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Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe

Who could resist the crunch of a perfect chicken tender? These super crispy chicken tenders are a game changer. They're soaked in a spicy buttermilk marinade, coated in a seasoned flour mixture, then fried to golden perfection. Not only is the breading crispy and flavorful, but the chicken itself is also wonderfully moist and delicious.

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All the ingredients for this recipe should be readily available at your local grocery store. However, you should be aware that buttermilk and hot sauce are crucial for the marinade, which imparts tanginess and spiciness to the chicken. Additionally, canola oil is used for frying due to its high smoke point and neutral flavor.

Ingredients for Super Crispy Chicken Tenders

Chicken breasts: Chicken breast meat is lean, versatile, and cooks quickly. We'll be cutting these into tenders for frying.

Buttermilk: Used for marinating the chicken, it helps to tenderize and add flavor.

Hot sauce: Adds a kick to our chicken tenders, feel free to adjust to your heat preference.

Eggs: Helps the flour mixture adhere to the chicken.

Flour: Creates a crispy and golden crust when fried.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Pepper: Adds a bit of heat and depth to the chicken's flavor.

Paprika: Provides a sweet-smoky flavor.

Garlic powder: Gives the chicken a subtle garlic flavor.

Baking powder: Makes the coating crispy.

Canola oil: Used for frying the chicken; it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor that won't interfere with the taste of the chicken.

One reader, Jocko Esposito says:

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These super crispy chicken tenders are a game-changer! The buttermilk marinade makes the chicken incredibly tender, while the double coating of flour and spices creates a satisfying crunch. The hot sauce adds a delightful kick. This recipe is a winner for sure!

Jocko Esposito

Techniques for Achieving Super Crispy Chicken Tenders

How to soak the chicken: Soak the chicken tenders in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for 30 minutes to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.

How to dredge the chicken: Dredge the soaked chicken tenders in a flour mixture, then dip them in beaten eggs, and coat them again with the flour mixture to create a crispy outer layer.

How to fry the chicken: Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven to 350 degrees F and fry the chicken tenders in small batches for 5 to 7 minutes until they turn golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan to ensure even cooking and crispiness.

How To Make Super Crispy Chicken Tenders

Strips of chicken breast are marinated and coated with various herbs and spices then fried to crisp, golden-brown perfection. Best chicken tenders recipe!

Preparation: 40 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • 4chicken breastsboneless skinless
  • 1cupbuttermilk
  • 1tsphot sauce
  • 2eggsbeaten
  • 2cupsflour
  • tspsalt
  • ¾tsppepper
  • tsppaprika
  • tspgarlic powder
  • tspbaking powder
  • canola oilfor frying


  1. Cut the chicken breasts into four tenders each and soak them in a bowl with the buttermilk and hot sauce for 30 minutes.

  2. Add the eggs to one bowl and the flour and spices to a second bowl.

  3. Dip each piece of chicken from the buttermilk bowl to the flour mixture.

  4. Dip it into the eggs then back into the flour mixture.

  5. Shake excess flour gently off and put the chicken onto a baking sheet.

  6. Repeat with all the pieces.

  7. Heat the oil (three inches deep) in a dutch oven on medium high heat to 350 degrees F.

  8. Fry the chicken in small batches for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.


  • Calories: 2492.77kcal
  • Fat: 94.97g
  • Saturated Fat: 24.27g
  • Trans Fat: 0.83g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 41.78g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 21.43g
  • Carbohydrates: 205.18g
  • Fiber: 7.45g
  • Sugar: 12.84g
  • Protein: 190.21g
  • Cholesterol: 775.16mg
  • Sodium: 3029.65mg
  • Calcium: 500.87mg
  • Potassium: 2334.59mg
  • Iron: 10.10mg
  • Vitamin A: 346.98µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.97mg

Pro Tip for Making the Crispiest Chicken Tenders

To ensure your chicken tenders are super crispy, make sure your oil is at the correct temperature before you start frying. If the oil is not hot enough, the chicken will absorb the oil and become greasy rather than crispy. Conversely, if the oil is too hot, the outside of the chicken will burn before the inside is fully cooked. Using a thermometer to monitor the oil temperature can help achieve the perfect crispiness.

Time-Saving Tips for Making Crispy Chicken Tenders

Prep ahead: Marinate the chicken tenders in buttermilk and hot sauce the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Double dredge: Double coat the chicken tenders with flour for an extra crispy coating without the need for multiple batches.

Use a thermometer: Invest in a kitchen thermometer to ensure the oil is at the right temperature, resulting in perfectly crispy chicken tenders every time.

Organize your station: Set up a dredging station with the flour, egg, and chicken in an assembly line to streamline the coating process.

Batch frying: Fry the chicken tenders in small batches to maintain the oil temperature and achieve consistent crispiness.

