Hot-n-crunchy chicken


One of Austin's signature restaurants for decades rested on a treacherous bend on Ranch Road 620. Hudson's on the Bend shuttered this year, a move that marks and hallmarks many of the changes occurring in what could only be deemed a popular city. 

There's something heart-wrenching about Austin and me: it's like watching someone you really and truly love be happy with someone else. You don't wish them ill, but, God, you wish it was you. That's me and my hometown right now. The timing just wasn't right.

Anyways, Hudson's on the Bend used to make a dish called hot-n-crunchy trout – a deep-fried and light-bodied fish was dressed in a mix of almonds and corn flakes and a few spices. This chicken is a play on that, with the except that it's baked and pack in extra nuts over flour.

My siblings and I always loved the coating growing up, but we were more of a chicken crowd. It's hard to ingratiate kids to fish when the nearest ocean is a solid four-hour drive away.

What you need

2 lbs of chicken breast, sliced into halves or third to create tenders

3 cups corn flakes or similar cereal

4 tbsp almonds

4 tbsp pecans

4 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp chili flakes

3 eggs

1/3 cup milk

1 cup flour

Cooking spray

How to do it

Preheat oven to 425-degrees F. 

Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, pulverize corn flakes, almonds and pecans until the largest pieces are about the side the size of a sunflower seed.

Mix corn flakes, almonds and pecans in sugar, salt and chili flakes in a large bowl.

Whisk together eggs and milk in a large bowl, and then put flour into a separate large bowl.

To coat tenders, toss all of the chicken tenders in flour, then drop in egg-milk mixture before coating the tenders entirely in the corn flakes mixture.

Place prepared tenders on a greased baking sheet (I use parchment paper because I hate cleaning sheet pans). Bake tenders for 20 minutes, turning the tenders once with tongs after they've been in the oven 10 minutes to evenly color.

Serve hot. I typically pair the tenders with sweet potato tots and lots of blanched and sautéed vegetables.

Store leftover tenders in the refrigerator for up to five days. These tenders are great in tacos or sliced up as a protein in a salad.