• Eliana

Doritos Crusted Chicken Tenders | Change Things Up

One night, regular chicken tenders just weren't cutting it for us anymore. We wanted to up our game and take our beloved childhood food to another level. We have such fond memories of chicken tenders from growing up and, although always delicious, we figured maybe it's time we shake things up.

We are big Doritos' fans in this family and even bigger chicken tenders/nuggets lovers. Some Friday nights, Corey and I will just order chicken tenders and eat a bucket just the two of us with enough variations of sauces to feed a small army. We figured, who says we can't experiment and up our nuggets game, prompting us to combine our love of both and it turned out to be an extraordinary combination! In fact, it may even be too hard to go back. Marinating chicken in ranch then creating a beautiful Doritos cool ranch coating to bake in the oven (healthier way)- now that's a winning team right there, see you at the championships! Team Doritos Chicken Tenders! All Day! Had we not changed our ways, we wouldn't have explored new paths and found magic in the mundane.

Ready to make these killer tenders!

First, preheat your oven to 400'F degrees and line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Mist them with cooking spray to prevent the chicken from sticking to the bottom.

You can slice you chicken breast in two ways: cross-wise (nuggets-short pieces) and length-wise (tenders-long pieces). It is up to you, you can do some cross-wise and some length-wise, but it's important to cut them 1/2 inch thick.

In a plastic bag, add the sliced chicken, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper. Shake the chicken pieces in the bag to coat. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, let it marinate for longer- the meat will be juicier and more tender!

Meanwhile, in a plastic bag add one large bag of Doritos chips and crush using your hand or you can even use a kitchen utensil or sorts, until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Now for the breading station. You are going to set up three different bowls: flour, egg/milk, and doritos chips. Add the flour seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper in one dish; whisk the egg and milk in another; and the crushed Doritos chips into a third dish (make sure the chips are really crushed or else it won't stick as easily to the chicken).

In batches, place the marinated chicken strips into the flour to coat on both sides. Then dip in the egg wash, and then in the chips. Make sure your chicken is completely coated on both sides. Place chicken strips in a single layer onto the greased baking trays. Continue until all the chicken is coated. You may need to open up another bag of Doritos to crush depending on how many chicken strips you have. I like to buy an extra in case I need more "crumbs" and having a bag of Doritos around the house won't kill you, you can snack on the leftover chips whenever!

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown and crispy.

You can either eat them right away or let them cool off. My two taste testers, Stephen (my brother) likes them hot out of the oven, while Corey and I prefer them a little cooled off, that way you can taste more of the ranch seasoning and less hot corn tortilla chip flavor. Try it both ways, but don't forget to at least try it with my homemade ranch dressing!

Doritos Crusted Chicken Tenders

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Inactive Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings (20-25 Chicken Tenders or 25-30 Chicken Nuggets)

Ingredients:

4 to 5 chicken breasts (2 ½-3 lbs) , sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick for tenders or sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick for nuggets

1/3 cup ranch dressing

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 eggs

1 tablespoon milk

2 large Doritos bag, (I use Cool Ranch, but you can use Nacho Cheese too)

Ranch Dressing, recipe to follow

Directions:

Preheat oven at 400ºF degrees. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and mist with cooking spray.

In a plastic bag, add the sliced chicken, ranch dressing, salt, and pepper. Shake the chicken pieces in the bag to coat. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a plastic bag add one bag of Doritos chips and crush using your hand until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Set up dishes for a breading station. Add the flour seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper in one dish; whisk the egg and milk in another; and the crushed Doritos chips into a third dish (make sure the chips are really crushed or else it won't stick as easily to the chicken).

In batches, place the marinated chicken strips into the flour to coat. Then dip in the egg wash, and then in the chips. Place chicken strips in a single layer onto the greased baking trays. Continue until all the chicken is coated. ( You may need to open up another bag of Doritos to crush depending how many chicken strips you have).

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through, until golden brown and crispy.

Serve with homemade ranch dressing, ketchup, or any dipping sauce you want!

Ranch Dressing

Prep time: 5 minutes

Active Time: 3 minutes

Inactive Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup mayo

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried flat parsley flakes

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, and white wine vinegar. Slowly add the buttermilk, and whisk to combine. Add in chives, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow the dressing to chill for at least an hour before serving.

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