Friday, February 3, 2012

Super Easy Baked Buffalo Tenders

T-minus 48 hours until... the big game!!!  Whether you are hosting the most killer super bowl party, stopping by a friend's house, or hanging out in sweats on your couch- it is important to have a fabulous spread of delicious football-watching foods.  Impress your pals with this recipe for baked buffalo chicken tenders...

Buffalo Chicken Tenders
1lb chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1 inch strips
1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt (I use greek)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup cayenne pepper sauce (Frank's, Crystals, Texas Pete, etc.- basically whatever sauce you like)
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp black pepper

Mix the yogurt, water and pepper sauce in a large bowl.  Toss the chicken in the yogurt sauce, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Pour the two types of bread crumbs and black pepper in a large gallon bag.  Shake the excess yogurt sauce off the chicken and place about 4 strips of chicken in the bag with the bread crumbs.  Shake until chicken is well coated.  Place chicken strips on your prepared baking sheet.  Repeat until all strips are breaded, adding more bread crumbs to bag if needed.  Once all the chicken is on your baking sheet, evenly coat the chicken pieces with the non-stick spray so that the bread crumbs turn nice and brown. 
Cook the chicken until it is a beautiful golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. 

These little chickeny goodies are NOT overly spicy- in fact, I add extra hot sauce to mine!  But they do have a nice tangy buffalo flavor.  They are excellent served with a homemade blue cheese or zesty ranch sauce.  I served mine with blue cheese. 

When we had these the other night, I made some homemade baked beans.  They were tangy and sweet after slow cooking for about 2-3 hours.  I also roasted some brussels sprouts and served some fresh, crisp salads on the side... always got to pile on the veggies :)

As you can see, you can serve these tenders as part of a balanced meal, or as delish finger foods on Super Bowl Sunday!

Creamy Blue Cheese Sauce
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayo
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
2 Tb white vinegar (alternately, you can use lemon juice)
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp black pepper

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to develop flavors. 

Zesty Ranch Sauce
1 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup low-fat mayo
1/2 tsp dried chives
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to develop flavors. 

Slow-Cooked Baked Beans
2.5 cups cooked (or canned) white, cannelini or navy beans
4 slices canadian bacon, diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup ketchup (yes, I loaaaaathe ketchup- but it works well in this recipe :)
2 Tb molassas
2 Tb dijon mustard
1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
A couple dashes of hot sauce (or more if your like me and like it with a little more heat)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly coat an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread beans in dish evenly. Layer canadian bacon and onions on top. 
Put all remaining ingredients in a sauce pan.  Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer about 5 minutes.
Stir about 1/4 cup water into sauce then pour over beans.  Cover with foil or a lid.  Bake in preheated oven for 2-3 hours.  Check beans about halfway trough cooking time and add more liquid if beans start to dry out.

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