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ATK Kids

How Do You Improve Chicken Tenders? Add Cheese to the Breading

The simple addition gives the tenders a savory boost.
By Published June 8, 2022

No matter how old I get, sometimes the only thing my inner child wants is a basketful of crunchy, juicy chicken tenders ordered from the kids menu. But on the other hand, as a grown-up capable of cooking my own version, I have to wonder: How can I make my own chicken tenders that improve upon the childhood classic? 

And the answer—as it often is—is to add cheese.

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Adding cheese to the typical panko breading improves upon what I believe is an already perfect food. Not just any cheese will do, though. In this recipe the ATK Kids team developed for My First Cookbook, we went with Parmesan cheese.

Why? It packs a flavorful umami punch, and its drier texture results in crispy, golden-brown tenders that kids and grown-ups alike will love. And using equal parts panko and Parmesan ensures that every bite has that bold cheesy flavor.  

Since this recipe was originally developed for the youngest chefs, there’s no deep frying required; these tenders crisp up with just a couple tablespoons of oil in a skillet, making it a safe, easy, and seriously delicious choice for dinner, lunch, or even snacktime.

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