With sriracha ranch dipping sauce. But that would have been entirely too long a recipe title with all of it in there. Although I was tempted to put it all. Because sriracha ranch! It’s amazing. And may have made the meal. So maybe I should have just given in to the impulse and thrown it all in the title even if that would have been a little ridiculous!
These baked pretzel ranch chicken tenders have been made at least 3 times in the last month, and are definitely on the “make many more times” list. These were absolutely amazing. The chicken pieces are first marinated in a buttermilk ranch mixture, then coated with ranch seasoned flour, dipped in an egg wash, and crusted with crushed pretzels. Seriously, so good. They’re easy to make, baked not fried, yet the coating is nice and crunchy and the chicken is juicy.
We all loved these. Yes, they are a little messy to make, what with the coating in flour, then egg, then pretzels, but seriously so worth it! I’ve made many versions of oven baked chicken tenders, always hoping to get that crunchy coating that we all love from the fried version. Some have been close (corn flakes work great) – some, not so much. These pretzel ranch chicken tenders are the best ones I’ve made yet. They stayed really crunchy, and the chicken was perfectly juicy, with a nice ranch-y (not a word, but you know what I mean!) flavour to it.
And the sriracha ranch dipping sauce? Even if you don’t want these pretzel ranch chicken tenders, you should definitely make this sauce and dip anything you can think of in it! We used the leftover sauce for dipping veggies and chips, and I even threw some on a veggie panini – incredible. There will definitely be much more of that in our future.
Also, why did it take me so long to try sriracha? Clearly I take way too long to jump on board food trends. I should probably stop that.
For the chicken fingers:
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 700g or 1.5lbs, or chicken tenders)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons ranch seasoning mix, divided
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons milk or water
- 1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
For the sriracha ranch dip:
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ranch seasoning
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- Cut the chicken breasts into long strips. In a shallow baking dish, whisk together the buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of the ranch seasoning. Place the chicken strips in the buttermilk mixture, turning them to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and the remaining tablespoon of ranch seasoning. In another bowl, whisk together the egg and milk or water. In a third bowl, place the crushed pretzels.
- Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dip the chicken in the flour mixture, turning it to coat, and shake off the excess. Then dip the chicken in the egg wash, then press it into the pretzels, turning it to coat both sides and pressing the pretzels firmly to adhere them to the chicken. Place the coated chicken on the baking sheet and repeat with all the chicken pieces. It’s a bit helpful to use one hand for the flour and egg, and the other for the pretzels so it doesn’t get quite as messy!
- Lightly spray the tops of the chicken fingers with cooking spray, and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden, flipping once.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sriracha ranch dipping sauce. In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk, sour cream, ranch seasoning and sriracha and refrigerate until ready to eat.
Source: Adapted from Cooking for the Rushed.