These healthy chicken tenders and tomato poppers are the perfect addition to your summer picnic basket.
Don’t you just love summer? Everything is just more casual and relaxed when the summer season is underway- including entertaining. All you need is some good friends, good food, and some cold drinks. Simple is best when it comes to summer entertaining. No slaving over a hot stove for hours. I’d rather spend the time outdoors!
As much as I love having people over, I also love packing up a picnic basket and taking a great meal to go. My daughter just turned 3 and has lots of energy! She loves to run around so one of our favorite things to do is to get together with friends and have a fabulous picnic. We have lots of outdoor events at local parks here in Fort Lauderdale- pretty much every week there’s some sort of festival, outdoor concert or food truck event going on. We love to pack a few bags with blankets and supplies and a picnic basket brimming with good eats. That way the kids can run around and have fun and the adults can enjoy some delicious food, drinks and quality time together.
When I found out that I was going to be working with Dare Crackers, I knew I wanted to make a fun recipe, perfect for summer entertaining. Whether prepping for an extravagant party or an impromptu get-together, Dare’s variety of crisp crackers are sure to make each bite better. Dare crackers are the perfect finger food for picnics! I sampled Dare Breton Original Crackers and Dare Cabaret but their whole collection of mouthwatering crackers are loaded with crunch and packed with flavor to make inventive summer canapés better. My daughter Sienna loved munching on them and she can be a tough critic!
I wanted to do something different and use Dare crackers in a creative way so I used them to put my own spin on a classic picnic dish- fried chicken. Fried chicken is a picnic basket staple but it can be a bit messy and greasy so I decided to make an easier and healthier version using boneless chicken tenders. To up the flavor factor, I first marinated the chicken tenders in a spiced yogurt marinade with curry powder and aromatics. This technique infuses the chicken with flavor and the yogurt also tenderizes it- perfect!
Then, I crushed up Dare Breton Original Crackers in a food processor and tossed the crumbs with some warm spices. Just look at those beautiful golden crumbs!
Next, I dredged the chicken tenders in the crumbs and gave them a quick spray with olive oil before popping them in the oven. If you have a wire rack that you can place on a baking sheet, it will help make them even crispier. After a short time in the oven, the tenders emerged a beautiful golden brown color, crispy and smelling delicious! And because they’re baked, they’re so much healthier than traditional fried chicken!
To balance out the savory spices in the chicken, I made a quick mango dipping sauce using jarred mango chutney and Greek yogurt. The combination of sweet and savory is something your guests will rave about!
Because I loved the breadcrumb mixture so much, I was inspired to make a second dish with them! I came upon some adorable red and yellow cherry tomatoes at the market. Cherry tomatoes are always a staple ingredient in my picnic baskets because they’re simple, delicious, and easy to pop in your mouth. I sliced off the bottom of each tomato, turned them upside down in a baking dish and then topped them with a little bit of the breadcrumb mixture. A quick turn under the broiler to crisp up the crumbs and voilà- a lovely second dish for my summer picnic was done! And it only took a few extra minutes!
Curried Chicken Tenders with Mango Dipping Sauce
Makes 16 chicken tenders
Curried Chicken Tenders:
½ cup plain low fat yogurt
3 teaspoons curry powder, divided use
1 teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 pounds chicken tenders (about 16 tenders)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mango Dipping Sauce:
½ cup jarred mango chutney (such as Major Grey’s)
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons cilantro
Mix the yogurt, 1 teaspoon curry powder, garlic, ginger and salt together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and stir to combine. Let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the dish (or marinate overnight).
Process the crackers in a food processor until finely ground (you should have about 2 cups of crumbs). Place in a dish. Stir in 2 teaspoons curry powder and the cayenne pepper.
To make the sauce, puree all of the sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Heat oven to 425°F.
Place a wire rack on a baking sheet and spray or brush with olive oil. Take each chicken tender and dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture until completely coated. Place the tenders on the baking sheet and spray or brush with olive oil. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Serve with mango cilantro dipping sauce.
Curried Chicken Tenders (One tender): Calories 93; Fat 1.5g (Sat 0.5g); Protein 13.4g; Carb 5.1g; Fiber 0.8g; Sodium 236mg
Mango Dipping Sauce (2 tablespoons): Calories 48; Fat 0g (Sat 0g); Protein 0.9g; Carb 10.3g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 141mg
Crispy Tomato Poppers
Makes 6 servings
1 pint cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons breadcrumb mixture (see previous recipe)
½ teaspoon olive oil
Cilantro for garnish (optional)
Turn on the broiler.
Slice the bottom off the tomatoes. Turn them upside down and place them in a baking dish, sliced side up. Season them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix the breadcrumbs with the oil. Sprinkle a small amount of the mixture on top of each tomato.
Place the dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until topping is toasted. Be careful not to let it burn. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro, if desired.I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
One serving: Calories 18; Fat 0.6g (Sat 0.1g); Protein 0.7g; Carb 3.2g; Fiber 0.8g; Sodium 40mg