Crispy Parmesan Buttermilk Chicken Tenders (Baked and Air Fryer) with Homemade Infused Ranch

    INGREDIENTS:

         Chicken Tenders

    • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
    • 1/4 cup ground Parmesan cheese
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

      Ranch
    • 1/2 cup Cannabis Infused mayo (see 41 cannabis blog for recipe)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk or regular milk
    • 3/4 – 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried chives
    • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon finely cracked pepper
    • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste approximately 1-3 teaspoons, adjust to taste

    DIRECTIONS:

    • Use a chef’s knife to trim the fat from the chicken breasts and cut into tenders, about 5 per breast. Tap the thicker parts of the tenders with the flat part of the knife to even the thickness, about 1/2 inch at most.
    • In a bowl or jar with a fitted lid, combine the buttermilk with half of the Worcestershire sauce, and half of the salt & pepper and paprika. Add to a large freezer bag with the chicken and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
    • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, watching closely as the butter melts. Remove the browned butter from the heat and let cool slightly.
    • Combine the panko and the butter on a plate, tossing until well combined, then add the Parmesan cheese and toss. In a shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with the remaining Worcestershire sauce. On another plate, toss the flour with the remaining salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
    • Drain the chicken and discard the buttermilk. Using tongs, work with one tender at a time and dredge the chicken through the flour to coat, then the egg, and then the panko.

    To Bake:

    • Position an oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly brush a wire rack with oil and place it on a rimmed baking sheet.
    • Place the crumb-coated chicken on the prepared rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the panko is pale golden and the chicken is cooked through. Finish the chicken under the broiler for a crispier, more browned coating.

    To Air Fry:

    • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Place the chicken tenders in the basket, adding in batches so not to crowd or overlap.
    • Cook for 13-15 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through so they’re crispy on both sides. Repeat with the remaining tenders.

    Notes

    • While this recipe is terrific for an easy dinner, it’s smart to make a double batch while you’re cooking, to use through the week for lunchtime salads, wraps, and over meal prepped grains with roasted vegetables or roasted broccoli.
    • Chicken tenders can be refrigerated for 3 days. Freeze for up to 2 months and reheat from frozen for 20-25 min at 350°F.
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