Oven-Fried Chicken Tenders (and Fish too!)

1 (5 oz.) box plain Melba Toast, broken into small pieces
2 T. vegetable oil
3 large egg whites
1 T. Dijon mustard
2 t. fresh thyme leaves, minced (or 1 t. dried)
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
2 lbs. skinless chicken tenders*
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil spray (Pam also works)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and adjust rack to upper-middle position. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top.

Process Melba Toast in a food processor into coarse crumbs. Spread the crumbs in a shallow dish and toss with the oil.

In a separate dish, whisk together the egg whites, mustard, thyme, garlic powder and cayenne.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Using tongs (you can use your hands but it’s messy), dip one piece of chicken at a time into the egg white mixture, then coat with the Melba crumbs. Press the crumbs onto the chicken to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack and spray the tops with olive oil spray.

Bake until the coating is golden and the chicken is no longer pink in the center, about 12 to 15 minutes.

(If you’re using bone-in split chicken breasts, bake as long as 40 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees.)

Serves: 8
5 Poodles

*I haven’t tried this yet, but you can also use this coating for fish, including catfish, tilapia and cod. If the pieces of fish have thin tapered ends, tuck them under before breading them to prevent them from overcooking. Bake at the same temperature, 450 degrees, until the coating is golden and the fish just flakes apart, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.