Air Fryer Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

It’s almost September, and September makes me think of Fall and comfort foods. Yesterday was all about mac and cheese. Let’s round out the meal with a little protein and a lightened-up version of chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce, cooked in my Ninja Foodi (although any air fryer will do). This is such an easy meal, and a great base for your own creative flavor combinations.

Start out with a pound of chicken tenders. Mine were in a solid, frozen block, so I threw some pickle juice, water, and a handful of sliced pickles into the pot and pressure cooked the chicken for just 5 minutes, enough to get them to separate and to quick-marinate them in the pickle juice à la Chick-fil-A. If your chicken isn’t frozen, you can do a quick marinade for at least an hour, throw the juice right into the egg mixture, or just leave it out. Either way, this chicken is tender, juicy, and full of flavor.

Time to start dipping:

Dip your chicken first in the flour–you may have to shake off some excess so you have a light coating. Follow with a little egg bath to coat both sides, and then the panko coating.

Prepare your fryer basket with a light spray of olive or vegetable oil. Place tenders in a single layer in the basket (I packed mine in, but they came out just fine). If you’re cooking more, add the reversible rack for another layer.

Air fry for about 8 minutes at 375 degrees F. Turned when nicely browned, and cook up to eight more minutes, until browned.

Someone speared that nice, fat tender as soon as I opened the Foodi!

Serve with Honey-Dijon Sauce for next-level deliciousness.

Recipe

Chicken Tenders

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pickle juice (optional, for marinade, or for adding to egg mixture)
  • 1 lb chicken tenders or breast strips
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Marinate the chicken for several hours (or overnight) in a small amount of pickle juice, if desired. If your chicken is frozen, pressure cook in 1/2 cup pickle juice, 1/2 cup water, and a few pickles for five minutes (just enough so they cook slightly and separate). Alternatively, you can add pickle juice to your egg mixture for an extra flavor boost.
  2. Whisk the two tablespoons of Dijon mustard into beaten eggs and set aside.
  3. Combine parmesan cheese, lemon zest, and panko breadcrumbs and set aside.
  4. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips. Dip first in flour to lightly coat, then into egg mixture, and finally in the panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Spray air fry basket lightly with olive oil. Lay chicken strips in a single layer in basket. You can add a reversible rack if you want to add an extra layer of tenders to the pot. Spritz tenders with olive oil.
  6. Use Air Crisp setting to cook for eight minutes at 375 degrees F (take a peek before time is up to prevent overcooking). Open Foodi, flip chicken over, spritz lightly with oil, and cook up to an additional 8 minutes until browned.
  7. To make Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce, combine mayonnaise, remaining 1 tablespoon Dijon, and honey in a small bowl. Serve with chicken.

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