Oh yeah babe… soooo delicious!!!! Guess what I’ve recently discovered? Brine. As in- brine me a river. Quit yer brining… and do you want some cheese with that brine? Brine! Wow- what a difference it makes in creating a juicy, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth treat! Gramma P. (with her German and Scottish heritage) was famous for brining everything.
So what the heck is brine anyway? It’s really just a mixture of salt and water (sometimes sugar and other spices are added). And what does it do? It draws the blood out of your poultry, pork, or beef and it creates a very tender, delectable, and juicy chicken, turkey, pork, or beef. No more dry-out. Just luscious, mouth watering goodness!
Millie’s Brilliantly Brined Chicken Tenders
1lb of chicken tenders (skinless boneless)
2-4 cups of cornflakes
1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
A few grinds of fresh sweet sea salt
A few grinds of fresh cracked black peppercorn
Kosher salt on hand for brining
A large bowl of filtered water for brining
A bowl of flour
1/2 a stick of melted butter (salted)
A bowl to put the crushed cornflakes and bread crumbs into
Other stuff you’ll need:
- 4 large bowls (for the above mentioned flour, cornflake mixture, brining water, melted buttah)
- 1 baking rack
- 1 baking sheet to place under the oven rack to catch drippings (if any)
- Non-fat cooking spray (Pam Olive Oil flavor)
In the meantime:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Crush up your cornflakes and make your coating mixture. You can crush the cornflakes by hand or in a food processor. It only takes a few minutes to do it by hand and if you don’t have a food processor you can take a clean soup can and wrap a piece of Saran wrap around it and use that to crush the cornflakes in the bowl like a pestal and mortar. Add your breadcrumbs and other spices you desire (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Adobo seasoning etc.) to the cornflakes. Set aside.
- Melt the 1/2 stick of butter and keep that in a seperate bowl. You can use less butter and just add skim milk if you prefer a lower fat version.
- Add freshly ground sea salt and black peppercorns to your flour bowl. For more flavor I like to add a couple dashes of Goya Adobo seasoning. Sooo good!
Place your chicken strips into a large bowl of water to which you have added a generous pouring of Kosher salt. They say to use about 1/2 cup salt for a gallon of water. There’s no way you’ll need a gallon of water to cover 1lb of chicken strips so try to eyeball it… maybe 2 tablespoons or so should do the trick. Cover the bowl with Saran wrap and place your bowl of strips in salt water into the fridge for about 20-30 minutes…
Do other things in the meantime. Prepare your sides (mashed potatoes, greens,) and once the 20-30 min. has elapsed- drain the chicken from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
Dredge the chicken strips (one at a time) into the flour first, then the melted butter, then the cornflake/breadcrumb mixture. Place the strips on a baking rack in the middle of the oven. Not a baking sheet. A rack (like a cookie rack) that you would place on top of your oven rack. You can place a baking sheet on the shelf under the chicken rack if you want to catch any falling debris. The rack allows for a quicker and more even cooking of the chicken. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.
Done. Do like I do and drizzle some sweet, sticky honey over the top of each chicken strip. Or save some on the side to dip into! Serve with mashed potatoes or french fries and a beautiful leafy green salad. Delicious!!!