Homemade Chicken Tenders and French Fries: #51 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

On a recent trip to DisneyWorld, we noticed that almost every restaurant served chicken strips and fries as a kids’ meal. Our kids love this American dish too, so I thought about how to make a healthier version: baked instead of fried, and coated in real ingredients like breadcrumbs and almond flour and olive oil. It was a big hit, and surprisingly easy to make.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($11 total)

8 Yukon Gold potatoes – $1.44
Water – free
1/4 cup olive oil – $0.40
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lb chicken breasts – $6.54
1 cup breadcrumbs (I ground up some leftover biscuits in the blender) – $0.25
1 cup almond flour – $1.26
1 egg – $0.29
2 tbsp mayonnaise – $1.00
4 tbsp flour – $0.04
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Slice the potatoes into long, thin pieces that look like french fries. Put the sliced potatoes into a bowl, cover with hot water, and let sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Drain in a colander and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat all the fries with the oil and seasonings.

2. Blend the bread/breadcrumbs and almond flour in a blender to combine, then set aside. Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips. Mix the egg, mayo, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the chicken strips to the egg mixture and stir to coat all the chicken thoroughly. Then dip each strip of chicken in the breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

3. Bake the fries at 475F for 10 minutes covered in foil, then another 10 minutes uncovered. Turn the fries over with a flapjack. Move the fries pan to a lower rack in the oven, turn the heat down to 390F, and put the chicken in as well, on a higher rack. Cook for 10 minutes, stir the fries again, turn the chicken pan around in the oven, then cook for another 10 minutes. At this point everything should be evenly done and crispy. 

Serve with a side of veggies like green beans, and whatever sauces you like (mayo, ketchup, and sweet chili sauce are our favorites).

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

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