I use my chicken seasoning (Chicken Scratch) each and every time I cook chicken. Whether I’m baking it, grilling it, frying it, sautéing it or putting it in ice cream, it gets a good coating of the seasoning.
But my very favorite way to use it is to coat chicken tenderloins and pan-fry them without breading… kind of like a naked chicken tender. Once cooked, you can use the tenderloins in so many dishes.
When you’re pimping on a budget, you can make one 1-lb. package (about $5.00) stretch to feed your family.
Naked Chicken Tenders
4-5 tablespoons Chicken Scratch (recipe below)
1 pound chicken breast tenderloins
3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Using kitchen shears, cut the white tendon from each tenderloin. Or don’t. I just do it because they skeeve me out.
Liberally coat tenderloins with Chicken Seasoning. And I do mean liberally. This is only 25% salt so rock it out.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Use enough oil so that the bottom of the skillet is thoroughly covered. Once your oil is good and hot, place about half the tenderloins in the skillet. Do not overcrowd the pan. These cook quickly so you’re not going to miss Christmas if you have to cook two batches. Cook about 4 minutes or until lightly browned on each side then remove from heat.
Let chicken rest about 10 minutes before cutting. I mean it!
3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper*
1 tablespoon onion powder
Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container. I keep mine in a large used spice container that still has its shaker top for easy use.
*if you prefer a Southwest vibe, use chili powder instead
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You can absolutely serve these on their own but if you need to make one pound stretch, here are a few ideas:
Big Fat Salad
Make everyone their own entrée size salad on a dinner plate. Cut the tenderloins into bite-sized pieces and place on top. My brood likes their Big Fat Salad with romaine lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, chopped boiled eggs, cheddar or blue cheese and whatever else I might have handy. Serve with ranch, blue cheese or honey mustard dressing.
Cook linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile heat jarred alfredo sauce (Gasp! These are weeknight meals, remember? Don’t get all judgey, we’re pimping on a budget here) and add 1 teaspoon Chicken Scratch. Toss pasta with alfredo sauce then plate pasta with chicken on top.