Crisp Chicken Tenders
- SERVINGS: 4-6
The long, thin strips of meat attached to each chicken breast half is known as the tender. Available at supermarkets, they're ideal fast food candidates because they cook quickly and require less trimming than larger pieces of chicken.
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- About 8 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce or lemon wedges, for serving
- Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the salt, cayenne and thyme. In a paper bag, shake the tenders with the flour. Add the tenders to the eggs in a shallow bowl and stir to coat. Spread the bread crumbs on a plate, add the tenders and turn to coat.
- Meanwhile, in a deep fryer fitted with a basket or in a heavy medium saucepan, heat 3 inches of oil to 375°; be sure the oil doesn't get any hotter. Quickly add half of the tenders, one at a time. Fry until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and cook the remaining tenders. Serve with the Lemon-Garlic Dipping Sauce.
The ripe, fruity flavors of a California Chardonnay are a perfect foil for chicken with a garlicky saucerich enough to match it but tart enough to provide contrast.