Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

This Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders recipe brings restaurant-quality food into your kitchen. With a golden crust locking in juicy chicken, these tenders are an irresistible combination of crunch and flavor. It's an excellent choice for a family dinner or gathering, providing a meal that satisfies both adults and kids alike.

Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe
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Most of the ingredients for this recipe like chicken breast, eggs, flour, and vegetable oil are common pantry staples. However, one ingredient you might need to check for is Panko bread crumbs. It's a type of flaky bread crumb used in Asian cooking, known for providing a light, crispy coating. You can usually find it in the international aisle of your supermarket.

Ingredients for Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Vegetable oil: Used for frying the chicken tenders to give them a golden, crispy exterior.

Chicken breast: The main ingredient of this recipe, providing a lean and tender meat.

Eggs: They work as a binding agent for the coating of the chicken tenders.

Flour: It helps to create a light, crispy batter for the chicken.

Panko bread crumbs: Japanese bread crumbs that provide a light and crispy coating.

Garlic salt: Enhances the flavor of the chicken, giving it a savory taste.

Lemon pepper: Adds zesty, tangy flavor to the chicken.

One reader, Giselbert Hart says:

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This crispy fried chicken tenders recipe is a game-changer! The chicken turned out perfectly golden and crunchy, with a delicious blend of spices. It's a hit with my family and always leaves us wanting more. I highly recommend trying this recipe for a mouthwatering and satisfying meal.

Giselbert Hart

Techniques Required for Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

How to heat oil: Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat until it reaches the desired temperature for frying.

How to coat the chicken: Dip the chicken pieces into the flour, then into the beaten eggs, and finally into the panko mixture, ensuring that the entire chicken piece is evenly coated.

How to fry the chicken: Fry the coated chicken pieces in the heated oil for approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and are fully cooked through.

How to drain excess oil: Place the fried chicken tenders on a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil before serving.

How To Make Fried Chicken Tenders

Easy, quick, and delicious, chicken breast strips are coated with panko breadcrumbs for crispy fried chicken tenders that are ready in just 30 minutes.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • vegetable oil,for frying
  • 2lbschicken breast,boneless skinless, cut into strips
  • 3eggs
  • 1cupflour
  • 2cupspanko bread crumbs
  • tspgarlic salt
  • 1tsplemon pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil on medium-high heat in pan.

  2. Add beaten eggs to a bowl, flour to another bowl and Panko mixed with garlic salt and lemon pepper in a third bowl.

  3. Dip chicken pieces into flour, then into the egg mix and then into Panko making sure to coat the whole chicken piece.

  4. Fry chicken pieces in oil for 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place on a paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil.

  5. Serve warm with desired dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Nutrition

  • Calories: 466.24kcal
  • Fat: 19.82g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.93g
  • Trans Fat: 0.19g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 8.69g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.97g
  • Carbohydrates: 30.93g
  • Fiber: 1.39g
  • Sugar: 0.80g
  • Protein: 38.46g
  • Cholesterol: 176.75mg
  • Sodium: 155.36mg
  • Calcium: 72.77mg
  • Potassium: 400.27mg
  • Iron: 2.05mg
  • Vitamin A: 70.82µg
  • Vitamin C: 0.01mg

Essential Technique for Achieving Crispy Chicken Tenders

When frying your chicken tenders, ensure the oil is hot enough before adding the chicken. To test this, you can drop a small piece of bread into the oil. If it sizzles and browns within a minute, the oil is ready. This will ensure your chicken tenders are crispy on the outside and fully cooked on the inside. Also, avoid overcrowding the pan as it can lower the temperature of the oil, resulting in less crispy chicken.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Prep ahead: Marinate the chicken tenders the night before to infuse them with flavor, saving time on the day of cooking.

Batch cooking: Make a large batch of chicken tenders and freeze the extras for a quick and convenient meal option.

Organized workspace: Set up a breading station with the flour, eggs, and panko in an assembly line to streamline the coating process.

Use a deep fryer: Consider using a deep fryer for a more efficient and consistent cooking process.

Multitasking: While the chicken tenders are frying, prepare the dipping sauce or side dishes to maximize time in the kitchen.

Substitute Ingredients For Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe

  • vegetable oil - Substitute with canola oil: Canola oil has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor, making it a suitable substitute for vegetable oil in frying.

  • eggs - Substitute with buttermilk: Buttermilk can be used as a substitute for eggs to create a crispy coating. Dip the chicken in buttermilk before coating it with flour and breadcrumbs.

  • flour - Substitute with cornstarch: Cornstarch can be used as a gluten-free alternative to flour for coating the chicken, providing a crispy texture.

