How to Oven Bake Chicken Tenders in a Foil Tent

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Unbreaded chicken breast tenders are a sensible choice for a healthful, low fat chicken dish, providing about 142 calories, 3 grams of fat and 27 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Skinless chicken breast has a tendency to dry out if overcooked, but you can avoid this by baking tenders in foil packages in the oven, which results in moist, flavorful chicken steamed in its own juices. The method is the same for cooking plain chicken or a package of chicken with various vegetables, seasonings and sauces.

Step 1

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

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Tear off about an arm’s length of heavy duty foil for each serving of approximately three chicken tenders per person. If you do not have heavy duty foil, use a double layer of regular foil.

Step 3

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Brush a little olive oil in the middle of each sheet of foil. Place the chicken tenders in a single layer on the oiled parts of the foil sheets. Brush a little more olive oil on top of the chicken.

Step 4

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Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper. If you want to add seasonings and other ingredients, such as fresh or dried herbs, lemon juice, a dash of white wine, garlic, finely sliced onion or chopped tomatoes, do so at this stage.

Step 5

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Bring the edges of the opposite sides of the foil sheet together above the chicken and fold them over two or three times to form a tight seal. Be sure to leave an air pocket between the chicken and the seal -- you are not wrapping the chicken but forming a "tent" around it.

Step 6

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Take one of the open sides of the foil and fold it over two or three times, then repeat with the other open side of the foil to seal the sides of the “tent.” Scrunch all of the folded edges to make sure the seal is tight and will not allow steam to escape.

Step 7

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Place the foil packages on a cookie sheet, then place the cookie sheet in the oven. Remove the sheet from the oven after about 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 8

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Open one of the packages and use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken. If it has reached at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit, the chicken is ready. If the temperature is below 170 degrees Fahrenheit, re-seal the foil and place the chicken back in the oven for another five to 10 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy duty foil

  • Brush

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • Cookie sheet

  • Meat thermometer

Tip

For a flavorful, low-fat dish, try spreading whole-grain mustard, olive tapenade, hummus or barbecue sauce over the chicken tenders before wrapping and baking them. Other options include honey, orange marmalade, balsamic vinegar and curry paste.

According to “Joy of Cooking,” you can cook frozen chicken in a foil package without thawing it first. Leave an opening in the foil wrapping at each end and cook at a higher temperature, for a longer time than for thawed chicken. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

Bake extra chicken tenders and save them for sandwiches and salad toppings. The Department of Agriculture says cooked chicken keeps in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to four months.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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