Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

Monday 25 November 2019

When I worked at the Manor I always had to have a fresh plate of cooked Chicken Tenders in the refrigerator for the Mrs. to snack on at all times.  I also had to have a tray of fresh vegetables and dip and a tray of devilled eggs at the ready for the Mrs and Mrs.

It used to really annoy me if I got them done and in the refrigerator and the daughter came home with her friends and then they snuffled them all up without a second thought.  That meant I would have to make a quick trip to the shops and do them all over again . . .  along with my other duties.    I did not have a very understanding boss.  The daughter and her friends eating all that you had prepared was not a good enough excuse.  Those things had to be there no matter what.   It was my job after all  . . . so I shouldn't really complain.  It wasn't that I didn't like doing these things, I just didn't like having to do them twice in one day.

Chicken tenders are  a little strip of meat that is attached to the underside of a chicken breast.  Most of the time you won't actually see them on the breast because they have already been removed and packaged separately, but occasionally you will find them still attached.  This is the most succulent and tender part of a chicken breast, with the exception of the tendon that you can usually see quite clearly running down the length of the tender on one side.  I normally remove this prior to cooking, as it can be quite tough and unappealing.

The first way that you can do this is I recommend two ways to grab the tendon with your fingers (or a piece of paper towel) and pull on it while scraping with your knife to release the tendon from the breast. Continue to lift and scrape until the tendon is completely removed. Alternatively, you can use a sharp boning knife and slice along both sides of the tendon (without slicing through the tendon). Then lift any part of the tendon that has been separated from the breast and use your boning knife the cut any parts where the tendon has not cleanly separated from the meat.

I have also heard of people using a fork to do this.  Basically you cut around the small piece of the tendon that is already protruding out a little bit, just to get a little better grip on it. Then, slide that end of the tendon through a fork and pull it straight out as the fork holds the chicken in place. You might have to use a paper towel to hold on to the tendon as it has a tendency to slip right through your fingers.  The paper towel helps to hold it in place.

Hopefully they will stay all in one piece (the tenders) but occasionally they will tear a bit.  That's not a problem when you are doing some thing that is wrapped in bacon like these ones I am sharing with you today.  The bacon holds them together well.

This recipe has to be the Cadillac of chicken tender recipes  . . .  imagine it  . . .  a length of juicy and tender chicken . . . .

Rolled in a selection of herbs and spices . . .

Wrapped in a rasher of streaky bacon  . . . .

Coated in a mix of brown sugar and chili powder  . . .

And then baked, until the chicken is cooked through and all of those fabulous flavours from the bacon and spices have been absorbed . . .

And the brown sugar and chili mixture has coated them in a sticky sweet layer of finger-licking goodness!

Oh boy but these are some good!  Especially if you serve the with a dip for dipping.  Some people like a sour cream ranch dip and others like a honey mustard . . .  still others like a creamy garlic dip.

Me, I like them just the way they are. Unadulterated. A lip smacking tasty mix of sweet, spicy and smoky!!

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

Yield: 10
Sweet, spicy and delicious. Serve as is or with your favourite dip.  Perfect for game nights!


  • 10 chicken tenders, trimmed
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 10 slices of streaky bacon
  • 65g soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBS mild chili powder, or to taste


How to cook Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenders

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.  Line a baking tray with aluminium foil.
  2. Shake the Italian seasoning, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper together in a plastic bag.  Add the chicken tenders and shake to coat them in the spice mixture.  Wrap each coated tender in a slice of streaky bacon, tucking the ends in  and lay them out on the baking sheet.
  3. Mix together the brown sugar and chili powder.  Sprinkle some of this over each chicken tender, pressing it firmly into the chicken in order for it to adhere properly.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.  If desired you can pop it under the broiler to crisp up the bacon a bit.  Serve hot.

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This is a really popular finger food for when you are entertaining guests at a cocktail type of affair,  or for when the gang is all gathered  together to watch the big match, children's or teen parties, etc.  In short . . . . anytime. Put it this way, there are never any leftover. 


  1. Oh my, this sounds wonderful, it will be just perfect for a Friday or Saturday night dinner :)

    1. Thanks Vicky! Yes it would make a great dinner dish for Friday or Saturday night also! xoxo

  2. I shouldn't read your blog while I'm fasting for my colonoscopy. This looks wonderful!

    1. Oh dear, good luck with your procedure Jeanie. Not fun I know! Been there, done that, don't want to do it again! xoxo

  3. Hi Marie, this is Jo in Wisconsin. I am going to be making your open mince pies for Christmas. I haven't made mince pies for many years. My kids don't really care for mincemeat but I am feeling nostalgic for home and searched your recipes and have decided on the open mince pies. I can't find plain flour though. Is it ok to use all purpose flour?

    Thank you, Jo.

    1. Hi Jo! Welcome. I did a project for Geography on the State of Wisconsin back in the late sixties when I was in grade 8. I remember the Tourist Bureau sending me all kinds of great information! Plain flour is all purpose flour. They call it plain flour here to differentiate it from self rising. I hope you enjoy the mince pies! I need to make some soon my self! Happy Thanksgiving! xo

  4. Thank you so much Marie. I will let you know how they turn out. I should say "if", I'm not the best cook/baker but I'm craving them so wish me luck. I see you studied Wisconsin in your youth. We came here from Manchester many years ago.

    1. Ohh, love Manchester! I hope you enjoy the chicken! Fingers crossed for you! xoxo


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