When you stop eating the Standard American Diet and transition to a different diet, be it low-carb, grain-free, paleo etc., the smart thing to do is not to try and recreate the recipes that you used to love, but rather to train yourself and your taste buds to enjoy your new way of eating. My husband and I are fond of saying that we haven’t given up tasty foods (ahh, those huge platefuls of spaghetti that we used to eat in our twenties). Rather, we’ve replaced those with different, but just as delicious food (intensely flavorful, fatty ribeye steaks are a huge favorite of ours these days).
Having said that, there are dishes that I do miss, and one of them is schnitzel, or chicken tenders. I don’t want to use breadcrumbs in the coating, and gluten-free breadcrumbs are not a real solution since they too are high in carbs and just as junky (if not more so). So I have experimented over the years, and have found that almond flour makes a nice coating.
Recently I saw a recipe that used crushed pork rinds to coat baked chicken, and I became intrigued – why not use those to coat chicken tenders? Indeed, we loved the result. Unlike breadcrumbs, the pork rinds themselves are very flavorful, so I find that pork rind crusted chicken tenders, while not as crisp as breadcrumb coated tenders, are even more delicious. My teenage testers loved them too – what more can you ask for?
- 2 oz pork rinds
- 1½ lb. chicken tenders (about 12 pieces)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Place the pork rinds in a large ziploc bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible. Use a meat pounder to crush the pork rinds into crumbs, similar to Panko. Place in a shallow bowl.
- Brush the chicken tenders with the mustard and sprinkle with kosher salt, garlic powder and cayenne.
- Dip each chicken tender into the crushed pork rinds, pressing on both sides to help the crumbs adhere.
- Heat a nonstick double-burner griddle (or two large nonstick skillets) over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Brush with olive oil.
- Add the coated chicken tenders. Fry until golden-brown, about 3 minutes on each side, working in batches if necessary.*