This was a real winner. Jud couldn't say enough good about this dish. He asked me how I knew something should be stared and I told him that I usually just wrote that he loved it and wanted it again very soon. I cut this recipe in 1/2.
This recipe came from Jennifer Segal's blog--Once Upon a Chef
Ingredients for Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders
1-1/4 cups pecans
1-1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
2- 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds chicken tenderloins
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Vegetable oil, for cooking
Ingredients for Honey Mustard Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise, best quality such as Hellmann's
1/2 cup whole grain mustard
1/4 cup honey
1. Place the pecans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped ((go easy-- you don't want a paste). Add the panko, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, sugar and cayenne pepper and pulse a few more times to combine. The panko should be broken down slightly but not finely ground.
2. Set up three large shallow dishes in an assembly line. Place the flour in the first dish; beat the eggs in the second dish; and place the pecan/panko mixture in the third dish. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to hold the breaded tenders, and place at the end of the assembly line.
3. Season the chicken tenders with the remaining teaspoon salt. Working with one tender at a time; dredge first in the flour, shaking off any excess; dip in the egg to coat evenly; and then dredge in the pecan/panko mixture, pressing down to make the coating adhere. Try to use one hand for the dry breading (the flour and pecan/panko mixture) and one hand for the wet (the eggs) mixture---otherwise, your hands will end up a mess. Place the breaded tender on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining tenders.
4. Heat about 1/4" of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil heats up, line another baking sheet with paper towels to soak up grease from finished tenders.
5. Add half of the chicken tenders when oil is hot and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Tongs are a helpful tool in flipping the tenders. Transfer cooked tenders to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tenders.
6. Make sauce by combining the 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Serve alongside the chicken tenders.
You could use barbeque sauce if you don't like honey mustard.