Oven-Baked Chicken Tenders With Pineapple-Apricot Salsa

Serves 4.

Note: It’s good to have an instant-read thermometer on hand to gauge the doneness of the chicken, or you can simply cut it into one piece to see if it’s cooked through. Panko breadcrumbs are larger and lighter than the traditional crumb, which could be substituted. Adapted from recipes on the 2Teaspoons.com website and from “Simply Irresistible: Easy, Elegant, Fearless, Fussless Cooking,” by Sheilah Kaufman.

For the chicken

• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 2 c. plain panko breadcrumbs (see Note)

• Kosher or sea salt

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 1 egg

• 1/4 c. whole or low-fat milk

• 3/4 c. flour

• 1 lb. thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the salsa

• 4 fresh pineapple rings (about 12 oz.; may substitute the flesh of 1 small mango)

• 1/2 medium red onion

• 1/2 small green or red jalapeño pepper

• 4 red radishes, optional

• 6 stems fresh cilantro

• 1 lime

• 1/2 c. apricot preserves

• Kosher or sea salt

• Freshly ground black pepper


For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place an ovenproof wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in the panko and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from the heat; season (still in the pan) lightly with salt and pepper and let cool.

Whisk together the egg and milk in a wide, shallow bowl until well blended. Place the flour in a separate, similar bowl.

Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry. Cut each thin piece lengthwise into 1-inch-wide strips. Dip each strip into the egg mixture, then the flour, then into the egg mixture again, then into the buttered breadcrumbs; make sure the last coating is thorough. Place the coated chicken strips on the wire rack.

Once all the chicken is coated, spray it lightly with cooking oil spray. Roast for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (registering 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

For the salsa: Dice the pineapple and finely chop the red onion and place in mixing bowl. Seed the jalapeño pepper half, then mince it and add to bowl. Cut the radishes, if using, into small dice, and coarsely chop the cilantro leaves and some tender stems, and place in bowl. Cut the lime in half, and squeeze in 2 tablespoons juice in bowl. Add the preserves, then season lightly with salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Serve the chicken warm, with the salsa.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 510 Fat 13 g Sodium 230 mg

Carbohydrates 68 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 25 mg

Protein 32 g Cholesterol 130 mg Dietary fiber 2 g