1 to 2 lbs. Chicken Tenders
Gallon Zip Lock Bag
12” Heavy-Bottom Fry Pan
1/2 C. Corn
Baking Sheet & Cooling Rack (for done chicken)
Marinade: 2 T. Kosher Salt, 1 T. Onion Powder, 1 T. Crushed Sage, 1 T. Dried Thyme, 2 t. Spicy Paprika, 1 C. Olive Oil, 3/4 C. Honey, 1/4 C. Mustard (prepared)
Gravy: 1/4 C. Flour, Salt & Pepper, 2 C. Milk
1. Place dry marinade ingredients (To taste, or use your favorites.) in gallon bag; then the wet—squeeze bottom of bag to mix ingredients.
2. Place tenders in marinade bag mixing again at bottom of bag making sure there’s enough marinade in bag to coat tenders well. If there’s not quite enough, add more wet ingredients to coat. (Change up spices and herbs if desired—leave out honey & add more oil, or vise versa—if you omit olive oil, you may need more than 1/2 C. corn oil to sauté tenders.
3. While tenders marinade in the bag on the counter, place heavy-bottomed pan on burner, and turn on high (A cheap, thin pan cannot stand high heat and would burn the meat.)
4. Add corn oil—give pan three mins, or so, to get really hot; just before the pan starts to smoke, pull tenders out of bag leaving excess marinade behind, and add to pan in a single layer. If pan doesn’t make a loud crackle when rip of first tender touches, remove, and wait for pan to get hotter!
5. Once pan is hot enough, you can crowd the tenders into the hot pan, but adjust them to one layer—do two batches if needed—you want a nice, brown sear on each side, but they don’t take long to cook!
6. Don’t try to move them for four to five mins, but keep an eye on them, and flip sooner if they look to be getting brown faster, but If you mess with them TOO soon, they won’t develop a nice sear and release from the pan—they’ll stick; once they’ve browned well, they will be easy to turn. Remember to adjust the heat!
7. Once you’ve flipped all the tenders, preheat oven to lowest setting just to warm—usually 170 degrees F., and place the cooling rack on baking sheet—place sheet & rack onto top rack in oven.
8. Place each nicely-browned, but still-moist tender on the rack that’s on the sheet that’s in the oven one by one.
9. Turn oven off before it gets too hot! It’s super easy to over cook chicken tenders—they should be moist and juicy. You’re just keeping them warm.
10. Once the last tender is in the oven, turn burner on again—there should be 1/2 C., or so, of oil in and some brown bits of flavor left in pan.
11. Add flour to medium hot pan and stir to cook slightly cook it then add 1/2 C. of the milk stirring constantly. Keep stirring, and adding the milk 1/2 C. at a time to keep lumps from forming.
12. Add salt and pepper to taste. I like gravy on the thinner side, not the old fashioned thick, goopy stuff. If the brown bits, and herbs are too much, at this point, you can pour it through a sieve, and have a beautifully-tasty batch of gravy. You’ll never buy another packet again!