Broiling is one of the fastest ways to get tender and juicy chicken tenderloins cooked and to the table. Chicken tenderloins are the narrow, tender muscles attached to chicken breasts. They are normally cut from the breast and and sold separately. Commonly referred to as simply "tenders," they're juicier than breast meat and used to make chicken fingers. Tenderloins are typically thin, making them ideal for the fast, high-heat cooking of a broiler. However, if your chicken tenders are a bit thick, dividing them into 1/2-inch strips ensures the inside of the chicken gets fully cooked without over-browning the outside.
Things You'll Need
- Olive oil
- Additional seasonings, optional
- Baking sheet
- Aluminum foil
- Vegetable oil
- Meat thermometer
Marinated Chicken Tenders
Create a marinade for your chicken tenderloins by combining equal amounts of olive oil with any vinegar or acidic ingredient, such as red wine or balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. Add salt, pepper and any additional seasonings and flavorings you wish by the teaspoonful until you get your desired flavor.
Place your chicken tenderloins in a large, zip-top plastic bag and pour the marinade over them. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for up to 6 hours. Turn the bag over every couple of hours.
Turn your oven on the broil setting and set an oven rack about 4 inches from the heat source. Arrange the marinated chicken tenderloins on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet coated with vegetable oil so they are spaced a few inches apart.
Place the chicken tenderloins in the oven to cook for about 5 to 6 minutes under the broiler. Turn them over and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, or until they are fully cooked and lightly browned. Use a food thermometer in the thickest part of the each tenderloin to ensure they have reached a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit for safe consumption.
Breaded Chicken Tenders
Turn your oven on to the broiler setting and season the chicken tenderloins with salt and pepper.
Beat 1 to 2 eggs together in a wide bowl along with a little water or milk to create an egg wash, about tablespoon or so. Season the egg wash with a little salt and pepper, or add a little hot sauce or spicy mustard for more flavor.
Pour breadcrumbs, traditional or panko-style, in a shallow, wide bowl and season to your taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and dried herbs.
Dredge each chicken tenderloin first in the egg wash, then into the breadcrumbs, pressing them firmly on the chicken to ensure they stick. Lay the breaded chicken tenderloins on a wire rack set above a foil-lined baking tray.
Place in the oven on a rack about 6 inches from the broiler heat and let the chicken cook for about 7 minutes on each side, until the chicken is fully cooked through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown and crisp. Check the temperature of the chicken with a meat thermometer to ensure they have reached 165 F before serving.
Tips & Warnings
- Optional marinade additions include crushed garlic, fresh chopped herbs, curry powder, mustard, barbecue sauce and soy sauce.
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