Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe

If you're searching for a dish that will wow your guests, look no further. This recipe for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce is a delightful blend of savory and sweet, with a crunch that adds a unique twist. The nutty pecan crust, tender chicken, and tangy honey mustard sauce create a harmony of flavors that's hard to resist.

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe

While most of the ingredients for this recipe are staples in many kitchens, you might need to pick up a couple of items. Pecans are usually available in the nut section of your grocery store and can sometimes be found in the baking aisle. Also, Panko bread crumbs are a type of flaky breadcrumb that are often used in Asian cuisine; they can usually be located in the international food aisle.

Ingredients for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

Pecans: These nuts add a unique crunch and nutty flavor to the chicken tenders.

Panko bread crumbs: Panko breadcrumbs add a light and crunchy texture to the chicken.

Salt: Enhances the flavor of the chicken and the pecan crust.

Sugar: Balances out the salt and adds a slight sweetness to the crust.

Cayenne pepper: Adds a touch of heat to the chicken tenders.

Chicken tenderloins: The star of the dish; chicken tenderloins are lean and cook quickly.

Eggs: Helps the pecan and panko mixture stick to the chicken.

All purpose flour: Used for dredging the chicken before coating with the pecan and panko mixture.

Vegetable oil: For frying the chicken tenders to golden perfection.

Mayonnaise: The base for the honey mustard sauce.

Whole grain mustard: Adds tanginess to the honey mustard sauce.

Honey: Sweetens the honey mustard sauce and balances the tanginess of the mustard.

One reader, Ignacius Hardy says:

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This pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce recipe is a game-changer! The crunchy pecan coating adds a delightful twist to the classic chicken tender. The honey mustard sauce perfectly complements the dish, creating a burst of flavors. It's a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their chicken game!

Ignacius Hardy

Techniques for Making Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

How to prepare pecan crusted chicken tenders: A step-by-step guide on preparing the pecan and panko mixture, dredging the chicken tenders, and frying them to perfection.

How to make honey mustard sauce: A detailed explanation of combining mayonnaise, whole grain mustard, and honey to create a delicious dipping sauce for the chicken tenders.

How To Make Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

Grab a bite of these crunchy chicken tenders, crusted with pecans for extra bite, and served with a tangy honey-mustard sauce, for a mouthwatering meal!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

For Pecan Crusted Chicken Tender:

  • cuppecans
  • cuppanko bread crumbs
  • tspsalt,divided
  • 1tbspsugar
  • ¼tspcayenne pepper
  • 2lbschicken tenderloins
  • 2eggs
  • ½cupall purpose flour
  • vegetable oil,for cooking

For Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • ½cupmayonnaise
  • ½cupwhole grain mustard
  • ¼cuphoney

Instructions

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tender:

  1. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the panko, 1¼ teaspoon salt, sugar and cayenne pepper and pulse a few more times to combine.

  2. Set up 3 large shallow dishes in an assembly line. Place the flour in the first dish; beat the eggs in the second dish; and place the pecan/panko mixture in the third dish.

  3. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to hold the breaded tenders, and place at the end of the assembly line.

  4. Season the chicken tenders with the remaining teaspoon salt. Working with one tender at a time: dredge first in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip in the egg to coat evenly; and then dredge in the pecan/panko mixture, pressing down to make the coating adhere.

  5. Place the breaded tender on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders.

  6. Heat about ⅛-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil heats up, line another baking sheet with paper towels.

  7. When the oil starts to shimmer, add half of the chicken tenders and cook for a few minutes on the first side until golden brown.

  8. Using tongs, flip the tenders and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the second side is also golden. Transfer the cooked tenders to the prepared baking sheet. Discard the oil, wipe the skillet clean with a paper towel, and then repeat with the remaining tenders.

Honey Mustard Sauce:

  1. Make the sauce by combining the mayonnaise, mustard and honey in a small bowl.

  2. Serve alongside chicken tenders, and enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 871.41kcal
  • Fat: 59.69g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.17g
  • Trans Fat: 0.04g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 25.54g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 19.51g
  • Carbohydrates: 57.33g
  • Fiber: 5.20g
  • Sugar: 15.74g
  • Protein: 29.05g
  • Cholesterol: 122.82mg
  • Sodium: 1061.10mg
  • Calcium: 90.69mg
  • Potassium: 479.49mg
  • Iron: 3.47mg
  • Vitamin A: 26.15µg
  • Vitamin C: 1.63mg

Crucial Technique for Perfecting the Pecan Crust

When breading the chicken tenders, it's important to press the pecan and panko mixture onto the chicken to ensure it adheres properly. This will create a more robust and flavorful crust. Also, using one hand for the dry ingredients and one for the wet will help keep your hands clean and the process more efficient. Lastly, remember to adjust the heat as necessary while cooking the tenders to prevent them from burning. A golden brown color is what you're aiming for.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce

Prep ahead: To save time, prepare the pecan and panko mixture in advance and store it in an airtight container. You can also beat the eggs and store them in the fridge until ready to use.

