People ask me all the time if I just come up with all of my recipes on my own. Truth be told, there are really few things that haven’t been done. Food blogging is about being inspired. I see an enchilada recipe and that prompts recipes like my Layered Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas. It’s not that everyone hasn’t made baked chicken tenders. But what about Citrus Spicy Chicken tenders? These chicken tenders have a kick and a zing all their own.
These are not the baked chicken tenders that are soggy on the bottom and flavorless. You will easily replace any fried chicken tender recipes you have with these , because they are just as delicious, if not better. Lemon zest provides a punch. Crushed red pepper flakes add heat and the whole wheat panko bread crumbs mean you won’t miss the frying.
One of the secrets to these Citrus Spicy Chicken Tenders, is using a baking rack over top the baking sheet. This allows the heat to circulate around the chicken. This means no soggy bottomed baked chicken. I get everything on Amazon, so if you need the cooling rack, you can find a link at the bottom of this post. I am happy to point you in the right direction.
Look at all that crispy goodness! You can make a dipping sauce for these, but I have to tell you that they are really flavorful enough on their own. Serve these with a salad or get the kids super excited and add on a side of my Boardwalk Oven Fries. Chicken tenders and french fries become a healthy family meal when you use the right cooking methods. You can create the same crunch of a fried chicken tender when you turn up the heat, use a rack and coat the top of the chicken and the rack in olive oil cooking spray. So, get in the kitchen and make these tonight. Your family will be so excited you did.
This recipe was adapted from Trisha Yearwood’s Unfried Chicken
You can purchase a stainless steel baking rack from Amazon via the link below. This is an affiliate link and your purchasing from it helps support this blog. Thank you!
Citrus Spicy Chicken Tenders
- 16 Chicken Tenders
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. hot sauce
- 2 cups whole wheat panko bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- zest of 1 lemon
- Olive Oil Cooking Spray
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the buttermilk and hot sauce. Put the chicken tenders into the buttermilk mixture and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Mix together the bread crumbs, lemon zest, pepper flakes and a generous amount of salt into a shallow dish.
- Put a wire wrack over a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray. Dredge the chicken in the bread crumb mix and then lay on the baking sheet. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake the chicken tenders for 10 minutes. Flip the tenders and bake another 10 minutes. If you like your tenders super crispy, you can broil for the last 2 minutes.
The rack for this recipe is pretty important because you don't want the tenders to be soggy on the bottom.