Crunchy Whole-Grain Chicken Bites

This recipe is excellent for a hot summer day, and so much healthier than making frozen chicken nuggets! I made this a lot last summer for my mom and paired it with Watermelon balls. The watermelon and chicken bites complement each other so nicely, and if you aren’t feeling the slaw that is part of the recipe, just make the dressing for it (skip the veggies) and you have one fantastic dipping sauce for your chicken bites!

I hope you will decide to try this out this summer, I know you (and even your little ones) will just love it!

Crunchy Whole-Grain Chicken Bites         [click to print]

Serves 4 (from The Pampered Chef 29 Minutes to Dinner)

Dressing and Slaw

1/2 tsp reduced-fat sour cream
>2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 pkg (1-0z) dry ranch dressing mix, divided
5 stalks celery
2 carrots

Chicken Bites

1-lb chicken tenders
1 egg white
6 cups whole-grain chips (such as Sun Chips)
1/4 tsp paprika
Vegetable oil
Hot sauce and crumbled blue cheese (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise and 1 tbsp of the dressing mix (reserve remaining dressing mix for chicken); set aside.

For chicken, cut chicken tenders into 1-1/2 in. pieces. Whisk together 1 tbsp of the reserved dressing mix and egg white in a medium bowl. Crush chips in a resealable plastic bag; add remaining dressing mix and paprika and shake well.

Add chicken to egg mixture; mix well to coat. Add half of the coated chicken to crumb mixture; shake to coat with crumbs and arragne in a single layer on a cookie sheet or rectangular stoneware. Repeat with remaining coated chicken and crumbs.

Spray chicken generously with oil (such as Pam). Bake 14-16 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and centers are no longer pink. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, for slaw, thinly slice celery on the bias. Peel carrots; cut into julienne strips. Combine celery and carrots with 1/4 cup of the dressing; mix well. To serve, divide chicken and slaw among serving plates; serve with remaining dressing for dipping. If desired, drizzle chicken with hot sauce and crumble blue cheese over dressing.

Photo Walkthrough:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Everything you need for the recipe is in the picture above, with a few exceptions. We didn’t actually make the homemade coleslaw that is included in the recipe because we were short on time and had some very hungry kiddos! So instead you’ll notice the Marie Callendar’s Coleslaw dressing. We needed the cabbage and carrots to make that, so that’s what we did. The homemade coleslaw is really easy though, and needs the mayonnaise, sour cream, carrots, and celery for it. The watermelon is because it goes really well with this dish and is very summery, aka perfect for AZ heat!

Chicken Bites

Trim your chicken if you need to and then cut it into bite sized pieces.
Ignore the chicken in this picture, I hadn’t made this since last summer and my brain wasn’t quite working! What you’re supposed to do is to add your egg white and 1 tbsp of the ranch dressing mix and whisk it. Then add your chicken. I did it out of order, minus the whisking.
After you mix your egg white and ranch dressing mix together, add your chicken, like this!
After you add your chicken toss it with the egg/ranch dressing mix mixture. You want them well coated and well… slimy! Be sure to ask whomever happens to be nearby if they would like to lick your hands or have you do their hair after having mixed these together. In case you’re thinking I’m crazy, I’m not. Your hands come out fabulous! *evilgrin*
Place your Sun Chips (or whichever whole-wheat chip you use) in a ziploc bag.
Erin suggested that instead of using the really heavy and loud meat tenderizer to crush the chips (and sound like you’re breaking everything in your kitchen), I use the pastry roller (I think that’s it… I’ll have to check that!). It worked really well, and was in fact much quieter!
Yay for crushed chips! You want to make sure that there are no big chunks left, they’re not ideal for coating chicken with.
After you crushed your chips, add in your paprika and the rest of the ranch dressing mix.
After combining everything in the bag, add half of your chicken to the bag and seal it.
Toss to coat the chicken. You want them coated generously, so don’t be stingy with it! If you have to sprinkle some on top of the chicken after you pull it out of the bag, then do so.
When I said don’t be stingy, I meant it. You’ll probably need to crush more chips and add them to the original bag, because chances are, whatever chips are left are probably soggy. Soggy coating doesn’t work very well.
After you finish crushing more chips and add them to the bag, add the rest of your chicken to the bag. Toss to coat, don’t be stingy, etc.
Place them on cookie sheets (stoneware works too). We used more chicken than the recipe called for because we were feeding 3 adults and 3 children, so if you make just what the recipe calls for, you shouldn’t have this much!
Don’t forget to spritz the chicken with vegetable oil (if you have a spritzer filled with it. If not, Pam works too) before putting it in the oven. Bake them for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown and no longer pink in the center.
Mmmm crispy, golden chicken bites!

Dressing and Slaw

Peel the carrots and use a julienne peeler to cut the carrots into julienne strips for the slaw.

Time to move the carrots into a bowl so we have room for the cabbage for the Marie Callender's coleslaw dressing recipe!

Erin thought this would be a great time to show me the mandolin tool Pampered Chef sells because I had been asking about it since I made radish slaw. It’s an awesome tool, but the grater on it was making the cabbage pieces too small for the coleslaw. But it was worth a shot!
After giving up on the grater, Erin pulled out the santoku knife and got to chopping.
I don’t know if you can tell that Erin is wearing a Spiderman bandaid, but she is. So since TJ and I had been teasing her all day about her being a klutz (it runs in the family I guess, and is probably something else I failed to mention about myself.), she pulled out her anti-finger chopper! Earlier when trying out her new mango slicer to slice up a mango for Bridget, it didn’t quite cut through the skin all the way (she forgot to peel it). So, brilliantly might I add, she pushed the mango all the way through, and apparently she confused her thumb with mango! *golfclap* But with her anti-finger chopper Erin is sure to not injure herself further, because no one likes fingers in their coleslaw. XD
Combine your finger-free cabbage and carrots in a bowl.
After adding the coleslaw dressing it was time to refrigerate it. It was supposed to have been in the fridge for 2 hours, it got 15 minutes. Same thing, right? :P

Serve the coleslaw (whether you followed the recipe or used a pre-made dressing) with your chicken bites and enjoy!

♥ Kate

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