Cinnamon Açai Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tenderloins
Açai and Cinnamon Baked Chicken Tenders with Almond Crust
What is Açai? This is a decreasingly common question related to the fruit of a palm tree native to South America, as it gains popularity as one of the world’s healthiest superfoods. The Açai Palm produces drupes or stone fruit. These tiny, fleshy, thin-skinned berries with pits are actually more closely related to peaches and cherries than any sort of berry. Regardless of the nature of the fruit, you can count on them to add loads of nutrients and unparalleled flavor to any dish.
For some reason, though, açai is seldom found outside of smoothies and fruit, yogurt, or granola bowls. We really can’t comprehend why this would be, aside from the fear of turning sides and entreés purple. While we certainly don’t mind eating the rainbow, we do understand that some folks might want to avoid chicken with a purple hue, so we completed our açai-coated chicken tenders with a crispy almond crust, aiding in the aesthetic and textural appeal of this dish.
Almond Crusted Chicken Tenderloins Flavored with Cinnamon and Açai
- 8 chicken tenderloins
- 1 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 3 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting pan
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon açai powder, divided
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups almond meal
- Mix together your cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon açai powder, and ½ teaspoon pepper.
- Separately, mix your honey, mustard, remaining acai powder, nutmeg, and olive oil.
- Sprinkle the chicken tenderloins with the dry mix and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- Pull the chicken from the refrigerator and liberally rub the wet mixture on it.
- Crack your eggs and whisk with a few drops of water to create an egg wash.
- Mix your almond meal with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400℉ and cover a sheet pan with oil.
- Set up an assembly station, with the chicken tenderloins first, then the egg wash, followed by the almond meal, and finally the sheet pan.
- Dip each chicken piece in the egg wash and then coat all sides with the almond meal before placing them on the sheet pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165℉.
These almond-crusted chicken tenderloins with açai and Ceylon cinnamon are such a delightful and healthy entree. They are perfectly complemented by an array of sides, but we really like them overtop a bowl of simple coconut rice, but they would also be great with Persian scorched rice, congee and/or tropical truffle pineapple carpaccio.