Batch cooking: Consider making a larger batch of the pecan crusted chicken tenders and freezing the extras for a quick and easy meal in the future.

Organized workspace: Set up your breading station in advance with the flour, eggs, and pecan mixture to streamline the breading process.

Use kitchen tools: Utilize kitchen tools such as a food processor to quickly chop the pecans and a wire rack on a baking sheet to efficiently bread and cook the chicken tenders.

Multi-task: While the chicken tenders are cooking, prepare the honey mustard sauce to maximize efficiency in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe

  • pecans - Substitute with almonds: Almonds have a similar nutty flavor and crunchy texture, making them a great substitute for pecans in this recipe.

  • panko bread crumbs - Substitute with regular bread crumbs: Regular bread crumbs can be used as a substitute for panko bread crumbs, providing a similar texture and crunch to the coating.

  • chicken tenderloins - Substitute with turkey tenderloins: Turkey tenderloins can be used as a substitute for chicken tenderloins, offering a similar lean and tender meat texture.

  • mayonnaise - Substitute with Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt can be used as a healthier substitute for mayonnaise in the honey mustard sauce, providing a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

  • whole grain mustard - Substitute with Dijon mustard: Dijon mustard can be used as a substitute for whole grain mustard, offering a slightly smoother texture and a tangy flavor to the honey mustard sauce.

Presentation Tips for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the pecan crusted chicken tenders in a circular pattern on the plate, ensuring they are evenly spaced and visually appealing.

  2. Incorporate color contrast: Add a pop of color to the plate by garnishing with a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh parsley and a drizzle of honey mustard sauce.

  3. Utilize height and dimension: Place the chicken tenders on a bed of mixed greens and drizzle the honey mustard sauce in a zigzag pattern over the top, creating a visually stunning and appetizing presentation.

  4. Add a touch of elegance: Garnish the plate with a few whole pecans and a delicate edible flower to add a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  5. Pay attention to the plate: Use a large, white, round plate to showcase the vibrant colors and textures of the dish, allowing the pecan crusted chicken tenders to be the focal point of the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

  • Food processor: A food processor is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used to chop, blend, grind, and puree ingredients. It is perfect for finely chopping the pecans for the pecan crusted chicken tenders.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is essential for combining the pecans, panko bread crumbs, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper to create the coating for the chicken tenders.

  • Baking sheet: A baking sheet is used to hold the breaded chicken tenders before cooking and to absorb any excess oil after frying.

  • Skillet: A skillet is used to fry the pecan crusted chicken tenders to a golden brown, providing a crispy texture to the dish.

  • Paper towels: Paper towels are used to absorb excess oil from the fried chicken tenders, ensuring they are not greasy when served.

  • Tongs: Tongs are essential for flipping the chicken tenders while frying, ensuring that they cook evenly on both sides.

  • Wire rack: A wire rack is used on top of a baking sheet to freeze and reheat the cooked chicken tenders, allowing air to circulate around the tenders for even heating.

Storing and Freezing Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

  • To store leftover pecan crusted chicken tenders, allow them to cool completely before placing in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • For the honey mustard sauce, transfer to a separate airtight container and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Give it a good stir before using, as the ingredients may separate slightly.
  • To freeze the cooked chicken tenders, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours, or until the tenders are frozen solid. This process helps prevent the tenders from sticking together when stored.
  • Once frozen, transfer the chicken tenders to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and contents for easy reference.
  • Frozen pecan crusted chicken tenders can be stored for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat frozen chicken tenders, place them on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. Flip the tenders halfway through baking to ensure even heating.
  • It is not recommended to freeze the honey mustard sauce, as the texture and consistency may change upon thawing. It is best to prepare the sauce fresh when needed.

How To Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders

  • To reheat leftover pecan crusted chicken tenders, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Place the tenders on a wire rack set over a baking sheet, ensuring they're not touching each other. This allows hot air to circulate around them, helping to restore their crispiness. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and the coating is crisp again.

  • For a quicker option, you can use an air fryer to reheat the chicken tenders. Set the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place the tenders in the basket, leaving space between each piece. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. The exact time may vary depending on the thickness of the tenders and your air fryer model.

  • If you're in a hurry, you can also reheat the tenders in the microwave, although this method may result in a softer coating. Place the tenders on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in 30-second intervals until warmed through. To help maintain some crispness, place a damp paper towel over the tenders while microwaving.

  • For the honey mustard sauce, reheat it gently in the microwave or on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally. If the sauce seems too thick after reheating, whisk in a small amount of water or honey to thin it out and restore its original consistency.

  • If you have time, consider reheating the pecan crusted chicken tenders in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of oil in the skillet over medium heat, then add the tenders. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until heated through and crispy. This method can help restore the crunchiness of the pecan coating.

