Chicken Tenders (fingers) — They’re a classic. Kids love ‘em. They’re easy and fun to dip.
Chicken tenders are a classic choice for Super Bowl and football parties, as well as holiday gatherings or a quick meal during the week.
Here’s a way to keep the sports foodie tradition alive without going overboard on the fat and carbs.
(Plus, who likes getting all that frying oil all over the stove top and counters? This will save you some clean up and offer your guests a healthier snack option.)
Here’s the skinny: By grilling your tenders, you’re ditching breading and oil. This eliminates almost all carbs and significantly reduces fat content.
If you need something simple for the kids, start out by rinsing, drying and trimming your tenders. Add your favorite seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc.)
Slap ‘em on the grill over medium heat, flipping with tongs often, for 8-10 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, ketchup, barbecue sauce or ranch for dippers.
Kick up those chicken tenders
For the grownups, try something a little more flavorful by using a marinade. Citrus works well. Combine one part orange juice and one part olive oil (1:1 ration here, people) with a splash of lime, some minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper and fresh chopped cilantro.
Add your tenders to the marinade and let sit for an hour. Thread your tenders onto skewers and place over medium heat, turning often, for 8-10 minutes. Check the internal temperature of your chicken before removing from grill, making sure it’s at least 165 degrees. We like the Thermoworks ThermoPop, which gives quick and easy readings for your chicken fingers. Or, go with the industry standard Thermoworks Thermapen ONE — super easy to use.
Voila! You’ve got a tasty, healthy addition to your Super Bowl (or any party) snack lineup.
Grillax Chicken Tenders
What’s In It?
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 3 Tablespoons light olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
How to Make It
Pat chicken tenders with paper towel to remove any excess liquid and remove tendons. Place chicken in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper and stir to combine evenly. Let the chicken soak for two hours.
When ready to grill, preheat to medium heat. Place chicken tenders on the grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until internal temperature reads 160+ degrees Fahrenheit..
Remove chicken tenders from the grill serve immediately. Top with dill and enjoy.
Store leftovers in an airtight container and should last up to a week.