Crispy Chicken Strips:
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
2 pounds chicken breast tenders or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into long strips
1 1/2 cups seasoned dry breadcrumbs
3/4 (3 ounces) cup grated Wisconsin aged parmesan cheese
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce:
1 cup apricot preserves
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dry mustard
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine buttermilk and, if desired, hot pepper sauce in a large bowl. Add chicken, mix well. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine breadcrumbs, aged parmesan, cornmeal, salt and pepper in a shallow pie plate or dish.
Using fork, remove one piece of chicken at a time, letting buttermilk drip off; roll in crumb mixture to coat. Transfer to two large nonstick baking sheets or jelly-roll pans. Drizzle melted butter over chicken. Bake 10 minutes; turn. Continue baking 8-12 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and no longer pink in the center.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine preserves, vinegar and mustard; mix well. Serve chicken warm, at room temperature or cold with dipping sauce.