When I heard that one of the people attending our party last week was allergic to gluten, I immediately came up with the idea of making gluten free chicken tenders. I already had King Arthur gluten free flour, so it was just a matter of buying some Gillian’s gluten free bread crumbs and, of course, some Bell & Evans fresh chicken (also gluten free, by the way). I was happy to make the effort to provide for a friend who has an allergy, knowing how nice it is to discover that someone has accommodated your allergy. And I was doubly happy since this recipe just happens to be dairy free as well – gluten free recipes are often dairy free as well, but not always! More than once I have been shocked to find, for example, gluten free packaged cookies that have butter and milk in them. I got boneless breasts AND boneless thighs, because while most recipes call for chicken breast, I prefer the flavor of thighs. Plus, variety is always a nice thing.
So here is the recipe I followed:
Baked gluten free (and dairy free) chicken tenders
Yield: 36-40 tenders
1 cup, gluten free flour
3 jumbo eggs, beaten well
1-1/2 cup, gluten free bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
2 large chicken breasts, about 1 pound
1 package, boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1 pound
3/4 stick of margarine, melted
Please preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Start out by cutting all your chicken into half-inch slices, keeping the breast meat separate from the thigh meat, since the cooking time will be different for the two.
Next arrange 3 medium sized bowls in a row, the first one with the flour, the second one with the beaten eggs. In the third one put your bread crumbs, and add all the spices and stir that around with a fork until it is well-stirred. As you will see in the photo below, I proceeded from left to right because I am left-handed, but you might want to go in the opposite direction if you’re right-handed.
Put two cookie sheets down with parchment paper. Then dip the pieces of chicken into the three different mixes, and lay them on the cookie sheets, careful to keep all the breast pieces on one sheet and the thigh pieces on the other. I left some room between each piece, so I only fit 12 pieces on each sheet. If you squeeze them in, you might be able to get all the chicken to fit on these two sheets. Drizzle the melted margarine over the tenders, and put them into the oven.
After 5 minutes, flip over the thigh tenders. 5 minutes later (or 10 minutes since starting), take the thighs out of the oven, and flip over the breast tenders. About 7-10 minutes later, take out the breast tenders. In each case, check to see if they are nice and golden brown. But keep in mind that the thighs will cook much faster than the breast meat.
If you are like me, and don’t crowd all the tenders onto 2 cookie sheets, you will have to do a second batch to use up all the chicken and breading ingredients. I made this second batch one sheet filled with half breasts and half thighs, and followed the same routine for baking them – thighs out first, breasts out later.
Remove the tenders to a plate or cooling rack and let them cool. Dip them in your favorite dipping sauce (I like Whole Foods honey mustard dressing), and enjoy!