January 08, 2016 03:07 PM

Quentin Bacon; Inset: Nigel Barker

To celebrate Super Bowl 50, we’ve partnered with Taste of the NFL and their chef partners all season long. The charity helps to raise awareness and funds via the season-long Kick Hunger Challenge. For more information or to donate to your favorite team’s city, visit their website, and be sure to check PEOPLE.com every Thursday for a new game day recipe from your favorite celebrity chefs. Here, Ellie Krieger gives us her recipe for Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders.

This recipe holds the secret to oven-fried chicken that is remarkably crispy outside, yet moist and tender inside. First, a quick marinade in yogurt does double duty preventing the chicken from drying out and tenderizing it with a gentle acidity. Second, the almond-panko coating is pre-toasted in olive oil, so you avoid the risk of overcooking the chicken when you try to crisp it in the oven.

The sweet-tangy sauce is the perfect accompaniment, and appeals to the sensibilities of kids and adults alike. It is also delicious as a glaze for baked or grilled chicken and as a sandwich spread.

RELATED: These Super Bowl Dips Will Make You Melt

Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders with Apricot-Mustard Dipping Sauce

From Krieger’s newest cookbook, You Have It Made: Delicious, Healthy, Do-Ahead Meals

Serves 6

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

1 tbsp. fresh thyme, divided

1 tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. salt, divided

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ lb. chicken tenders or skinless, boneless chicken breast pounded to an even thickness and cut into 1-in. thick slices

1 ½ cup whole-wheat Panko bread crumbs

½ cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

½ cup all-fruit apricot preserves

⅓ cup Dijon mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put a rack on top of a large baking sheet lined with foil.

2. In a large bowl mix the yogurt with ½ tablespoon of the thyme, the garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Allow to marinate in the yogurt as you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

3. In a medium skillet, toss together the bread crumbs, almonds, and oil to combine. Set the skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is browned and well toasted, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a large shallow dish and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining ½ tablespoon thyme, ¼ each of the salt and pepper, and the lemon zest.

4. Working with one or two pieces at a time, transfer the chicken to the dish of crumbs and coat with the crumbs, pressing them well so they adhere to the chicken on all sides. Transfer to the rack on the baking sheet and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, stir together apricot preserves and mustard. Serve with tenders.

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