I made these slightly trashy but oh-so-delicious Ritzy Ranch Chicken Tenders for the Super Bowl this past Sunday, and they were the hit of the night. Ridiculously simple to make- these amped up chicken tenders pack tons of flavor into their buttery, crunchy crust. I served these with a spicy Cajun mayo to dip, but you could just as easily serve them over a salad for a lighter alternative. Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 as an entrée.
- 4 chicken breasts, cut lengthwise into strips about 1/2 inch wide (you might also find pre-cut chicken tenders in your grocery store)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 sleeves of Ritz crackers
- 1 envelope of Hidden Valley Ranch powdered dressing mix
- Black pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine the buttermilk and the chicken tenders and allow to marinade for as long as possible, up to 2 days if you’ve got the time. Skip this step if you’re short on time, it just serves to tenderize the chicken.
- In a food processor or blender, blitz the Ritz crackers until you’ve got a fine crumb. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the ranch powder mix and some fresh black pepper. If you want to glam this up a bit- add some fresh minced herbs (basil, chives, parsley) here.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Shake off the excess buttermilk from the chicken tenders, and one by one, dip them first into Ritz ranch crumbs, then into the beaten eggs, then again into the Ritz ranch crumbs, making sure the tenders are coated on all sides.
- Arrange your coated tenders on a baking sheet, using a baking rack if you’ve got one, making sure to leave some space between each tender. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is firm and cooked through, and the Ritz coating has turned a crispy golden brown. Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with chopped fresh herbs if you like.
- To serve, whisk together 1/2 cup mayo, 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (to taste), a squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of black pepper.
- You can freeze these chicken tenders once given their coating (before baking) and baked right from their frozen state. Add 5 minutes to the cooking time if doing it this way.
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Photo Credit: AskChefs.net