february 22, 2021
My favorite part of the humble chicken is the thigh, braised in a savory sauce until the meat is meltingly tender and falling off the bone. This recipe for Chicken Tenders with Meyer Lemon Salsa makes me temporarily forget the pleasures of darker meat in favor of quick and easy preparation with no waste and no trimming. Chicken tenders are so readily available that I end up using them for nearly all my recipes for chicken breast.
You’re Hungry and Want to Eat Now
Your dinner is ready under twenty minutes in the oven. The Meyer lemon salsa is made ahead the day before without loss of crunch or taste, so after a busy day you can put your feet up while the chicken tenders roast. Life is even more carefree if you have prepared sides like Sweet Potato Pilaf (minus the pomegranate seeds to avoid repeat with this entree), Garlic Roasted Peppers (a great fridge keeper for eating all week long) or Parmesan Spoonbread Souffle, something that can be heated up alongside the chicken.
Meyer lemons are noted by aroma in the grocery store long before you see their bright golden shapes. Their unique perfume cannot be duplicated in a bottle. Buy a pack while they are in season and keep them in the fridge for livening up beverages and savory dishes as well as desserts.
My recipes are written for gluten free dining; feel free to use breadcrumbs/wheat products in this and any recipe calling for GF products, in a one-for-one ratio.
Recipes like this easy chicken dinner brighten up grey winter days with the color and crunch of winter produce. One bright bunch of Italian parsley keeps in the fridge for a week or longer, if you change the water every couple of days. I use it to jazz up salads and soups. The sweetness factor goes like this : meyer lemon tart-sweet, pomegranate seeds a little sweeter and less tart and creamy dates sweeter still. Scallion and bright Italian parsley keep balance. I can see this salsa doing justice to Manchego Potato Cakes and Cheddar Walnut Spread. The best recipes are easy and versatile. This particular recipe served as breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week.
Chicken with Meyer Lemon Salsa
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes 4-6 servings
one Meyer lemon, unpeeled and finely diced, seeds removed
⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
4 large medjool dates, cut into ¼ inch dice
½ cup packed italian parsley leaves
1 scallion, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 chicken tenders
1 ½ tablespoons neutral oil like canola or grapeseed
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup plain gluten free breadcrumbs*
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
*regular wheat flour breadcrumbs workweek also
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- To make salsa (may be made a day ahead – keep chilled), gently mix Meyer lemon, pomegranate seeds, dates, parsley, scallion and olive oil.
- Spray heavy sheet pan with cooking spray.
- In small bowl, toss tenders with canola oil and salt.
- In another shallow bowl, mix breadcrumbs with granulated garlic.
- With one hand, add 2 tenders to the breadcrumb mix and coat well with the other hand (this avoids wasting breadcrumb mix on oily hand!); transfer to baking sheet.
- Repeat with other tenders.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-17 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve salsa on side or scatter salsa across top of baked tenders.