These were always one of my kid’s favorite meals, they go by many different names, but they all have one thing in common, they are all delicious. When we have children, we start to call them chicken fingers, chicken strips, or even chicken tenderloins. I always think of them as Chinese food that comes with a nice sweet red sauce. (Called Sweet and Sour Chicken, at most Asian restaurants)
But, armed with an air fryer and two hungry teenage boys, they are quickly becoming an everyday meal. The healthy version of these are really oven-baked, but since we use such little oil in this recipe, they are just as healthy as the oven-baked version, but in my opinion much tastier.
The best thing about chicken tenders is that you can make them with no breading, or with breading, fried or not fried. They can become crispy if you want them to, and then also work really well from frozen.
So, the next time that your children are begging you to go to Popeyes, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds or even Burger King, surprise them with a tasty air-fried alternative.
First Off, what is a Chicken Tender?
They are simply stripping of chicken, they are always white meat and they are smaller than the chicken breasts, but taste exactly the same as regular chicken breasts. They are great for chicken fingers, stir-fries, and chicken satay or skewers.
Can I Make My Own Chicken Tenders?
If you can not find a package of chicken tenders, they are actually really easy to make. All you need to do is take a boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut it up. Cut it lengthwise into pieces about ½ inch thick.
Grades of Chicken: Another name for this would be poultry grades, which is given to every chicken that passes through the grocery stores, what it really refers to is the physical features of a bird. They are divided into different categories, as explained below:
Grade A: This is the highest quality, and usually the only grade to be sold at grocery stores. Grade-A means that the chicken is free from any bruises, discolorations, and feathers. Chicken with bones means that it has no broken bones. For whole birds, it means that the bones are intact and that there are no tears in the skin.
Grade B and Grade C: They are usually not sold in grocery stores and the meat is further processed into chopped or ground chicken.
Other Labels Found in the Poultry Department:
Free Range: Free-range chickens usually mean that the chickens are able to freely roam the outdoors, without any restrictions. This has been debated for years since some large chicken producers simply add additional windows and doors, since the legal definition by the US Department of Agriculture, defines free-range as the chickens having some access to an outside area.
Hormone Free: Although chicken growth hormones have been illegal since 1959, so labeling the chicken as such, is nothing special.
My Recommendations for Air Fryers, which is a very common question, I receive. Here are my three favorites, at the time of the post.
GoWise Air Fryer, I think this is the best model to get you into the air fryer world, it doesn’t mean that you are going to stick with it, but it’s a solid machine, large enough for a chicken and inexpensive enough that you can upgrade later, and use it for sides.
Secura Air Fryer: This is MY first air fryer, I have had it since (Amazon tells me I ordered it on August 23, 2017), It is a fabulous machine, and I always recommend it to my facebook group, when they are on sale because it works. And to be honest, once you get into the air fryer world, you want another one for side dishes (and, I’m so hoping that is true and not just me)
Don’t Forget To Pin–
This is better than any frozen chicken pot pie that you can cook in the air fryer, this is really good. It has a creamy sauce and it is so easy to make and requires very little hands-on time.
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup peas ( I used frozen that were thawed)
To Make the Dumplings:
- 2/3 cup self-rising flour
- 1/3 cup milk
- Start by dicing up your vegetables and putting them into a foil packet. Just place a foil sheet down on the counter, and place your vegetables into them, and then close the foil, so it seals on both ends.
- Then do the same thing with the chicken, place the chicken in a foil packet with 1 thyme stem, and place both packets into the air fryer.
- Now, set your temperature to 400 degrees F, for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, check and see if your chicken is cooked and vegetables are soft.
- Remove the vegetables, see how they are soft. Throw out the thyme stem.
- Then check on your chicken, make sure it’s fully cooked, by using a meat thermometer, throw out the thyme.
- Now, in a skillet that is going to fit in your air fryer, dice up the chicken. Place the chicken in the skillet
- Pour the vegetables into the skillet, along with the chicken.
- Mix in the peas.
- Mix in the milk, and 2 tablespoons of the flour, mix well.
- Set the skillet back in the air fryer at 400 degrees F, for 5 minutes, while you make the dumplings.
- To make the dumplings, biscuit dough, mix together the milk and flour, mix well. to combine.
- Mix until dough forms.
- Place drops of biscuit dough on top of the pot pie.
- Place the skillet back into the air fryer at 400 degrees F, for 7 minutes.
- Plate, serve and enjoy!
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