Here at Fly By Jing, we have yet to meet a chicken tender we didn't love, but these healthy, baked home-made versions slathered with Mala Spice Mix may just be the ones we return to and reach for again and again without fail.
Mala translates to “numbingly spicy,” and is the signature flavor of Sichuan cuisine. With a secret mix of 11 herbs and spices, including Erjingtiao chili, umami rich mushroom and seaweed and the prized Qingxi Tribute pepper, our Mala Spice Mix is marked by a highly fragrant and tingly spice.
One of our favorite things about cooking with it is that it's already done most of the work for you. It is savory, deep, spicy, numbing, and a little goes a long way. We rub it on chicken thighs before popping it in the oven, dust it on deep fried wings, grill fish and lamb kebobs with it, and when we're feeling lazy, we simply shake it in a big bag of buttery pop corn.
But we're here to talk about chicken tenders.
1 lb chicken tenders
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Mala Spice Mix
Marinate the chicken in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic and Mala Spice Mix for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
We don't use a breadcrumb coating but you can use panko if you choose.
Preheat the oven to 400F, and pop the tenders in for about 10 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5-10 minutes if needed.
If you want even more Mala flavor, you can dust it on after the chicken is out of the oven. Add cayenne if you want it spicier.