Blackened Chicken Tenders
I remember when I was young and learned about blackened food, for the first time. Something about intentionally burning the surface of the food, in a really really searing hot pan ... to enhance the flavor ... really stuck with me. I think this is one of those foundational concepts that made me think about 'flavor' as a something bigger than the goodness that teases my nose and tongue. You can manipulate it. You can use techniques, interesting blends of spices and herbs, use of fats and temperatures all change the way the final dish looks, tastes and feels in the mouth. A lot to think about for an 8 year old boy! But ... I did!
These are spicy and cozy. Hot, but familiar. Really, just flat out delicious and the kind of thing I could eat a basket of.
In this case, I served them with a cool ranch dressing, but you could really eat them plain, on a salad with some blue cheese or even stacked up in a po' boy!
Serve and eat when delicious.
Note: I added a small amount of erythritol to this. The miniscule little boost of "sweet" helps round this out, but if you can't get your hands on some ... don't worry about it. It's not crucial to the dish ... it's just a personal preference.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 6 Servings
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 4 each garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tsp erythritol powdered (optional)
- 1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts boneless and skinless, and cut into strips
- 1/2 cup fresh whole butter (one stick) melted
Pre-heat a large iron skillet (or a big sauté pan, if you don't have a large iron skillet).
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
Add your chicken to the hot pan, leaving space between each slice. Do not add too many to the pan at once, or else they will not blacken. They will just simmer and steam. If you need to do this in a few batches, that's fine. Wipe out the pan between each batch, but also always make sure the pan is very hot before you add the chicken. This will help it blacken and also help prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
When one side is nice and black, turn it over and blacken the other side. Adding a small amount of flavorless oil (light olive, for example) to the pan may help cook the chicken more evenly, even if it's slightly less authentic.
Once the chicken fingers are cooked through ... serve!
Serving: 6g | Calories: 283.63666666667kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.5933333333333g | Protein: 24.861666666667g | Fat: 18.596666666667g | Fiber: 1.4333333333333g