  • panko bread crumbs - Substitute with crushed cornflakes: Crushed cornflakes can be used as a substitute for panko bread crumbs to create a crispy coating for the chicken tenders.

  • garlic salt - Substitute with garlic powder and salt: Mix garlic powder and salt together to create a homemade garlic salt substitute for seasoning the chicken.

  • lemon pepper - Substitute with black pepper and lemon zest: Combine black pepper and freshly grated lemon zest to create a substitute for lemon pepper seasoning.

Best Way to Serve Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the crispy fried chicken tenders in a circular pattern on a large, white, rectangular plate, ensuring each piece is placed with precision and care.

  2. Incorporate garnishes: Sprinkle microgreens and edible flowers around the chicken tenders to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

  3. Create a dipping sauce masterpiece: Present the dipping sauce in a small, delicate sauce boat placed strategically on the plate, accompanied by a drizzle of high-quality honey mustard.

  4. Utilize negative space: Allow for some negative space on the plate to draw attention to the beautifully golden-brown crispy fried chicken tenders.

  5. Add a touch of elegance with a side: Serve the crispy fried chicken tenders alongside a small arugula and cherry tomato salad dressed with a light vinaigrette to complement the flavors and add a touch of sophistication to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

  • Pan: A flat-bottomed cooking utensil used for frying, searing, and sautéing foods.
  • Bowl: A round, deep dish or basin used for mixing ingredients or serving food.
  • Tongs: A tool with two arms and a pivot, used for gripping and lifting objects.
  • Paper towels: Absorbent paper used for drying or cleaning. It's often used to drain excess oil from fried foods.
  • Whisk: A kitchen utensil used for blending ingredients together and incorporating air into the mixture.
  • Knife: A cutting tool with a sharp blade, used for slicing and chopping ingredients.
  • Meat thermometer: A tool used to measure the internal temperature of cooked meat to ensure it's safe to eat.
  • Frying thermometer: A thermometer designed to measure the temperature of oil when frying foods.
  • Plates: Flat, round dishes used for serving food.
  • Cutting board: A durable board used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Slotted spoon: A spoon with slots or holes, used for lifting and draining foods from liquids or oils.
  • Deep fryer: A kitchen appliance used for deep frying foods, providing a consistent temperature and reducing oil splatter.

Storing and Freezing Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

  • Allow the fried chicken tenders to cool completely before storing or freezing. This will help maintain their crispiness and prevent them from becoming soggy.

  • For short-term storage, place the cooled chicken tenders in an airtight container lined with paper towels. The paper towels will absorb any excess oil and moisture. Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  • To reheat refrigerated chicken tenders, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

  • For longer storage, freeze the cooled chicken tenders. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place the sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until the tenders are frozen solid. This initial freezing step prevents the tenders from sticking together.

  • Once frozen, transfer the chicken tenders to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag to prevent freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

  • To reheat frozen chicken tenders, preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the frozen tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. There's no need to thaw the tenders before reheating.

  • Alternatively, you can reheat frozen chicken tenders in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C) and cook the tenders for 8-10 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

How To Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders

  • The best way to reheat leftover crispy fried chicken tenders is to use an oven or an air fryer. These methods will help to retain the crispiness of the chicken exterior while ensuring that the interior is heated through.

  • To reheat in the oven, preheat it to 400°F (200°C). Place the chicken tenders on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This allows hot air to circulate around the chicken, maintaining its crispiness. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

  • If you have an air fryer, this is an excellent option for reheating crispy chicken tenders. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Place the chicken tenders in the air fryer basket, ensuring they are not overcrowded. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

  • If you don't have access to an oven or air fryer, you can use a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in the skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken tenders and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy and heated through.

  • Avoid using the microwave to reheat crispy chicken tenders, as this will result in a soggy exterior and unevenly heated interior. The microwave causes the moisture in the chicken to steam, which softens the crispy coating.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to check the internal temperature of the chicken tenders to ensure they have reached a safe temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Interesting Fact About Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Fried chicken tenders are a popular dish in the southern United States and are often enjoyed with a side of creamy coleslaw and a drizzle of honey.

Is Making Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders at Home Cost-Effective?

The cost-effectiveness of this crispy fried chicken tenders recipe is quite high. The ingredients are commonly found in households, making it a budget-friendly choice. The use of chicken breast and basic pantry staples keeps the cost low, making it an affordable option for families. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, depending on the quality of ingredients. The overall verdict for this recipe is 9/10, considering its affordability and delicious outcome.

Are Crispy Chicken Tenders Healthy or Unhealthy?

