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Breaded Chicken Tenders with Fresh Rosemary and Parmesan

Breaded Chicken Tenders with Fresh Rosemary and Parmesan are so flavorful and crispy, you won’t miss the gravy or the Colonel.  Pan-frying yields maximum flavor without heating the kitchen.

Updated May 2020

Breaded Chicken Tenders with Rosemary and Parmesan on a platter

Recipe Highlights

Who doesn’t love a tender chicken filet breaded with flavorful crumbs? Fresh rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese set these tenders apart from the norm. Serve with Hominy and Cilantro Rice and these Oven-Roasted Baby Carrots.

These Breaded Chicken Tenders are best cooked at the last minute.  But if you prepare your crumb mixture ahead of time, it won’t take much longer than 10-12 minutes from start to finish. You can always put the chicken in a warm oven to hold it for a few minutes before serving.

Are chicken cutlets and chicken tenders the same thing?

According to EATER, “Chicken cutlets are boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have been sliced in half horizontally, creating a thinner piece of meat. These cutlets are then often pounded even thinner before cooking.” That would describe what I am showing you in the pictures for this recipe.

On the other hand, chicken tenders are technically limited to “the pectoralis minor, a small muscle that runs directly under the chicken breast.”

In real life, I think most people use these terms interchangeably. These days, more people use the term “chicken tenders” than “chicken cutlet” when referring to any flat and relatively thin cut and boneless chicken breast meat. So, that’s what I’m going with here.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • CHICKEN TENDERS: Use chicken tenders or chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces. Pound until they are at least 1/2-inch thick or less. You could substitute fish. See more about that below.
  • BREAD CRUMBS: The recipe specifies fresh bread crumbs. That means you will need to use a food processor or blender to make crumbs out of slices of bread. If you use dried bread crumbs, you will have to use a lot more oil. The end product will be significantly different.
  • ROSEMARY: The original recipe warned NOT to make any substitutions for the fresh rosemary. I concur. It seems like a great excuse to plant your own rosemary bush if you haven’t already.
  • PARMESAN: Freshly grated Parm will give the best flavor. I don’t recommend the powdery kind that comes in a can.
  • OLIVE OIL: If you don’t have olive oil, go with a mildly-flavored oil like avocado oil.

Variations

Swap tilapia for chicken

Since I mentioned fish, I should tell you I tried this with tilapia last night. It was a hit with the family.  As a result of the fish being relatively thin already, there’s no need to pound it first like the chicken. But in every other way, follow the directions just the same.


How To Make Breaded Chicken Tenders with Rosemary and Parmesan

cutting chicken breast in half horizontally
Cut chicken in half horizontally to make it easier to pound into thin pieces.
making chicken tenders
Slice each half on the diagonal to make tenders.
pounding chicken tenders to make them thinner to cook quicker and more evenly
Cover with plastic wrap and pound until approximately 1/4-inch thick.
making breading with fresh crumbs
Throw torn bread, fresh rosemary, parsley, and parmesan into a food processor or blender.
using the food processor to chop crumbs
Pulse until crumbs are finely chopped.
mixing the eggs
Mix eggs in a shallow dish.
Dipping station for chicken tenders
Set up your dipping station by the preheated skillet on the stove.
shows the process of dipping
Dip each tender into the egg mixture first, then the breadcrumbs. Use your fingers to pat the crumbs onto the tenders.
pan-frying chicken
Fry in a large non-stick skillet with olive oil over medium-low heat.
turning chicken filets in skillet
Fry about 5 minutes on each side. Don’t let the chicken brown too quickly or it will not be cooked in the middle before it gets brown.
ready-to-eat chicken tenders

Are you a chicken lover?


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If you have a question or tip to share, please leave it in the regular comments after the recipe so I can answer back. Or, email me privately: paula at saladinajar.com.

Thank you for visiting!
Paula


Goofproof Chicken Cutlets (Works Great With Fish, Too)

Breaded Chicken Tenders with Rosemary and Parmesan

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Speedy, breaded, chicken tenders with maximum flavor - try it with fish, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenderloins
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 thick slices of bread
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place chicken pieces into a plastic bag one at a time to prevent any splatter or flying pieces; press the air out and seal. Pound chicken with a mallet or palm of your hand until approximately 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
  3. Tear up bread and place into the bowl of a food processor or blender along with cheese, parsley, and rosemary. Pulse until finely chopped. Pour crumbs onto a flat plate.
  4. Beat egg and egg white with a fork and pour it into a pie plate.
  5. Preheat a large skillet and add half of the oil. Oil is ready when it glistens.
  6. Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture, then coat both sides with crumb mixture, pressing lightly to make sure the surface is completely covered. Shake gently to release any excess crumbs.
  7. Lay in hot skillet being careful not to crowd pieces. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until it is also golden brown.
  8. Remove cooked chicken to serving platter and add remaining oil to skillet. When the oil is ready, cook the remaining chicken. Serve immediately.

Notes

Keep these in a warm oven up to 30 minutes before serving.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 210mgSodium: 656mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 46g

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Lily Ferrill

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

This recipe is in my bookmark ...this the only one that make cutlet crispy. I've been using this recipe dozens times ..thank you !!!!

Joannie

Wednesday 30th of January 2013

Have made this .. and it's delicious! Going to try with cod fillets tonight. I want to try baking these.. What do you suggest? Bake at 350 for 20 minutes?

Joy

Thursday 5th of April 2012

Every time I look at this picture my mouth waters...Guess it is time to make it!!! I love just about anything chicken and if it takes 20 minute_+ I love it even better.There was a time when I lived without a stove or oven and became very experienced with a 2 burner hot plate, saute's were one of the favorites. And chicken or fish cutlets (tenders) were great because I could make dinner for me + best friend in short order. We both loved 5 ingredient recipes. I think she could have lived on salad and my salmon patties:-) Thanks so much for this recipe I well let you know how it goes over.

`Suzanne

Wednesday 4th of April 2012

I'm going to have to try these out the fresh herbs sound really good with this dish and as I look over to might right I really want a few of the those mini tarts :) such pretty photos you take :)

[email protected]

Saturday 31st of March 2012

Looks great, I need to try it like this with rosemary in the coating!