Substitute Ingredients For Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe

  • Buttermilk - Substitute with plain yogurt mixed with a little milk: Plain yogurt mixed with a little milk can provide the tanginess and creaminess similar to buttermilk.

  • Hot sauce - Substitute with cayenne pepper or chili powder: Both cayenne pepper and chili powder can add heat and flavor to the dish, similar to hot sauce.

  • Eggs - Substitute with buttermilk or yogurt: Buttermilk or yogurt can help the breading adhere to the chicken and provide moisture.

  • Flour - Substitute with panko breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs can create a crispier texture compared to flour.

  • Canola oil - Substitute with vegetable oil or peanut oil: Both vegetable oil and peanut oil have a high smoke point, making them suitable for frying and achieving crispy chicken tenders.

Presenting the Perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the crispy chicken tenders in a circular pattern on a large, white, rectangular plate, ensuring each piece is evenly spaced and visually appealing.

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

  3. Sauce placement: Drizzle a honey mustard or sriracha mayo in a zigzag pattern over the chicken tenders, adding a gourmet touch to the presentation.

  4. Utilize height: Place the chicken tenders on a bed of thinly sliced pickled vegetables to add height and dimension to the dish, creating a visually striking presentation.

  5. Attention to detail: Garnish the plate with a sprinkle of smoked paprika for a burst of color and a hint of smoky flavor, enhancing the overall visual appeal of the dish.

  6. Artistic plating: Use a combination of contrasting colors and textures, such as vibrant green herbs and crispy golden chicken tenders, to create a visually stunning and appetizing presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Crispy Chicken Tenders

  • Cutting board: A flat, sturdy surface used for cutting and preparing ingredients.
  • Chef's knife: A versatile and essential kitchen tool used for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: Used to accurately measure ingredients for recipes.
  • Mixing bowl: Essential for combining ingredients and mixing batters or doughs.
  • Whisk: Used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients together.
  • Dutch oven: A heavy-duty pot with a tight-fitting lid, ideal for frying and braising.
  • Baking sheet: A flat, metal pan used for baking and roasting foods in the oven.
  • Tongs: Essential for flipping and turning food while frying or grilling.
  • Thermometer: Used to monitor oil temperature when frying to ensure the perfect crispiness.
  • Paper towels: Used for draining excess oil from fried foods.

Storing and Freezing Homemade Chicken Tenders

  • Allow the chicken tenders to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag. They can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To freeze the chicken tenders, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze until solid (about 1-2 hours). Once frozen, transfer the tenders to a freezer-safe container or resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
  • Frozen chicken tenders can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • To reheat refrigerated chicken tenders, place them on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.
  • For frozen chicken tenders, preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and bake the tenders on a wire rack set over a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, or until heated through and crispy. No need to thaw the tenders before reheating.
  • Alternatively, you can reheat the chicken tenders in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and cook the tenders for 5-7 minutes (if refrigerated) or 8-10 minutes (if frozen), or until heated through and crispy.

How to Reheat Leftover Chicken Tenders

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the leftover chicken tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tenders are heated through and the coating is crispy again. This method is best for maintaining the crispiness of the chicken.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can reheat the chicken tenders in it for a quick and crispy result. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) and place the tenders in the basket, making sure they are not overcrowded. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until heated through and crispy.

  • For a faster method, you can use the microwave, although this may result in a slightly softer coating. Place the chicken tenders on a microwave-safe plate and heat them on high power for 30-60 seconds, depending on the number of tenders and your microwave's power. Check the tenders every 30 seconds to avoid overcooking.

  • If you want to add some extra flavor to your reheated chicken tenders, you can brush them with a mixture of melted butter and your favorite herbs or spices before reheating them in the oven or air fryer. This will give them a fresh taste and aroma.

  • To maintain the crispiness of the coating, avoid using plastic wrap or airtight containers when storing the leftover chicken tenders in the refrigerator. Instead, use a paper towel-lined container or a wire rack to allow air circulation and prevent the tenders from becoming soggy.

Interesting Fact About Crispy Chicken Tenders

Buttermilk is a key ingredient in this recipe, and it helps to tenderize the chicken while also adding a tangy flavor to the dish.

Is Making Crispy Chicken Tenders at Home Cost-Effective?

This super crispy chicken tenders recipe is quite cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as chicken breasts and flour, are generally affordable and readily available. The addition of buttermilk and spices enhances the flavor without significantly increasing the cost. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people would be around $15-$20. Considering the simplicity and affordability of the ingredients, this recipe offers great value. I would rate this recipe an 8 for its cost-effectiveness and delicious outcome.

Are Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Healthy or Unhealthy?

