Crispy Chicken Tenders marinaded in buttermilk then fried (or oven baked!) golden brown are juicy and flavorful with southern seasonings.
If you love recreating fun family-favorite American restaurant meals at home, then you’ll love the easy Baked Beans, our famous Baked Mac and Cheese, and creamy Macaroni Salad!
Do you want to cracked the secret code when making chicken tenders crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and incredibly flavorful? These homemade Chicken Tenders are soaked in buttermilk, fried crisp, and are super flavorful, moist, and extra crispy on the outside! Plus, with spices like the kind you’d get at your favorite chicken restaurant, they are perfect for replacing fast food cravings and even game day parties. Plus, there are directions for an oven baked version too, so there can be no feeling guilty about indulging in this awesome chicken fingers recipe!
They’re golden brown fried chicken tenders made with either chicken breasts (make sure you use skinless chicken breasts) that you can slice into thinner chicken strips or you can use chicken tenderloin pieces and skip an extra step in the preparation. The addition of the yummy spices that are used in our copycat KFC Potato Wedges recipe takes these chicken fingers over the top.
If you’re using a chicken breast you will cut it along it’s long side to make chicken strips the right length for these chicken tenders. If you cut the chicken strips the shorter way they’ll be about 2-3 inches long and be closer to the size of an average fish stick.
How to Make Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
Making these is so easy! The longest part is waiting for the marinade to finish. But once it’s all ready, it’s just a simple coat, dip, coat, fry, cool, and enjoy! Check out how to make Super Crispy Chicken Tenders.
- Step One: Marinade the chicken tenders. 30 minutes at room temperature is ideal. Don’t put it in the fridge or the breading will fall off.
- Step Two: Coat the fingers in the flour mix. Don’t pat them dry before doing this. They need to have the marinade on them to help the flour stick.
- Step Three: Dip the chicken fingers into the whisked eggs.
- Step Four: Coat the fingers a second time. Don’t pat flat, really let it get thick on the chicken. You need all the nooks and crannies to get the desired crispy consistency.
- Step Five: Fry in the oil (or bake them) until ready. Drain on a wire rack (NOT paper towel!) and serve while they are still warm. Enjoy!
More Crispy Chicken Recipes
Frequently Asked Questions
Once fried you can keep the chicken tenders crispy on a baking sheet or a cookie sheet in a low oven at 250 degrees while you finish frying the remaining chicken tenders or keep them warm until your event starts.
The low temperature will ensure the chicken fingers stay juicy too, it isn’t hot enough to dry them out unless you leave them in there for hours. Do not cover the chicken though as it will create steam which will ruin the texture of the crispy chicken.
The buttermilk acts as a tenderizer which makes the chicken juicy. Even just a half an hour soak will help with flavor and it also acts as a binding agent for the first coat of seasoned flour.
Even if the chicken tenders are going to be oven baked they should still be marinaded in buttermilk before baking.
If you would like to use panko breadcrumbs or regular breadcrumbs in this recipe to add more of a texture or crunch, like in a tempura recipe, you will have to reduce the flour to make up for the additional coating. Using breadcrumbs also allows you to bake this recipe instead of frying it (see baked chicken tenders recipe below).
If you fry the recipe with the use of the panko be aware that the fat content (and saturated fat) of the recipe may be slightly higher since breadcrumbs tend to absorb more total fat than a flour based coating. Serve this meal up with some roasted vegetables for some additional dietary fiber to make up for it!
There are a couple of factors at play here: Oil temperature and chicken temperature.
If your breading keeps falling off, it could mean that the oil temperature might be too high or too low while cooking. The oil temperature should be held at 350ºF.
The chicken temperature should not be cool or cold. It should be marinated only at room temperature. The chicken needs to be thawed to room temperature before being marinaded. If you do marinade it in the fridge for a few hours, that’s ideal, just pull it out about an hour before frying so that it comes to room temperature and is not cold.
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Key Ingredients in Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
- Chicken: Cutting chicken breasts into our own tenders is budget friendly so that’s what we’re doing here. But, you can use actual chicken tenders if you don’t want to cut them. Make sure the chicken is thawed to room temperature if frozen before seasoning.
