One of my favorite Chicago restaurants is Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill
. This is a really simple recipe for chicken tenders with tortilla crust that I stole from him, although I added a couple ingredients. I love the crunchy texture and everyone from little kids to grandpa will also love the flavor.
1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders or boneless breasts cut into thin strips
1 1/2 tsp salt
10 oz. or so of tortilla chips (you could even get creative as use spicy Doritos, blue corn chips, etc.)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbs. hot sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Oil for deep-frying, preferably peanut oil
Preheat oil for frying to 350 degrees F.
Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the black pepper.
Put the flour into a shallow bowl or large place and mix in 1/2 tsp salt.
Break the eggs into another shallow bowl and add 3 Tbs. water, chili powder, hot sauce and 1/2 tsp. salt. Beat with a fork until well blended.
Crush the tortilla chips by hand or use a food processor. Spread the chips out on a third bowl or plate.
Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then in the eggs, shaking off any excess. Finally, dip the tenders into the tortilla chips, pressing with your hands to help them adhere.
Fry the chicken pieces in batches so as not to overcrowd them for 4-5 minutes, until golden and cooked through.
Serve with Red Chile Crema, if you'd like: a mixture of sour cream, Mexican hot sauce, lime juice and salt.
Photos by Ted Scheffler