Honey-Mustard Chicken Tenders
The combination of honey and mustard has been around since ancient Egypt and Rome, and mid century American cooks used it in any number of dishes, from baked chicken to glazed ham. But it wasn’t until the 1970s and '80s, when restaurants started pairing the zesty sauce with breaded pieces of boneless chicken that it became wildly popular. As a coating for chicken, honey mustard not only tastes great, but the acidity in the mustard helps keep the meat juicy. For hot honey mustard chicken tenders, add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne to the honey mustard. For an even quicker dinner, do steps 1 and 2 up to a day ahead. (Refrigerate the chicken and store the toasted panko at room temperature.) Eat dipped into barbecue sauce, hot sauce, ketchup, or — you guessed it — more honey mustard.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2cups panko bread crumbs
- ¼cup neutral oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
- Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
- 3tablespoons honey
- 3tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 ½pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
- Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Add the panko and oil to the sheet pan, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir with a fork until evenly moistened. Shake into an even layer. Toast in the oven, stirring with the fork halfway through, until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Pick up the parchment and use it to funnel the toasted panko into a shallow bowl or pie plate. Set aside to cool. (Reserve the lined sheet pan.)
Step 2In a medium bowl, stir together the honey and mustard. Pat the chicken dry, then pound with a mallet or heavy skillet into an even thickness (about ⅓-inch thick). Slice lengthwise into 1-inch-thick strips. Cut any long strips in half crosswise. (If using chicken tenders, no need to pound or slice.) Season with salt and pepper, then add to the honey mustard and toss to combine.
Step 3Working with one strip at a time and removing dripping honey mustard, add the chicken to the panko mixture and use your fingers to pack the panko onto all sides of the chicken. (To avoid a big mess, designate one “wet hand” for touching the chicken and one “dry hand” for pressing in the panko.) Transfer to the lined sheet pan and repeat.
Step 4Transfer to the oven and bake, removing from the oven to flip halfway through, until the chicken is cooked through and the panko is browned, 10 to 15 minutes.