The crispy fried chicken tenders recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. Here's why:

  • Deep frying the chicken in vegetable oil adds a significant amount of unhealthy fats and calories to the dish.
  • The breading, consisting of flour and panko breadcrumbs, is high in refined carbohydrates and provides little nutritional value.
  • The recipe lacks vegetables or other nutrient-dense ingredients that could balance out the meal.

However, there are some positive aspects:

  • Chicken breast is a lean protein source, which is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • The use of garlic salt and lemon pepper adds flavor without relying on excessive amounts of salt or sugar.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of deep frying, try oven-baking the chicken tenders. Coat them in the flour, egg, and panko mixture as directed, but place them on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Use whole wheat flour and panko to increase the fiber content of the breading.
  • Experiment with alternative coatings, such as finely chopped nuts or seeds, to add healthy fats and extra crunch.
  • Serve the chicken tenders with a side of fresh, colorful vegetables like a salad or roasted veggies to boost the nutritional value of the meal.
  • Prepare a healthier dipping sauce using Greek yogurt, herbs, and spices instead of relying on store-bought, high-sugar options.

Editor's Opinion on This Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe

This crispy fried chicken tenders recipe is a classic and delicious choice for a meal. The combination of flour, eggs, and panko bread crumbs creates a crispy and flavorful coating for the chicken. The addition of garlic salt and lemon pepper adds a savory and zesty kick to the dish. The cooking instructions are straightforward and easy to follow, making it accessible for home cooks. Overall, this recipe is a crowd-pleaser and a great option for a family dinner or casual gathering.

Enhance Your Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with melted butter.
Roasted Vegetables: Colorful medley of roasted vegetables, seasoned with herbs and drizzled with balsamic glaze.
Fruit Salad: Fresh fruit salad with a zesty citrus dressing, sprinkled with toasted coconut flakes.

Alternative Recipes Similar to Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: Marinate the vegetables in a flavorful herb and garlic mixture before threading them onto skewers and grilling until tender and slightly charred.
Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry: Sear thinly sliced beef in a hot wok before adding in broccoli and a savory stir fry sauce, then serve over steamed rice for a quick and delicious meal.
Mango Coconut Popsicles: Blend ripe mango with coconut milk and a touch of honey before pouring the mixture into popsicle molds and freezing for a refreshing and tropical dessert.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Sauté onions and garlic before adding in canned tomatoes and broth, then simmer until the flavors meld together before blending until smooth and stirring in fresh basil and cream for a comforting soup.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: Mix together a buttery graham cracker crust before topping with a luscious lemon and blueberry studded cheesecake filling and baking until set for a delightful dessert.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Appetizers:
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a delicious start to any meal.
Crispy Coconut Shrimp: Transport your taste buds to a tropical paradise with these crispy coconut shrimp. Dip jumbo shrimp in a light batter, coat with shredded coconut, and fry until golden brown. Serve with a tangy dipping sauce for a delightful appetizer.
Desserts:
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a decadent, velvety smooth dessert that will satisfy any chocolate lover's cravings. This rich and creamy chocolate mousse is the perfect way to end a meal on a sweet note.
Apple Pie: Treat yourself to a classic American dessert with a flaky, buttery crust and a warm, cinnamon-spiced apple filling. This comforting and nostalgic apple pie is sure to please any crowd.

Why trust this Fried Chicken Tenders Recipe:

This recipe guarantees crispy and flavorful chicken tenders every time. The combination of panko bread crumbs and seasonings ensures a satisfying crunch, while the use of chicken breast promises tender and juicy results. The step-by-step instructions make it easy for anyone to recreate this dish, and the use of garlic salt and lemon pepper adds a delightful depth of flavor. Trust in the quality of the ingredients and the straightforward cooking process to deliver a delicious outcome.

Want to share your own fried chicken tenders recipe or discuss techniques for making them? Head over to the Recipe Sharing forum and join the conversation!
FAQ:
How long should I fry the chicken tenders for?
Fry the chicken tenders for about 4 minutes on each side, or until they turn golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
Can I use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast?
Yes, you can use chicken thighs instead of chicken breast for this recipe. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time as thighs may take a little longer to cook through.
What can I use as a dipping sauce for the chicken tenders?
You can use a variety of dipping sauces such as honey mustard, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, or even a spicy sriracha mayo.
Can I bake the chicken tenders instead of frying them?
Yes, you can bake the chicken tenders in a preheated 400°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden and crispy.
Can I prepare the chicken tenders ahead of time and reheat them later?
While the tenders are best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare them ahead of time and reheat them in the oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes to regain their crispiness.

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