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
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.
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
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- 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
- 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.
- Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Beat egg and egg white with a fork and pour it into a pie plate.
- Preheat a large skillet and add half of the oil. Oil is ready when it glistens.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove cooked chicken to serving platter and add remaining oil to skillet. When the oil is ready, cook the remaining chicken. Serve immediately.
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