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This is a very simple go to meal that is super juicy and tender to eat. The flattening of the chicken is key to the process. You are not looking to make giant paper thin pieces of chicken - you want the tenders to keep their shape but just be thinner so they cook faster and stay moist. After the first batch is in the pan, I make a simple salad while they cook. I do not buy bagged pre cut greens, as it is MUCH less expensive and MUCH better to buy a bag of romaine hearts and cut across one with a sharp knife for a bowlful of fresh crisp greens. Add a few grape tomatoes and slices of cucumber. Sprinkle with sea salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar. Toss and salad is done at the same time as the chicken! About that 3 parts to 1 on the olive oil and vinegar - that means that its always 3 to1 but amount depends on amount of greens. For salad for two, I would use 3 teaspoons olive oil and 1 teaspoon vinegar while salad for fifty would use 3 quarts olive oil and 1 quart vinegar. See how easy... no more bottled dressing!
- One pound chicken tenders - about 10
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup Progresso Italian Bread Crumbs or Panko crumbs - relax, you are not using all of them
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Whisk egg with 2 tablespoons water in a shallow bowl. Pour about one cup breadcrumbs into another shallow bowl or plate.
- Place a piece of plastic or parchment on a cutting board and lay out two chicken tenders. Top with another piece of parchment or plastic wrap. Gently pound to even thickness using a flat meat mallet, the bottom of a wine bottle, a small skillet, or even the heel of your hand. Gentle taps work better than a hammering technique. You are going for a thinner piece of chicken with a similar shape. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Coat each tender in the egg wash, allow the excess to drip off and then place into the crumbs. Turn over, hold up to remove excess and then place on a plate. You are looking for a very light coating, not a thick crust. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Test by dropping in a breadcrumb which should sizzle. Add half the chicken tenders and cook for 2 minutes undisturbed, then flip and cook another 90 seconds. Remove to a CLEAN plate. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed and cook the remaining tenders.
- Serve with a salad or vegetable. The vinegar of the salad is perfect pairing for the olive oil sauteed chicken cutlets.