the sliced chicken and add to a large ziploc bag, and marinate this over night.
Add the butter and shortening to a sauce pan and begin to melt the two on medium to low heat.
Lightly grease two, 13×9 baking pans and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
When you are prepared to make the chicken tenders, mix your bread crumbs and sesame seeds in another ziploc, or thick paper bag. Add in the chicken tenders, a few at a time to the crumb mix, and give it a good shake, making sure you cast each tender. Place them on the baking pan, and repeat until all tenders are coated.
Pour the butter mixture over each of the tenders, and place in the oven for approximately 40-50 minutes, or until you achieve a nice golden color on the tender.
You will notice that some of the tenders will caramelize on the bottom (my favorite), and the coating holds nicely to each tender. Remove with a thin spatula, and plate.
Everyone at the table loved these tenders, much like I did many years ago. The great thing, is that I still loved them much the same, and something I will continue to make during my birthday. Hope you enjoy.