This recipe for super crispy chicken tenders is not particularly healthy. The main concerns are:

  • Deep frying the chicken in canola oil adds a significant amount of unhealthy fats and calories to the dish
  • The breading process, which involves flour and eggs, adds extra carbohydrates and cholesterol
  • The recipe lacks any vegetables or fiber-rich ingredients, making it an unbalanced meal

However, there are some positive aspects, such as using lean chicken breast meat and incorporating a buttermilk marinade, which can help tenderize the meat and add some beneficial probiotics.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Instead of deep frying, try oven-baking the chicken tenders on a wire rack to allow for air circulation and crispiness without the added oil
  • Use whole wheat flour or a mixture of whole wheat and all-purpose flour for the breading to increase the fiber content
  • Incorporate some spices and herbs into the flour mixture, such as garlic powder, onion powder, and dried thyme, to add flavor without relying on salt
  • Serve the chicken tenders with a side of roasted vegetables, such as broccoli or sweet potatoes, to balance out the meal and add essential vitamins and minerals
  • Prepare a healthier dipping sauce using Greek yogurt as a base, mixed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavor and tang

By making these adjustments, you can enjoy the crispy texture and delicious taste of chicken tenders while still maintaining a more balanced and nutritious meal.

Editor's Opinion on This Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe

This recipe for super crispy chicken tenders is a classic and foolproof way to achieve deliciously crunchy chicken. The buttermilk and hot sauce marinade adds flavor and tenderness to the chicken, while the double coating of flour and egg ensures a crispy, golden exterior. The combination of spices in the flour mixture adds depth of flavor to the tenders. Frying the chicken in batches ensures even cooking and a perfectly crispy texture. Overall, this recipe is a surefire way to create irresistible chicken tenders that will be a hit with both kids and adults alike.

Enhance Your Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of garlic and chives, topped with a dollop of butter.
Grilled Vegetables: Colorful array of grilled vegetables drizzled with a balsamic glaze and sprinkled with fresh herbs.
Fruit Salad: Fresh fruit salad with a tangy citrus dressing, garnished with mint leaves for a refreshing touch.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Love Crispy Chicken Tenders

Crispy Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries: These zucchini fries are a healthier alternative to traditional fries, and they're just as delicious! The crispy parmesan coating adds a savory flavor that pairs perfectly with the tender zucchini.
Honey Garlic Glazed Salmon: This honey garlic glazed salmon is a sweet and savory dish that's perfect for a weeknight dinner. The combination of honey, garlic, and soy sauce creates a delicious glaze that complements the tender salmon fillets.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding: This mango coconut chia pudding is a refreshing and nutritious dessert that's perfect for a hot summer day. The combination of sweet mango and creamy coconut milk creates a tropical flavor that's sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with Super Crispy Chicken Tenders

Crispy Calamari: For a delightful start to your meal, try our crispy calamari. The tender rings of calamari are lightly breaded and fried to perfection, creating a satisfying crunch with each bite. Served with a zesty marinara sauce for dipping, this appetizer is sure to please your taste buds.
Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Indulge in the savory goodness of our stuffed mushrooms. Each mushroom cap is filled with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs, then baked to golden perfection. The result is a mouthwatering appetizer that is both elegant and delicious.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent, warm chocolate lava cake with a gooey center that oozes out with every bite. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of rich and creamy flavors.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Create a luscious strawberry cheesecake with a buttery graham cracker crust and a smooth, creamy filling topped with fresh, juicy strawberries. This dessert is a delightful combination of sweet and tangy flavors that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

Why trust this Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe:

This recipe guarantees crispy and flavorful chicken tenders due to the buttermilk marinade, which tenderizes the chicken and infuses it with a rich, tangy flavor. The double coating process ensures an extra crispy and satisfying crunch. The use of hot sauce adds a hint of heat, elevating the flavor profile. The precise instructions and attention to detail in the preparation process ensure that each tender is cooked to perfection. Trust in this recipe for a delightful chicken tender experience that will leave your taste buds craving for more.

Want to share your own tips or discuss this Super Crispy Chicken Tenders Recipe further? Head over to the Recipe Sharing section of our forum and join the conversation!
How long should I soak the chicken in the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture?
Soak the chicken in the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture for at least 30 minutes. This helps to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.
Can I use a different type of oil for frying?
Yes, you can use other high-heat oils such as vegetable or peanut oil for frying the chicken tenders.
How do I know when the oil is ready for frying?
You can test the oil by dropping a small piece of bread into it. If the bread sizzles and turns golden brown within 60 seconds, the oil is ready for frying.
Can I bake the chicken tenders instead of frying them?
Yes, you can bake the chicken tenders in a preheated oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through, for a healthier alternative to frying.
Can I make the chicken tenders ahead of time and reheat them?
Yes, you can make the chicken tenders ahead of time and reheat them in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until they are heated through and crispy again.

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