Spicy Baked Chicken Tenders With a Garlic Basil Aioli

"Now, I think everyone likes chicken fingers or tenders, but I get tired of those made the traditional way with the seasoned bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and a marinara sauce for dipping. So, I tried to come up with something a bit spicy and a unique dipping sauce for a unique taste. This is my version. Spicy seasoning, and the panko makes it a bit lighter. Baked vs fried and then the aioli is to me what sets this apart. Since this is finger food, I love to serve this with fresh corn on the cob, and my salad cups. Basically a small chopped salad served in a small lettuce cup. This just makes it a great easy "finger food" dinner."
photo by Anonymous photo by Anonymous
photo by Anonymous
photo by alligirl photo by alligirl
photo by LifeIsGood photo by LifeIsGood
photo by LifeIsGood photo by LifeIsGood
Ready In:




  • Aioli -- Mix the mayonnaise, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Check for seasoning and cover and refrigerate.
  • Chicken -- I like to cut the chicken into finger size pieces. I don't like them too thin as they will dry out, but because they are baked I like to cut them around 1/2" thick (I like to think they are about the size and thickness of my thumb).
  • Chicken Flour Base -- In a large baggie add the flour, salt and pepper. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture and then toss well to coat. Make sure to shake off the excess flour. Just set to the side until they are all coated.
  • Panko and Egg -- I like to grind up the panko a bit to make the crumbs a bit finer. I just used my mini food processor to grind them up. Then to the panko, I added all the seasonings (except the salt and pepper) which we already used in the flour mix. Then add the panko to a small pan. In another pan, add the eggs and beat well.
  • Dredge -- Now dip each piece of chicken, already dredged in flour into the egg and then the panko seasoning. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or you can use foil.
  • Bake -- Spray the chicken with olive oil (both sides). Now I have an atomizer which I fill with olive oil. But you can buy a olive oil spray like "Pam." right at the store. But I use my atomizer all the time and well worth the 10.00 investment. Those recipes that cause for a drizzle of olive oil -- using an atomizer will save you tons of money. Well, time to bake. I bake at 400 for about 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. They should be golden brown.
  • Serve -- Just serve the chicken strips with the Basil Aioli.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Yum! Thanks for the great recipe. I didnt have smoked paprika so I just used regular and it turned out wonderfully. Make sure you dont skip the Aioli it adds the perfect touch.
  2. Mayo and some seasoning and herbs is not an aoili!!!
  3. Takes a while to make, but excellent! I would cut the garlic in the aioli a little next time and I used a 1/4 tsp cayenne.
  4. My husband said his was a keeper! I used the recipe, because I had fresh Basil and all other ingredients. It was the crispest chicken I have ever made. It's great with ranch dressing too! I'm going to try it on fish.
  5. Very good chicken tenders. Just the right ingredients. Will make again. Thanks for posting.


<p>Growing up in Michigan, I spent my summers at my cottage in the Northern part up by Traverscity. On a lake, big garden which had all the vegetables you could imagine. My mom taught school, so summers were our vacation time. Gramps and I fished all the time so fresh fish was always on the menu, perch, blue gill, walleye and small and large mouth bass. At age 5 I learned how to clean my own fish and by 10 I was making dinner, canning vegetables and fruits, making pies and fresh breads. Apples fresh picked every fall, strawberries in June and July, Cherries at the Cherry Festival in Traverscity. So fresh foods always were a big part. Mom worked as a teacher during the year so dinner was more traditional with pot roasts, meatloaf, etc, but it seemed we always had fresh fruits and vegetables as part of the meal. Mom also didn't use as many spices as I do, but times were different back then. <br /> <br />So ... My motto is ... There is NO Right and NO Wrong with cooking. So many people thing they have to follow a recipe. But NO ... a recipe is a method and directions to help and teach someone. Cooking is about personal tastes and flavors. I love garlic ... and another person may not. I like heat ... but you may not. Recipes are building blocks, NOT text ground in stone. Use them to make and build on. Even my recipes I don't follow most times --They are a base. That is what cooking is to me. A base of layer upon layer of flavors. <br /> <br />I still dislike using canned soups or packaged gravies/seasoning ... but I admit, I do use them. I have a few recipes that use them. But I try to strive to teach people to use fresh ingredients, they are first ... so much healthier for you ... and second, in the end less expensive. But we all have our moments including me. <br /> <br />So, lets see ... In the past, I have worked as a hostess, bartender, waitress, then a short order cook, salad girl in the kitchen, sort of assistant chef, head chef, co owner of a restaurant ... now a consultant to a catering company/restaurant, I cater myself and I'm a personal chef for a elderly lady. I work doing data entry during the day, and now and then try to have fun which is not very often due to my job(s). <br /> <br />I have a 21 year old who at times is going on 12, aren't they all. Was married and now single and just trying to enjoy life one day at a time. I'm writing a cookbook ... name is still in the works but it is dedicated to those people who never learned, to cook. Single Moms, Dads, or Just Busy Parents. Those individuals that think you can't make a great dinner for not a lot of money. You can entertain on a budget and I want people to know that gourmet tasting food doesn't have to be from a can of soup or a box, and healthy food doesn't come from a drive through. There are some really good meals that people can make which are healthy and will save money but taste amazing. So I guess that is my current goal. We all take short cuts and I have no problem with that - I do it too. I volunteer and make food for the homeless every couple of months, donating my time and money. I usually make soup for them and many times get donations from a local grocery stores, Sams Club, Walmart etc, with broth, and vegetables. It makes my cost very little and well worth every minute I spend. Like anyone, life is always trying to figure things out and do the best we can and have fun some how along the way.</p>
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