Curried Chicken Tenderloins with Minted Mango Dipping Sauce

Oooooooooooooooo.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 
Ummmmmmmmmm. 
Sighhhhhhhhhhhh.
Sometimes just the title of a recipe is enough to send me into perfect food bliss. 

I wish that I could claim full glory for having created this recipe, but it is slightly adapted from a recipe I saw in the Southern Living cookbook, 1001 Ways to Cook Southern, page 660.  The original recipe uses a cut-up, whole chicken which is marinated then breaded and fried.  I decided that it would be deliciously wonderful to use chicken breast tenderloins and a seasoned panko breading.  Such a great idea.

Curried Chicken Tenderloins with Minted Mango Dipping Sauce
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’ as adapted from 1001 Ways to Cook Southern
Printable Recipe

For the Marinade

  • 12 chicken breast tenderloins
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons red curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Put tenderloins in a plastic zipper bag.  In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients.  Pour sauce over chicken in plastic bag.  Close bag and knead the chicken and sauce gently through the outside of the bag to get the tenderloins completely coated.  Place in refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Breading

  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (Indian spice; find it in the spice isle)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a medium-size bowl.  Set aside.

To Cook Chicken

  1. Place a wire rack (such as you would for cooling cookies) on a large baking sheet.
  2. Lay each marinated coated tenderloin on the rack.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. While chicken is resting, in a large frying pan bring approximately 1/2″ of oil to 350-degrees F.  I used a thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil.  It is important to keep the cooking oil between 325-350 degrees.  Over 350-degrees the breading will burn before the chicken is done.  Under 325-degrees the breading will absorb too much oil.  I kept the thermometer in the oil throughout the frying process so that I could adjust the heat as needed.
  4. Coat each tenderloin with the breading mixture; then set the tenderloins back on the rack.
  5. When the oil reaches 350-degrees, fry 3-4 chicken chicken pieces at a time; about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side, until deep golden brown.  Watch carefully so that the breading will not burn.
  6. Place chicken on a clean rack to drain.  Keep warm in a 150-degree oven until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with Minted Mango Dipping Sauce.

Minted Mango Dipping Sauce

  • 1 (9 ounce) jar mango chutney (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Stir together.  Serve at room temperature as a dipping sauce for chicken tenderloins.

Coconut Jasmine Rice is a wonderful accompaniment for this dish.  It is lightly sweet and is the perfect foile for the spicier curry flavors of the chicken.

For the marinade.
Put all of the marinade ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Mix well.
Although I used 12 tenderloins, there was probably enough marinade for 14-16.
Put the chicken into a zipper type plastic bag.  I used a double-lined freezer bag to help guard against leaks.  Any leak-proof container will be fine for marinating.  I just like the convenience of using a plastic bag.
Add the marinade to the bag and squish the chicken around in the marinade until all of the pieces are covered.  Put in referigerator and allow to marinate at least three hours or up to overnight.  My chicken ended up getting marinated for 24 hours with no harmful effects.
After the chicken has marinated, place it on a wire rack to rest for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the breading. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the panko bread crumbs, sesame seeds, garam masala and ground black pepper.  Garam masala is an Indian spice mixture that can be found with other spices at most grocery stores.
Bread each tenderloin on both sides, then place them back on the rack.
In a heavy frying pan, heat oil to 350-degrees F.  If the oil is hotter than 350-degrees it will cook the breading before the chicken is done.  If the temperature drops below 325-degrees, the chicken and breading will cook too slowly and the breading will absorb too much oil.  Use a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature and adjust the heat to keep the temperature between 325 and 350.  Fry the chicken until deep golden brown on one side, then turn it over and cook the opposite side until it, too, is a deep golden brown.  Each side takes approximately 1 1/2-2 minutes to cook.  Most importantly, make sure that the thickest part of the chicken is no longer pink.  The pieces should be succulent and tender, so be careful about over-cooking, too.
Because of the seasonings in the breading and in the marinade, the breading has a tendency to get darker than other breadings.  As the chicken is removed from the cooking oil, place the pieces on a clean rack sitting in a baking pan to help keep the coating crunchy and allow for any drips.  Keep the cooked pieces warm by putting them in a preheated 150-degree oven.
Grocery stores that carry chutney often stock it on the isle with the pickles, olives, and salad dressings.  Chutney is an Indian type of relish and is used as a condiment for curries.  It is made with fruit, sugar, spices, and vinegar.  Although it has fruit and sugar, it is not as sweet as jams and jellies.  Chutney can be mild or spicey.  We are using it to compliment the spicier breading the chicken tenderloin.  If the jar you find has a slightly smaller amount than the stated 9 ounces in recipe, no worries.  Chop the mint and squeeze the lime juice, then add to the chutney.  The combination smells so exoctic.

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