I’m going to show you how to make the best, most delicious Oven-Baked Chicken Dippers. Tender, succulent chicken on the inside and crispy, crunchy breadcrumbs on the outside. And, because those dippers gotta dip, I’m serving them up with a thick and creamy soured (sour) cream and chive dipping sauce, with a little spring onion (scallion) for some extra bite.
Healthy Chicken Dippers
Chicken dippers or chicken tenders have long been a favorite of mine. When I was growing up, it was chicken dippers, chips, and beans. Now that my health has a large part to play in my meal choices, I am trying my best to avoid processed food as much as possible. For me, that means making chicken dippers from scratch using minimally processed ingredients. And you know what? They still taste great. Heck, what am I saying? They taste EVEN BETTER!
Crispy Chicken Dippers
If you still want to enjoy homemade chicken dippers without the nasties, it’s much easier than you might think. A little extra effort, yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely.
You’ll need whole wheat (wholemeal) bread, as minimally processed as you can find. Reading the label is the best way to check. The first step is to blitz the bread slices in a food processor until you have an even crumb. Then, and what I believe to be the most critical part, crisp the breadcrumbs in a pan, using olive oil, before coating the chicken.
This ensures the breadcrumbs can achieve optimum crispiness in the oven, at the same time for the chicken to be cooked through. Using raw bread just gives you a soggy crumb and overcooked, dry chicken. Not nice.
The last step is to brush or spray the breaded dippers with olive oil before putting them into the oven. This will give you an even more crispy crunch.
Alternatives to Homemade Breadcrumbs
If making your own breadcrumbs is putting you off making this recipe, then you can absolutely buy ready-made wholemeal (whole wheat) breadcrumbs. They are a little tricky to find in the average supermarket, but you can find options online.
I like these Clearspring Organic Gluten Free Brown Rice Breadcrumbs that are made with just two simple ingredients. It’s a good, whole-grain, minimally processed option for sure. If you’re not bothered about your breadcrumbs being gluten-free, then
In general, it’s best to avoid white breadcrumbs if you can. When following a real food lifestyle, it’s best to avoid heavily processed white grains. White breadcrumbs fall into this category. Panko breadcrumbs, for example, are often advertised as the best crumb as their light, large flakes provide a fantastic crispy texture, and so many recipes call for them. But that does come at a price. Oh, that sounds so dramatic. I apologize!
But, in all seriousness, Panko breadcrumbs are made from wheat flour, a heavily processed grain, and palm oil, a heavily processed fat. Stick with wholemeal breadcrumbs because they will provide you with more nutrients, including fiber, which will keep you fuller for longer.
The Secret to Succulent Chicken Dippers
The first secret to keeping chicken dippers tender and juicy is to bathe them in tangy sour cream. Let them sit there while you prepare the other ingredients, and the slight acidity in the sour cream will help tenderize the meat.
And then, the second secret is not to overcook them. Not really a secret, I know, but still, you get the point. This is essential when you’re looking forward to delicious dippers.
What Chicken Should I Use to Make Chicken Dippers?
My favorite type of chicken to buy for this recipe is organic chicken mini fillets (or chicken tenders, depending on where you’re located in the world). They are pretty much ready to go, and they’re the perfect size for ultimate dunk-ability. But you can easily use chicken breasts and then cut them down to size. It’s totally up to you.
Are Chicken Dippers Healthy?
These chicken dippers are made with whole grains and natural real food ingredients. Furthermore, they are oven-baked instead of fried, which eliminates the need for excess oil. A great healthy option if you love chicken dippers
More Chicken Recipes
If you enjoyed these Chicken Dippers, here are more delicious chicken dinners for you to try next:
- Baked Sticky Chicken Drumsticks (Easy Marinade)
- Chicken Fajita Nourish Bowls (No Rice)
- Chicken and Spinach Curry (Palak Chicken)
- Easy Chicken Tikka with Mint Sauce
- One-Pot Chicken and Chorizo Savoury Rice
- BBQ Chicken Enchiladas
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Oven-Baked Chicken Dippers with Creamy Chive Dip
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- 2.2 pounds (1 kg) chicken mini fillets (chicken tenders)
- ⅓ cup (80 grams) sour cream (soured cream)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 Slices whole wheat bread slices (wholegrain bread)
- 1½ teaspoons dried parsley
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ¾ cup (180 grams) sour cream
- 1 scallion (spring onion), finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- Gather your ingredients and get your equipment ready. Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 6/ 400°F/ 200°C.
- First, put your chicken mini fillets (chicken tenders) in a bowl with the soured cream, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp black pepper. Stir until the chicken is evenly coated. Put to one side to marinate.
- Grab your slices of wholemeal bread and blitz them in a food processor until you have a fine crumb.
- Put a skillet or frying pan on a medium heat, pour in the olive oil and give it a minute to heat up. Tip in the breadcrumbs, parsley, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and the remaining salt and pepper.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes (more towards the end make sure the crumbs don't burn) until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
- Pour the breadcrumbs into a bowl and one by one coat each chicken fillet with the breadcrumbs. Press down firmly to ensure the breadcrumbs stick and shake off any excess before laying them on the baking tray.
- Bake the chicken dippers in the oven for about 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
- While the chicken dippers are in the oven, combine the soured cream, chives and spring onions to make the creamy chive dip. Happy dunking! I hope you like 'em!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.