I was a little skeptical of this chicken recipe, because I usually do a three-stage set-up for coating crispy chicken: flour, egg, and then panko or breadcrumbs. In this case, the recipe jumps straight for the panko. Luckily, the coating stayed on nicely and crisped up in the oil. I had a little trouble with getting the chicken to cook evenly -- damn you electric stove! -- but overall the chicken tenders were crispy and tasty. Because they don't have a lot of extra seasoning, I definitely recommend serving them with some sort of dipping sauce -- I used blue cheese sauce left `over from these bacon-roasted potatoes, and Tim chose Dijon mustard. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, or any other sauces you have in your fridge would all work nicely.
On the side is a creamy Dijon slaw. The original recipe featured apple and celery, but as many of my readers know, I'm not a big fan of celery. I substitute fennel in most recipes that call for celery, and it worked out very well here. The anise flavor of the fennel pairs very well with the sweet apple and creamy, tangy dressing, and the crunch of this slaw is fantastic. Of course, if you're a fennel-hater, you can use the original celery -- 2 stalks, thinly sliced on the diagonal.
Crispy Chicken with Fennel-Apple Slaw (adapted from Woman's Day Easy Everyday Lighter Dinners)
3/4 cup panko
Salt and pepper
About 1 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup lowfat sour cream
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and very thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, very thinly sliced
1 T minced chives
1. Season the panko with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread out on a large, shallow plate.
2. Coat the chicken with the panko, pressing gently to help it adhere.
3. Heat 2 T oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken until golden brown and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Add more oil to the skillet as needed. You will likely need to do this in 2 batches, depending on the size of your pan.
4. Meanwhile, make the slaw. In a large bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, and 1 T olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fennel and apple, and toss to combine. Gently fold in the chives.
5. Serve the chicken with the creamy slaw.
I was sent a free copy of this cookbook to review. All recipe testing and opinions are my own.