Crunchy Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese Dressing

I got lots of cookbooks for Christmas.

So many to add to my already extensive collection that I cannot wait to dive into each of them. I'm vowing to stop pulling recipes from the Internet and adapting them, but instead to use the pretty books that grace my bookcase.

I was going to wait a few days before bombarding you with another Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This! recipe, mainly because I just feel bad for the other cookbooks. It's like they are just begging to be opened. But since I've developed a major obsession with this cookbook - for its ease of use, its healthy recipes, its photos of a very attractive looking Rocco - you're getting it today instead of next week. I made these tenders tonight and they completely changed our world.

Is it sad that I speak this way of chicken? Perhaps.

But it's so true. These tenders are not only crunchy and flavorful, but the elimination of frying keeps them light and healthy. As Michael Scott would say, it's a win-win-win.

Oh and if turned up buffalo tenders isn't enough, how about DIY blue cheese dressing? It's creamy, light and has convinced the mister and me to never ever go back to the bottled stuff.

Somebody stop me before I start singing from the rooftops.

Crunchy Buffalo Chicken Tenders with Blue Cheese Dressing
*Adapted from Rocco DiSpirito's Now Eat This!
For the tenders:
1 C whole wheat flour
2 C panko breadcrumbs (I could only find regular, not whole wheat)
4 egg whites
1 lb chicken tenders
1/2 C Frank's RedHot Sauce
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
For the blue cheese dressing:
1 C low fat mayonnaise
1/2 C low fat sour cream
1/4 C buttermilk (I made my own)
1 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed, please!)
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 oz low fat blue cheese crumbles
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set up an oven-safe wire rack over a large baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray. Next, set up your dredging station. A bowl for flour, a bowl for egg whites that are whisked until foamy, a bowl for the panko breadcrumbs and a package of chicken.  

Coat the chicken in flour, then submerge in egg whites and then coat with panko. Lay on the wire rack.

Once the chicken is breaded, sprinkle with salt and pepper and spray with nonstick spray. Turn the chicken over and repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (for thinner tenders, it might be less time). I flipped them over about midway through. The panko will turn golden and crispy.

Meanwhile, heat up the Frank's RedHot in the microwave and make the blue cheese dressing (and be prepared to never return to that store-bought stuff again).

To make the blue cheese, whisk the mayo, sour cream, buttermilk, Worcestershire, blue cheese crumbles, salt and pepper together until combined and creamy. Though the original recipe called for garlic paste (1 clove mashed together to form a paste), we thought it was overkill so I am not recommending it in this adapted version. I'm still tasting garlic which I find unnecessary at this juncture in the evening.

Once chicken is done baking, brush the chicken with the RedHot. I used a silicon pastry brush.

 

I even got my multitask on while doing this part. I'm on the phone with one of my very good friends who had some fantastic news to share!

Serve with a dollop of the blue cheese sauce and any other accompaniements you choose. Shaun whipped up a yummy couscous with baby bella mushrooms and chopped baby carrots.

 

You may also have noticed that some of these photos are not at an angle that can be gotten from my usual countertops. That's because tonight we broke in our brand new kitchen island!

A gift from my parents, we are so thrilled with this addition to our avid kitchen. It still needs some finishing touches so I'll do a full post about how it came to be and how it's functioning in the coming weeks. But meanwhile, I just had to share it because...well, it. is. awesome!!

So there you have it. A quick, delicious and healthy weeknight meal and a new kitchen fixture to boot. I can't wait to share more details about how we (mostly my mom) DIY'd our new island and to give you the grand tour!

What are your favorite weeknight meals? Any quick and easy ones to share?