Chicken tenders ‘all dressed up’ with a creamy Parmesan and baby spinach sauce, brightened with a hint of fresh lemon. Wonderful served over rice!
“Tenders” are small pieces attached to chicken breasts – one on each side. They’re aptly named because they’re so tender & flavorful.
Chickens are HUGE now compared to when I was growing up in the 50s & 60s, therefore the ‘chicken tender’ part of the breast is also much bigger. So, when I prepared this recipe using two – 1 lb. packages of chicken tenders, I had A LOT of chicken.
If you’re cooking for 3 – 4 people, depending upon appetite, 1 pound of chicken tenders should do it. Want more chicken, buy a 2nd package of chicken and fry in 4 batches instead of two.
++ Recipe makes enough sauce for either 1 lb. or 2 lbs. of chicken tenders.
++ Don’t have chicken tenders? Cut skinless, boneless chicken breasts into 1 1/2″ slices.
I highly suggest getting all the ingredients ready before starting because once you begin cooking, everything moves along pretty quickly. So grate that fresh Parmesan, juice the lemon and grate a tiny bit of the peel, mince your garlic & onion, measure the cream and water all before you start. ; o )
- 1 (or 2) 1 lb. packages chicken tenders – OR – chicken breast sliced 1 1/2″ thick
- flour…. for dredging chicken pieces
- 3 Tbs olive oil – divided
- 1 bag (5 oz.) baby spinach
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. minced onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 bullion cube ++ If using Knorr brand, use 1/2
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan – plus 2 Tbs. for topping
- 1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- salt & pepper to taste
Get all ingredient measured and ready. Place about 1/4 cup flour in a ziplock bag. Dredge a few chicken tenders at a time, setting aside on a plate once covered with flour.
With heat on medium, place 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large skillet. Cook baby spinach with 1/8 tsp. salt until just wilted… less than a minute. Remove spinach & set aside. Add 1 Tbs. olive oil to pan. Cook one layer of chicken tenders at a time, turning once. ++ About 4 minutes a side should do it. Not sure, cut a tiny slit in chicken to check. Remove cooked chicken to plate and tent with aluminum foil. Add another 1 Tbs. oil to pan. Cook rest of chicken. ++ Bits of cooked chicken will remain, which adds flavor to the sauce.
Now for the sauce. Add the last 1 Tbs. olive oil and briefly cook 2 Tbs. minced onion and 1 minced garlic clove until softened. Whisk in 3/4 cup hot water, 1 bullion cube and 1 cup heavy cream, scrapping up any browned bits. Bring to a boil. Lower heat a bit. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes to reduce sauce, stirring occasionally.
Remove pan from heat. Add 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel, 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice and cooked spinach. Cook, stirring, about a minute. Serve chicken on individual plates or a serving platter. Pour the yummy sauce over chicken tenders and sprinkle on 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan. Enjoy!!
++ Recipe adapted from COOK’S COUNTRY