- Flour: We are using regular all purpose flour here, not self rising flour.
- Seasoning: Using your own fresh spices is always preferred, however, you can use a premade blend, like Ac’cent Seasoning. This blend is the x-factor in the original KFC copycat recipe (use ½ teaspoon) (this is MSG which adds flavor sensation, so use at your discretion).
- Baking Powder: We are using actual baking powder which is a baking blend and contains the ingredient baking soda. Baking powder often contains cornstarch, depending on the blend. Adding a leavening agent, such as baker’s powder, will help to increase the volume and lighten the texture of food products. This is actually the secret ingredient to the crispiness in the recipe!
- Deep Fryer: This is what we are using to cook the chicken. It is easy for keeping temperature on point and kind of fun to use!
- Oil: You’ll want to use a good cooking oil with a high smoke point like canola, peanut, or vegetable oil. Olive oil is not good for frying these.
- Buttermilk: This helps to tenderize the meat so it is juicy. You can use regular or low fat buttermilk, whatever you prefer.
- Hot Sauce: This is a flavor addition. You can easily leave it out if you don’t want the spiciness.
Variations on Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
- Italian Chicken Tenders: Swap out the paprika for grated parmesan cheese and ½ teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.
- Cajun Chicken Tenders: Add ½ teaspoon cajun seasoning and double the garlic powder.
Alternative Cooking Methods for Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
Deep frying is the name of the game for this incredibly crispy recipe. But, sometimes it’s better to bake without too much oil, and we love that! Here’s how you can make some healthy Chicken Tenders!
- Oven Baked Super Crispy Chicken Tenders: After the buttermilk marinade add the spices to panko crumbs or breadcrumbs instead of flour. Dredge the chicken from the buttermilk into the breadcrumbs then add to a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush with just 2 tablespoons of melted butter or spray with cooking spray (melted butter will give better flavor). Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
- Air Fryer Super Crispy Chicken Tenders: Once the chicken has been breaded, place them into the air fryer basked directly (no tin foil on the bottom this time!). Make sure they are not touching as we need the air to circulate around the tenders. Cook at 400ºF on both sides for 6 minutes (12 minutes total). Check the internal temperature of the chicken to ensure that it reaches a minimum of 165ºF and adjust the cooking time as necessary.
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Dipping Sauces for Chicken Tenders
Having the perfect dipping sauce will really bring this recipe to it’s greatest potential! You can get the store bought kind of dips, or make some yourself at home and really impress your guests!
How to Store Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
- Serve: Serve these while they are still hot. They’ll be ready to serve after they have drained on the wire rack.
- Store: Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer, oven, or toaster oven to maintain crispiness. The microwave will make them soggy.
- Freeze: You can keep these in the freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat with your preferred convection oven.
- 4 chicken breasts , boneless, skinless
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 2 large eggs , beaten
- 2 cups flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- vegetable oil , for frying
- Cut the chicken breasts into four tenders each and soak them in a bowl with the buttermilk and hot sauce for 30 minutes.
- Add the eggs to one bowl and the flour and spices to a second bowl.
- Dip each piece of chicken from the buttermilk bowl to the flour mixture.
- Dip it into the eggs then back into the flour mixture.
- Shake excess flour gently off and put the chicken onto a baking sheet.
- Repeat with all the pieces.
- Heat the oil (three inches deep) in a dutch oven on medium high heat to 350 degrees.
- Fry the chicken in small batches for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
Photos used in a previous version of this post:
love this recipe I have made it several times and they always turn out so good….
This is a fantastic recipe, Sabrina! I am an old experienced southern cook, who has always fried chicken using the buttermilk & seasoned flour method. The extra step using egg makes it even better, which I didn’t think was possible. Thank you! I am just discovering your website, & will be back for many more recipes.
Wow! High Praise coming from an experienced Cook like you! Thanks for the 5 star review!
Is the flour all purpose or self rising
All purpose. Thank you for asking.
This is the first time that the crispy skin stayed on my chicken when I fried it I followed the recipe except I added more seasoning thank you it was a hit at my house
Baking soda, baking powder or cornstarch?
