Unlike breadcrumbs, the pork rinds themselves are very flavorful, so I find that pork rind chicken tenders are extra delicious!
These pork rind chicken tenders are so good! They are wonderfully crispy and flavorful. Even my kids love them and always ask for seconds when I make them.
Do we really need these keto substitutes?
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).
The perfect keto substitute for breaded chicken tends
Having said that, there are dishes that I do miss. 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 usually high in carbs.
So I have experimented over the years. And I 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, and I’ve made this recipe several times since.
Are pork rind chicken tenders as good as breaded chicken tenders?
Yes and no. They’re not as crispy. But unlike breadcrumbs, the pork rinds themselves are very flavorful.
So I find that these tenders, while not as crispy as breadcrumb coated tenders, are even more delicious. My teenage testers loved them too – what more can you ask for?
Are pork rind chicken tenders healthy?
As for pork rinds, in moderation, they are a fine choice, especially for those who need to limit their carb intake. Although for those on a low-fat diet, an almond flour coating is probably a better choice.
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of these pork rind chicken tenders in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Reheat them in the microwave on 50% power or in a 300°F oven.
Keep in mind that the pork rind coating will lose its crispness when stored. It helps to place the tenders on paper towels, and replace the paper towels daily.
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Pork Rind Crusted Chicken Tenders
- 2 oz plain pork rinds
- 1 1/2 lb. chicken tenders (about 12 pieces)
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 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.*