Kitchen InFerno: Don’t Be Chicken (Fingers)

Healthy eating and college don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but knowing the right tricks can help turn eating right into a daily routine. Let Kiersten Ferno be your guide for navigating the health-food scene without taking a chunk out of your schedule. Welcome to the inFerno.

Sure, it’s easy to run down to McDonald’s for chicken tenders with a side of honey mustard, but have you ever thought about making your own? These honey-dijon chicken tenders are outrageously good– perfectly light and crispy! The fresh mixture of honey and Dijon mustard is such an easy alternative to eating pre-made honey mustard full of additives and fresh chicken breast is so much juicier than that rubbery, questionable meat they churn out at Mickey D’s. Gross!

The combo of crunchy, homemade tenders with a side of spectacular baby bok choy tossed with some of my favorite flavors is a home-run, whether you’re having friends over for a quick bite or simply cooking for one.

What you’ll need:
Makes 2 servings

2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced into tenders
3 tablespoons of honey
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups panko (should be near the breadcrumbs in the grocery store)
1 pinch salt and pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil (for frying)

5 heads baby bok choy
2 medium sized shallots, roughly chopped
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
½ teaspoon lemon juice

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice chicken breasts into long thin strips.

3. Mix honey, Dijon mustard, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper in one bowl.

4.Mix panko with a pinch of salt and pepper on a plate.

5. Coat chicken strips in honey-dijon mixture, then in panko crumbs. As you go, lay them on a plate.

6. Preheat pan with a few tablespoons vegetable oil on medium heat. Add strips to pan, but don’t overcrowd! Otherwise, they won’t brown properly.

7. Once the pan-side of the chicken turns golden brown, flip strips.

8. Cover baking pan with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Lay chicken strips on foil and bake for 15 minutes.

9. While those are crisping up, chop off stem end of baby bok choy and break the leaves apart.

10. Peel and mince ginger and garlic, and roughly slice shallots.

11. Warm a pan on medium heat with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add ginger, garlic, shallots and lemon juice to pan.

12. Once they start to brown, add the bok choy. Toss occasionally to coat the bok choy with fresh flavor.

13. After 15 minutes, broil chicken tenders for 4 minutes to get them extra crispy. They should be a darker golden brown when finished.

14. Serve with a side of 2 parts Dijon mustard to 1 part honey as a delicious dipping sauce for the chicken tenders. Even better than a late night run to McDonalds, right?

Tip from inside the Inferno: Coat measuring spoons with oil before measuring out sticky ingredients like mustard and honey. It’ll help ensure that the ingredients don’t stick to the spoons so you get the right measurements…plus, honey slipping right out a spoon is magical.

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