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I gave my own recipe 5 stars… is that biased?
This fail-proof chicken tenders recipe comes together with just a few ingredients. The secret is soaking it in buttermilk brine and tossing a sleeve of Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning into the flour. Double dredging the tenders gives a thick crispy crust you expect from a fried chicken place. Make sure to plan ahead since the chicken needs to soak in buttermilk for an hour prior to frying.
Like I was saying, the secret to tender chicken (aka chicken tenders!) is soaking the chicken in buttermilk prior to battering and frying. You can get buttermilk at the grocery store or you can make your own by following these three simple steps:
- Pour 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into a 1-cup measuring cup
- Fill the rest with milk up to the “1 cup” line
- Let it sit for 5 minutes, then stir
The milk will curdle a bit on top but that’s normal, just mix it up and now you have one cup of buttermilk! 🙂
Before you soak the chicken pound it down to 1″ thickness, and then slice it lengthwise to 1″ thickness. You can use a meat mallet or even a flat bottomed glass, just make sure you cover the chicken with saran wrap before you get to pounding!
Cover and brine in the fridge for an hour…
After an hour pull it out of the fridge and setup the frying station. Have a paper towel lined plate at the end to catch the chicken and let it rest. Work with 4-5 pieces at a time only frying a few minutes per side.
Note: If you notice the chicken browning faster than usual turn the heat down a notch because we all know stovetops can heat differently. I refer to my stovetop as a “Power Burner” because it gets the job done pretty fast, but sometimes it heats TOO fast! 🙂
“I’m probably something like 95% chicken nugget.”
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
- 3 medium Chicken Breasts
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 oz. sleeve Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
- 3 teaspoons Salt
- 3 teaspoons Paprika
- 3 eggs
- Oil for Frying, approximately 2 cups Canola or Vegetable
Rinse and pat dry chicken breast, place on a cutting board, cover with saran wrap, and using a flat bottomed object flatten it to 1″ thickness. Next, cut lengthwise into 1″ strips, place the pieces in a large bowl, and cover with 1 cup Buttermilk. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
Setup the frying station: In a large bowl whisk together flour, ranch seasoning, salt and paprika and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and set aside. In a large frying pan heat oil to medium heat (about 350º F.). You want to fry 4-5 pieces at a time given the size of your pan. Begin dredging the tenders in the flour mixture, then in the egg wash, and then back in the flour mixture a second time. Place 4-5 pieces into the hot frying oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, turning once and making sure the internal temperature reaches 165º F. Place them on a paper towel lined plate and repeat until all pieces are fried. Serve with dipping sauces and vinegar based hot sauce! Mashed potatoes or mac-n-cheese make good sides. 🙂
Makes approximately 15 tenders (4-5 per medium sized chicken breast).