Yesterday was the first snowfall of the winter season, and with festive decorations popping up everywhere, it officially feels like the holidays are in full swing. I am heartened by the amount of holiday spirit I have seen so far this season, despite the innumerable tragedies plaguing our world. In nearly every window I pass, there are twinkling lights and colorful decor to remind us that small wonders still exist!
For most of us, the holidays are synonymous with celebrations and parties, and parties are often synonymous with food and drinks. I love party food, any and all of it. Perhaps it is the mere association with festivities that makes it so full of flavor or the instant gratification that comes with popping it in your mouth.
When I was little, I remember parties being filled with classic finger-food appetizers like pigs and blankets, bacon wrapped scallops, stuffed mushrooms, mini quiches, and bite-size spanakopita. Be it the most interesting and unique canapés or retro snacks like deviled-eggs, I am a huge fan of indulging in party food.
Even though our gatherings may be a bit quieter this year, we can still imagine ways to celebrate the season. These spicy cornflaked chicken tenders are a perfect menu item for any sized party. They are a twist on a timeless classic [chicken fingers!] that can be made ahead of time and scaled up or down, to suit the audience you are serving!
This recipe for spicy cornflaked chicken tenders is reliable and sure to please merrymakers of all ages. You can experiment with different spices, but this is the mixture that I feel accentuates the flavor best.
Note: Chicken tenders are really just boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into that distinctive “tender” shape. You can save money by buying chicken breasts and cutting them into “tenders” yourself.
- 2 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 ½ cups of cornflakes
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Trim the chicken breasts and cut into long strips.
Place the eggs in a shallow bowl or dish and beat with a whisk until combined. Place the flour into a separate shallow bowl or dish and mix in 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
Grind the cornflakes in a food processor or place in a large plastic freezer bag, seal, and roll with a rolling pin to make into a breadcrumb-like mixture.
Pour into a bowl and mix in salt, dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and chipotle pepper until evenly combined.
Dip one piece of the chicken into the flour, then into the egg, then into the cornflake mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all pieces of chicken have been thoroughly coated.
Bake for 22 minutes, flipping the chicken tenders after 10 minutes so both sides cook evenly. Rotate a third time and bake 2 more minutes for extra crunch.
Serve with any dipping sauce you’d like. I recommend ketchup, honey mustard, harissa aioli, yogurt ranch, anything your heart desires!