Disclosure: I was provided free product from Gazebo Room in exchange for this post; however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
I was really excited to make these popcorn crusted ranch chicken tenders, but it almost wasn’t meant to be. Last Monday, I took out the chicken tenders and poured on the Gazebo Room Steak House Ranch dressing. I planned to only marinate them for a few hours and have them for dinner.
Of course anyone who knows me knows I’m a crazy cat lady, so when I was tagged in a Facebook post about a friend’s cat being trapped in a storm drain, I jumped into action. I picked up a couple humane traps and headed out. As it turned out, Pretty had been hit by a car the previous Wednesday and ran into the storm drain. She was injured and attempts to rescue her had thus far been unsuccessful. Unfortunately, the humane traps didn’t quite fit in the drain.
My friend made calls and I made calls. I was expecting the fire department after I made a call to our county’s non-emergency line, but the police showed up and they couldn’t help. The township showed up and lifted up the storm drain grate on the opposite side of the road, but also couldn’t help. A bunch of other cat people stopped by to help, but we felt like we were running out of options. I made a call to our local humane society and they advised that the fire department should come out and help. I made another call to the county’s non-emergency line and this time specified that we needed the fire department.
Finally, the fire department showed up. They filled up their hose with water and pushed Pretty over to a waiting rescuer. She was saved! Of course, I then accompanied my friend to the vet. Pretty didn’t have any broken bones, and as of this week, she’s just starting to get the strength back in her legs to be able to walk again. I hope she makes a full recovery, but for now, my friend is giving her the best care she can.
After Pretty’s rescue, I got home entirely too late to make the chicken tenders. The next day I debated throwing them out since they had sat in the fridge so long. Luckily for me, a quick online search revealed that the USDA says it is safe to marinate chicken for up to two days. The chicken tenders turned out tender and juicy and I think the extra hours marinating gave them an even deeper ranch flavor.
Feel free to use any type of popcorn you want, but I made my own stove top popcorn from kernels.
- 1-1½ lbs chicken tenders
- 1 cup Gazebo Room Steak House Ranch Dressing
- 1½-2 cups popped popcorn
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In a gallon bag, combine chicken tenders and ranch dressing. Marinate for a few hours or overnight.
- In a food processor, combine the popcorn and Parmesan and process until finely ground.
- Dip the chicken tenders in the popcorn mixture and coat well.
- Place on the baking sheet and bake 25 minutes.
Just a tip: I found out the hard way that when you reheat popcorn crusted ranch chicken, you’ll need to cover it.