It was after 6:00 pm. The hunger hour had struck! I had planned to make parmesan-panko crusted chicken breasts and salad with a lemon vinaigrette. No panko. Salad greens sat in the fridge too long. Time for plan B. What’s on hand? Leftover cornbread (my favorite) from Boston Market, a hunk of Kerrygold Irish Cheddar and fresh thyme. Inspiration strikes.
I rip the cornbread into small pieces and cut the cheddar cheese into small chunks. I grate them, separately, in my small food processor. I mix them together with some fresh thyme leaves. Now I have a breading for my chicken!
I served this with what I had on hand – Israeli couscous and cauliflower, but I know you can give the meal more color than that!
Cornbread, Thyme and Irish Cheddar Breaded Chicken Tenders
2 chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness, cut into 2-3″ x 2″ pieces
1 c. cornbread, ground into fine crumbs with a food processor
3/4 c. Kerrygold Irish Cheddar Cheese, grated or pulsed into small crumbs in a food processor
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
3/4 c. flour (I used white whole wheat)
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 T. water
Preheat oven to 400F. Place a wire rack in a baking sheet.. Spray rack with cooking spray.
Combine Cornbread Crumbs, Grated Cheddar and thyme in a low dish or pie plate. Combine cornstarch and flour in a second low dish or pie plate. Crack 2 eggs into a bowl, checking for & removing any shell pieces. Whisk together with water in a low bowl or pie plate. You now have 3 dishes ready to bread the chicken.
First, dredge chicken in flour. Then, using tongs, cover chicken pieces in egg wash. Transfer to cornbread mix and turn to coat, using your hands to push the ‘crumbs’ into a pile and up and over chicken. Transfer to wire rack on baking sheet.
Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Flip over to other side and bake another 5-8 minutes.
*Note: I did not serve these with any type of dipping sauce – they truly don’t need it. BUT if you happen to have some honey mustard dip handy, it would go really well with these puppies.