These Sea Salt and Vinegar Chicken Tenders encrusted in seasoned cornflakes and served with a creamy Cilantro Dill dip are perfect for game day snacking or a quick, casual dinner.
Now that the kids are older, we happily graduated to more creative ways to prepare chicken tenders, fingers and nuggets, rather than having the same ol’ boring, blah version. Here, the chicken pieces wade in buttermilk, malt vinegar, and a bit of honey before heading to the breading station. If you don’t have malt vinegar on hand, don’t sweat it. Apple cider vinegar would be the next best thing.
For the breading, many recipes call for coating the chicken in crushed potato chips. We’re lightening things up a bit here with crushed cornflakes instead. Cornmeal, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne add the perfect flare of spice.
Dredge the buttermilk soaked chicken in the cornflake mixture and set on a parchment-lined, rimmed sheet pan. Be sure to use parchment paper! The breading will still to a bare pan and even aluminum foil. Once they’re all breaded, give them a quick shot of cooking spray and pop in the oven.
While the chicken bakes, whip up this creamy, tangy dipping sauce made with greek yogurt, crème fraiche, cilantro, dill, garlic, and lime. You can even make it a day in advance if you’re looking to get a headstart on the prep.
In just 20 minutes, you’ll have crisp yet tender chicken your gang will spar over who gets the last one. Enjoy!
Sea Salt and Vinegar Chicken Tenders
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons malt vinegar*, divided
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 2 ½ cups crushed cornflakes (about 5 cups whole)
- ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- Cooking spray
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Garnish: chopped green onions, cilantro, dill, lime wedges
CILANTRO DILL DIPPING SAUCE
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup crème fraiche
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl or 13x9 baking dish, whisk buttermilk with 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and honey. Place chicken in the mixture and make sure all pieces are well coated. Let stand 10-15 minutes.
- In another shallow baking dish, combine crushed cornflakes, cornmeal, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Dredge each piece of chicken cornflake mixture and place on a large, rimmed sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Spray the top of breaded chicken tenders with cooking spray. Place sheet pan in oven and immediately lower the temperature to 425°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully turn chicken over and spray tops with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes more until crisp and golden. Sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar over chicken. Garnish with sliced green onions, cilantro, dill and lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately with Cilantro Dill Dipping Sauce.
CILANTRO DILL DIPPING SAUCE
- In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, crème fraiche, garlic, cilantro, dill, lime zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
* Adapted from Cooking Light, October 2017