One of my favorite TV shows is Biggest Loser. As I sit there on the couch eating my ice cream it's hard to not get just a little bit motivated to try harder in my own weight loss. Well, OK. If I were TRULY motivated I would probably choose a different, more healthy snack to eat while watching but it is all about baby steps after all, right?
Last week they had guest chef Rocco De Spirito on the show and he showed the contestants how to make chicken fingers more healthy. This is my take on his recipe. It is basically the same but I have swapped out the whole wheat bread crumbs for Panko because I can't find whole wheat organic in my local grocery store and I like the crunch of the Panko. I also increased the cayenne pepper a bit and reduced the buttermilk. Cause really, a whole quart seems like a huge waste to me.
When you get to the baking step it works best to cook the strips in 2 batches so that they are not squished together on the baking rack. If you have a baking sheet large enough to put 2 racks on that would be ideal. The chicken needs the air circulation to crisp up correctly. So, don't be in a rush and try to do it all at once....I wouldn't know anything about that.
Biggest Loser "Fried" Chicken
2 pounds chicken tenders
1 pint lowfat buttermilk
2 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic seasoning Salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 egg whites, beaten to very soft peaks
Pam cooking spray or olive oil
1. Soak chicken tenders in refrigerator, in buttermilk, for 6 hours or overnight.
2. Drain and blot with paper towels to remove excess buttermilk.
3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Lay bread crumbs out on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool. (You don't absolutely have to do this but it gives the crumbs that nice caramel color tricking your senses into thinking they have been fried. If pale, Caucasian, chicken strips don't bother you by all means skip this step)
5. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Combine cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a large Pyrex dish - mix well.
7. Dredge drained and blotted chicken tenders in seasoned starch.
8. Next, coat dredged tenders thoroughly with beaten egg whites.
9. Last, dip tenders in toasted Panko to fully coat.
10. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet, fitted with a baking rack. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with Pam and season lightly with salt, if desired.
11. Bake for about 12 - 15 minutes or until outside is crispy and chicken is just cooked through and juicy.
For Eight Servings
Nutrient Analysis – per serving
Calories: 270; Total Fat: 4g; Total Carb: 27g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 28g