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Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Tenders

2 cups raw pecan halves or pieces 1 cup panko or gluten-free bread crumbs 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste 1-1/2 to 2 pounds chicken breast tenders or chicken strips 3 large eggs 1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend Pepper, to taste Buttermilk Ranch Dip 1/4 cup buttermilk 1/2 cup mayonnaise 1/2 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon parsley 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon dried dill 1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In food processor, pulse pecans until fine as breadcrumbs. In shallow bowl, mix pecans with panko, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt. In separate shallow bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. In third shallow bowl, add flour. Lightly season chicken tenders with salt and pepper, to taste. Working with one chicken tender at a time, dip in eggs, flour, then pecan mixture. Be sure to press pecan mixture into chicken to be sure it is completely coated. Set chicken on baking sheet lined with cooling rack or parchment paper. Repeat with remaining chicken. Place chicken on center rack and bake 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. To make Buttermilk Ranch Dip: In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, dried dill, and salt until smooth. Serve pecan-crusted chicken tenders warm, paired with Buttermilk Ranch Dip.