- 1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
- 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- ¾ cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
- 4 cups salted pretzels, finale chopped (this will make 2 cups of chopped pretzels)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
- Cooking spray
1. Place the chicken pieces in a gallon-size plastic bag. Pour the buttermilk on top, then add the salt. Close the bag tightly and massage with your hands to combine. Place in the refrigerator and brine for a minimum of 30 minutes and up to overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. In a medium shallow dish, combine the finely chopped pecans, pretzels, and all the seasonings (through the salt). Stir to thoroughly mix.
4. Drain the chicken from the butter milk and pat dry. Use a fork to transfer a piece of chicken to the pretzel mixture. Spoon the pretzel coating on top and all sides to thoroughly coat the chicken. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat, until all the chicken is coated, being sure to leave 1-2 inches between each piece of chicken so it will crisp up nicely.
5. Spray the tops of the chicken tenders with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the internal temperature is 165°F. Serve while hot.