I like to get the chicken stock for the recipe by covering, in a saucepan, some chicken breasts in water and boiling until the chicken no longer is pink and is cooked through. This provides ample broth for the recipe instead of my having to use the canned varieties. Low-sodium chicken broth now is available, but it still has higher sodium levels than are best for me and Hubby. The whole-wheat bread crumbs used for dredging the chicken tenders are full of fiber and health. We pulled out some honey mustard for dipping sauce, but you also could use sweet chili sauce or even barbecue sauce.
The recipe makes oodles of rice that outlasts the supply of chicken tenders. Hubby just loves leftover rice for breakfast (sometimes he adds a little skim milk), so he was a happy camper for several days: first because he enjoyed the entrée recipe and then because he was amply supplied with breakfast rice well into the week.
Baked Chicken Tenders with Citrus Rice
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons apricot preserves (I subbed my own homemade peach preserves)
2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small strips
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat bread crumbs
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups brown rice, rinsed
1 orange and 1 lemon, zested
1 bottle citrus vinaigrette dressing (I used Maple Grove Farms of Vermont brand)
salt (or salt substitute) and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine honey and preserves. Brush honey mixture on both sides of chicken; dredge chicken in bread crumbs. Place chicken on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes on each side until chicken is lightly browned. To make rice, over medium-high heat bring chicken stock to a boil. Cook rice in broth according to package instructions. Fluff the rice and place in a large serving bowl. Add orange zest and half the lemon zest. Toss well with 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining lemon zest. Refrigerate any leftovers. Serves 4 to 6.