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Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Salad with Tangy Maple Dressing

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Salad with Tangy Maple Dressing


  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 1/3-2 pounds chicken tenders

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 eggs, beaten with a splash of milk or water

  • 1 cup plain breadcrumbs

  • 1 cup pecans, finely chopped in a food processor

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or ground

  • 1 orange, zested


  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup tangy barbecue sauce

  • 1 navel orange, juiced

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped

  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced

  • 6 scallions, trimmed and chopped on an angle


Heat 1 1/2-2 inches of oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Set out three shallow dishes. Place flour in one dish and the eggs beaten with water or milk in a second. In the third dish, combine the breadcrumbs with the ground pecans, nutmeg and orange zest. Coat the tenders in batches in flour, then egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Fry the tenders in small batches, 6-7 minutes. Drain the tenders on paper towels.

Combine the maple syrup, barbecue sauce and orange juice in a bowl. Whisk in the EVOO and season with salt and pepper.

Combine the romaine, radishes and scallions in a large salad bowl or on a serving platter. Toss with 3/4 of the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Top salad with pecan crusted chicken tenders and drizzle remaining dressing over top.