These oven-baked pecan-and-panko crusted chicken tenders have fabulous fried chicken flavor with much less grease and mess. As the chicken cooks, the rest of this family-friendly recipe comes together in minutes. Grilled romaine lettuce gives this salad a smoky flavor. Instead of using a grill pan, you can cook the veggies on a charcoal or gas grill outside.
1 cup panko (Japanese-style breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon paprika
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders
Olive oil cooking spray
3 romaine lettuce hearts, cut in half lengthwise
3 (1⁄2-inch-thick) red onion slices (from 1 small onion)
1 ear fresh corn, shucked
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 cup garlic-butter seasoned croutons
2 ripe avocados, chopped
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place a lightly greased wire rack in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Stir together panko, pecans, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites just until foamy. Place flour in another bowl.
Sprinkle chicken with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt. Dredge chicken in flour; dip in egg whites, and dredge in panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Coat chicken on each side with cooking spray; place on rack. Bake in preheated oven until done, 20 minutes, turning after 12 minutes. Slice chicken.
Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium-high. Coat cut sides of lettuce with cooking spray. Place lettuce, cut side down, on pan. Grill until marks appear, 3 minutes. Chop lettuce; place in a large bowl. Coat onion slices and corn with cooking spray. Grill onion until marks appear, 3 minutes per side. Grill corn, turning, until charred, 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cob; discard cob.
Whisk together buttermilk, next 4 ingredients, and remaining 3⁄4 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper.
Toss together lettuce, tomatoes, and 1⁄4 cup dressing; arrange on a large platter. Top with onion, corn, chicken, bacon, croutons, and avocados. Serve remaining dressing on the side.