Interesting Trivia About Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce is a delicious dish that combines crunchy pecans and tender chicken. The pecans add a rich, nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch to the chicken tenders. The honey mustard sauce provides a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess to complement the savory chicken. This recipe is a great option for a family dinner or a party appetizer. It's a crowd-pleaser and can be made ahead and frozen for future use, making it a convenient and versatile dish. Enjoy the delightful combination of flavors and textures in this pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce recipe.

Is Making Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce recipe is quite favorable. Pecans and chicken tenders are relatively affordable, and the ingredients are commonly found in households. The homemade honey mustard sauce adds value and can be used for other dishes. On a scale of 1-10, this recipe rates a solid 8 for its balance of cost and flavor. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $20-$25, making it a budget-friendly option for a delicious and satisfying meal.

Are Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders Healthy?

The pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce recipe is a delicious and satisfying dish, but it may not be the healthiest option due to a few factors:

  • The chicken tenders are breaded and fried, which adds extra calories and fat to the dish.
  • The pecans, while nutritious, are high in calories and fat.
  • The honey mustard sauce contains mayonnaise, which is high in fat and calories.

However, this recipe also has some positive aspects:

  • Chicken is a lean protein source, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Pecans are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can provide various health benefits.
  • The whole grain mustard in the sauce contains some beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of frying the chicken tenders, try baking them in the oven. This will reduce the amount of oil needed and lower the overall calorie and fat content.
  • Use a lighter alternative to mayonnaise in the honey mustard sauce, such as Greek yogurt or avocado-based mayonnaise, to reduce the fat and calorie content.
  • Incorporate more herbs and spices into the breading mixture to add flavor without increasing the calorie count. For example, you could add garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika.
  • Serve the chicken tenders with a side of fresh vegetables or a salad to increase the nutrient density of the meal and provide a balance of flavors and textures.
  • Reduce the amount of honey in the sauce to lower the sugar content, or use a sugar-free alternative like stevia or erythritol.

Editor's Take on This Delightful Chicken Tender Recipe

The pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce recipe is a delightful combination of crunchy, nutty flavors and tangy sweetness. The pecan and panko crust adds a satisfying crunch to the tender chicken, while the honey mustard sauce provides a perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavors. The recipe's clear instructions make it easy to follow, and the freezer-friendly option adds convenience. It's a versatile dish that can be served as a main course, appetizer, or even in a salad. Overall, it's a delicious and well-rounded recipe that is sure to impress!

Enhance Your Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with garlic and chives
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful medley of roasted vegetables with a balsamic glaze
Fruit Salad: Fresh fruit salad with a honey-lime dressing

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Pecan Crusted Chicken

Crispy Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries: These zucchini fries are a healthier alternative to traditional fries, and they're baked to crispy perfection with a parmesan coating.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Scampi: This classic shrimp scampi recipe is made with a flavorful garlic butter sauce and served over pasta for a delicious and satisfying meal.
Berry Chia Seed Pudding: This chia seed pudding is made with mixed berries for a refreshing and nutritious dessert or breakfast option that's packed with antioxidants and fiber.

Appetizer and Dessert Pairings for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

Appetizers:
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Combine creamy spinach and artichoke with a blend of cheeses for a warm, gooey appetizer that's perfect for dipping with bread or chips.
Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory filling with breadcrumbs, cheese, and herbs, then stuff it into mushroom caps and bake until golden and delicious.
Desserts:
Chocolate Lava Cake: Impress your guests with a decadent and indulgent chocolate lava cake. The rich, gooey center oozes out when you cut into it, creating a truly unforgettable dessert experience. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of warm and cold, and top it with fresh berries for a pop of color and freshness.
Apple Crisp: Warm, comforting, and full of cozy flavors, apple crisp is the perfect dessert for fall or winter. The combination of tender, cinnamon-spiced apples and a crunchy oat topping is simply irresistible. Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of caramel swirl ice cream for an extra special treat.

Why trust this Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe:

This recipe for pecan crusted chicken tenders with honey mustard sauce is a delightful combination of crunchy, flavorful pecans and tender chicken. The pecans add a rich, nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch, while the honey mustard sauce provides a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess. The step-by-step instructions ensure that the chicken tenders turn out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. With the use of high-quality ingredients and clear, concise directions, users can trust that this recipe will result in a delicious and satisfying meal.

Want to share your experience making this Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Sauce Recipe or discuss tips and variations? Join the conversation in our Recipe Sharing forum!
FAQ:
Can I use a different type of nut for the pecan crusted chicken tenders?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of nut, such as almonds or walnuts, to create a different flavor profile for the chicken tenders.
Can I bake the pecan crusted chicken tenders instead of frying them?
Absolutely! You can bake the chicken tenders in a preheated 375°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and cooked through.
Can I make the honey mustard sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the honey mustard sauce ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken tenderloins?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of tenderloins. Simply cut the chicken breasts into strips or use a meat mallet to flatten them to an even thickness before breading and cooking.
Can I freeze the pecan crusted chicken tenders?
Yes, you can freeze the cooked chicken tenders for up to 3 months. When reheating, place the tenders on a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a 350°F oven until heated through and crisp, about 25 minutes.

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