Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Coconut-Peanut Dipping Sauce

Here’s a kid-friendly, grownup-friendly, flavor-packed chicken dish that turns a casual weeknight dinner into something a little special—even though it’s a cinch to make.

The combination of peanut butter and coconut milk makes the taste buds happy. Soy sauce, lime juice, and brown sugar bring the salty, sour, sweetness to the dip. Just add crispy-outside, juicy-inside chicken tenders, and dinner is on the table in less than half an hour.

Tip: To make the finely crushed pretzels, break thin pretzel sticks (about 2-3/4 ounces to equal a cup crushed) into small pieces before adding to the food processor. Then grind until slightly powdery with a few small bits remaining:

Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup creamy, natural peanut butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard,
  • 1 cup finely crushed pretzels (unsalted or reduced salt)
  • 8 large chicken breast tenders, about 1-1/2 lbs total
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Crust Ingredients
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a large, shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the coconut milk and next 4 ingredients (through brown sugar) in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Set aside.
Coconut-Peanut Dipping Sauce
  1. Spread the cornmeal on a large plate or in a baking dish. Whisk the egg, milk, and mustard together in a shallow bowl. Spread the pretzels on another large plate or in another baking dish.
  2. Press both sides of each chicken tender in the cornmeal. Dip each in the egg mixture, letting excess drip off. Roll each tender in the pretzels, coating all sides.
Chicken Tenders 
Rolled in Cornmeal 
Dipped in Egg
Rolled in Pretzels 
Ready to Cook
  1. Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the oil, swirling to coat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, 4-5 minutes.
  2. Turn the tenders over and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the pretzel coating is golden and crispy and the chicken is just cooked through, 10-12 minutes, depending on thickness.
Tenders Beginning to Cook 
After Turning
Baked Tenders
Transfer the tenders to a serving platter and divide the dipping sauce into individual bowls to serve alongside.

Pretzel-Crusted Chicken with Coconut-Peanut Dipping Sauce


  1. These look so good! Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Dori --- yes, this dinner comes together really easily (and just mention peanut butter and the kids will show up).