Oven Roasted 'Fried' Chicken Tenders
with cauliflower and potato mash / baked tomatoes
These chicken tenders are seasoned with similar flavors that you'd find in traditional fried chicken, but are baked instead of fried. To lighten this crowd-pleasing meal even more, the side dish uses a combination of potatoes and cauliflower to make a flavorful mash. This meal was last featured in 2019.
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Garlic powder - 1 tsp (not garlic salt)
- Paprika, smoked - 1 tsp
- Oregano, dried - 1 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Sour cream - 1/2 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
- Milk - 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Chicken spice mix (ingredients listed separately) - 2 1/4 tsp + 2 1/4 tsp
- Chicken breast tenders, boneless and skinless - 1 lb (sub boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced)
- Panko breadcrumbs - 3/4 cup
- Flour, all-purpose - 1/4 cup
- Foil - for lining pan
- Butter - 3 Tbsp
- Dipping sauces - for serving (like ketchup, honey, mustard, or BBQ sauce)
- Cheese, parmesan - 2 oz , grated
- Tomatoes, medium - 2 , halved
- Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
- Cauliflower florets, fresh or frozen - 20 oz , chopped into florets
- Potatoes, russet - 2 lbs , peeled and cubed
- Sour cream - 1/4 cup (sub plain or Greek yogurt)
Make chicken spice mix - Combine salt, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Cauliflower (This makes enough for 2 nights.) / Cheese - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Marinate chicken - Whisk together sour cream (portion for chicken), milk, lemon juice, and first portion of spice mix. Add chicken and stir to coat in marinade. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Prep breading - Combine panko, flour, and second portion of spice mix in a plastic bag. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
Tomatoes / Potatoes - Prep as directed. To slice tomatoes, set them stem-side up on a cutting board. With your knife parallel to the counter, slice tomatoes in half. As you cube the potatoes, transfer them to a large stockpot filled with water.
Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
While oven heats, prepare potatoes and cauliflower. (Note: This makes enough vegetables for 2 nights.) Place stockpot with water and potatoes over high heat (wait to add cauliflower). Season the water with some salt.
Bring potatoes to a boil and then reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Add fresh cauliflower florets after potatoes have been boiling for 7 minutes; add frozen cauliflower florets after 10 minutes. When vegetables are tender, drain and rinse. Place colander with vegetables back in stockpot (off heat) and cover with a dishtowel to steam. (This will give give you tender but not watery potatoes.)
Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with foil. Place butter on top of foil and transfer to heated oven. Leave sheet pan in the oven until the butter is melted, ~3 minutes.
Carefully remove pan from oven and swirl butter around.
Remove chicken from buttermilk marinade, letting excess marinade drip off (discard any remaining marinade). Transfer chicken to bag with flour / panko mixture. Shake to coat.
Add chicken to sheet pan with butter.
Bake until chicken is golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Flip chicken and continue baking until chicken is cooked through, ~5 minutes more.
Once chicken is baking, place tomatoes in a small baking dish, cut-side up. Top with some salt, Italian seasoning, and cheese. Transfer to oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Return to potatoes and cauliflower. Set half the vegetables aside for Wednesday night. To remaining vegetables, add sour cream (portion for mash). Mash with a fork (or use an immersion blender to get it really smooth and creamy.) Add some stock, some water, or more sour cream if the mixture is too thick to mash. Season with some salt.
Serve chicken with dipping sauces if you'd like. Enjoy potato / cauliflower mash and roasted tomatoes on the side.