Oven Baked Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 20 minutes + marinating
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 4-6 servings

1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons kosher salt
hot sauce to taste (optional)

¼ cup chopped and toasted pecans
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 tablespoon Fire & Flavor Chicken Rub
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1½ tablespoons canola oil

FIRST  Place chicken in a large, zip top plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin until chicken is even thickness, about ½ inch thick. Cut into 2-inch wide strips. Place chicken, buttermilk, salt and hot sauce in a medium bowl and let marinated for 30 minutes or up to an hour in refrigerator.

NEXT  While chicken is marinating, prepare breading. Combine pecans, cornmeal, and rub in a mini food processor or blender until finely ground. Transfer to a pie plate and stir in flour, soda, and thyme; season with freshly ground black pepper. Preheat oven to 425°F.

LAST  One at a time, remove chicken strips from buttermilk and dredge in breading to coat. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof skillet set over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 2-3 minutes or until nicely browned and breading does not stick to pan. Carefully flip chicken and place in oven for 7 minutes or until done. Meat thermometer inserted in chicken should register 165°F. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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