Air Fryer Chicken Tenders

I know there are probably a lot of recipes out there for air fryer crispy chicken.  I wanted to try this one in particular as I just saw Joy Bauer on a cooking show. She is focused on healthy options. Sometimes her recipes are super low calorie as well. I have one of her recipes I hope to try this week that is only 200 calories per serving. This one not so much - 330 for 4 tenders. But with the right side dishes, it would still a good choice. 

Overall this is super easy. I cooked some in the air fryer and some in the oven to compare. Both techniques worked well. The air fryer mainly bakes more evenly - no darker/light bits. I did have to use some of her options. I had chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders. I also forgot to buy the buttermilk, so had to use one of the alternatives she suggested - plain yogurt - which I did have. You do have to wipe off the extra after marinating instead of just drain. 

Overall we liked them. I wouldn't mind a little more seasoning in the breadcrumb coating. Not sure what additions I'll try, but I will definitely be experimenting. Instead of chicken tenders or chicken breasts, you could also use boneless chicken thighs, but remember that will up the calorie count if you are watching the numbers. 

Photo from Joy Bauer

I'll be making this again, but also checking out other recipes. I'm looking for more flavor to I can let go of the extra dips to amp the flavour. Enjoy!

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Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
By Joy Bauer 
This recipe makes 4 servings (4 tenders per serving)

Ingredients - 

1-½ lb.         Boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins (can sub chicken breast or thigh)
• ½ C            Low-fat buttermilk (or yogurt, kefir or pickle juice)
• 1                Large egg
• 1 T             Light mayonnaise
• 1 C            Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1 tsp          Smoky paprika
• Kosher salt for sprinkling on top

Instructions - 

Add chicken tenders to a bowl or zip-top plastic bag with the buttermilk. Mix the chicken around. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes until overnight.

Preheat air fryer to 400˚F. Mist the basket with nonstick oil spray. Set up a 2-step dredging station: In a wide shallow bowl whisk together the egg with the mayo. In a second wide shallow bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and optional smoky paprika.

Shake or drain the chicken to remove excess buttermilk (yogurt needed a bit of a wipe with paper tower). One at a time, dip the chicken tenders into the egg-mayo mixture, dripping off any excess egg, then place in the breadcrumb mixture (fully submerge and pat to coat on all sides with the breading). Place the tenders in air fryer basket in a single layer (make sure they’re not touching or on top of each other), mist tops of tenders with olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle on some salt. Close the basket door and cook 4 minutes. Open the basket and using tongs, carefully flip the tenders over (being gentle to keep the breading intact) and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until crispy.

Serve with dipping sauces on the side.

Oven directions: If you don’t have an air fryer, follow the same instructions for the chicken and preheat oven to 450°F. Mist a large baking sheet with olive oil spray and place the breaded chicken tenders on top in a single layer. (If you have a wire rack, position it on top of the baking sheet and place your chicken directly on it, as this will produce a crispier underneath.) Mist chicken tops with additional olive oil spray and lightly sprinkle on salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the breading is golden brown and crispy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚F.