This recipe was tested using flour to coat the tenders. Is that what you were asking?
i made this and loved it. thank you
Simple and delicious. Everyone loved these.
That is about as close as you can get! Excellent recipe! Will make it again for sure.
Thanks for sharing your talent
Can I bake the chicken instead of deep frying it
I would choose a recipe for baked chicken tenders instead, the batter on this wouldn’t bake well, it would taste very doughy.
I was wondering if I could bake the chicken instead of deep frying it
Wow easy to make and so delicious ? thank you
We needs to see more video to your recipe please thanks for U
Hi, what are the directions for cooking in the oven? I am not seeing, but it was mentioned that it was part of the recipe. Thank you!
I made these and loved how crispy they turned out!
So glad you enjoyed it!
The fingers turned out great. Tried other recipes but my husband says these are the best. Will use this recipe again!!
Out of the dozens, if not 100s of chicken tender and chicken nugget recipes I’ve tried, this one is the best. I didn’t change a thing and I will be making it again.
Flavor is decent but not crispy long. Even after cooling on a wire rack, not stacked on each other. Breading separates from chicken.
Your doing something wrong. I would say your oil isn’t hot enough. If it’s not around 350F It won’t crisp up. Try a thermometer in your oil 🙂
I use buttermilk flour egg flour. Turned out fantastic. Don’t pat down your floured tenders, you need the nooks and crannies
How would you get the breading to stick to the chicken? It tastes good but it just slides off of the chicken?
Did you pat the chicken dry before dipping in the egg?
we dont need to add corn starch ?
Will this work for chicken breast for a chicken sandwich instead of tenders?
These were delicious! Prepared as written! A new perennial favorite! Thank you so much!
I’m glad I read reviews first, because otherwise this recipe would have no flavour at all. I used approximately 1 tsp for each of the spices (aside from salt- I didn’t adjust that) and also added in approximately 1 tsp of old Bay seasoning. I also needed to use 3 eggs for 12 chicken strips.
That being said- this recipe made for perfectly breaded chicken tenders! I will definitely be using this as my base the next time I make chicken tenders!
Made these tonight for us and extra for someone I’m taking to, double batch, along with KFC copycat coleslaw, Amish macaroni salad, and deviled eggs. They were excellent! Thank you for the recipe! Might have been a little heavy handed on the spices, but not much. Excellent the way it is written. I do have a question though. Since I’m not taking these to the recipient until tomorrow, what is the best way to reheat? I don’t want to dry them out.
Wat can u use instead of buttermilk
In recipes that call for buttermilk, it is not recommended to replace buttermilk with plain milk, because the absence of acid will not produce the same end result. But using an acidic ingredient combined with plain milk will create a substitute with properties closer to that of buttermilk.
Alternative options with acidic ingredient:
1/4 cup buttermilk: 3/4 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice + 1/4 cup milk of choice.
1/3 cup buttermilk: 1 teaspoon vinegar or lemon juice + 1/3 cup milk of choice.
1/2 cup buttermilk: 1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice + 1/2 cup milk of choice.
Absolutely perfect recipe, if followed word for word. Oil temp is critical, a Dutch Oven will maintain oil temp due to its thick construction and retention of heat. If one does not have a Dutch Oven, a deep fryer with thermostat must be used. Myself and my kids are chicken tender fanatics, and these stepped up to the top of the list, both for store bought and restaurant sourced. There was a comment to let them set up for a bit before frying, this is great advice. I now have to make a huge batch of these and freeze them to enjoy whenever my kids and I would like. Thanks for such a simple yet perfect recipe!
So happy you enjoyed it!
I’m going to attempt to make these tonight! Just to make sure, is the photo without the panko?
Hi Kimberly, yes that’s correct, this recipe does not call for any Panko.
This recipe is absolutely perfect! It’s my husband’s favorite and would gladly eat it 3 times a week if I made it!
Love to hear that Christa
I’m going to attempt to make these tonight! Just to make sure, is the photo without the panko?
I made this last night for the kids. And they loved it! Thank you for sharing with us.
Thank you, Jamie!
Made these tonight for dinner and wow they were amazing! Husband and children loved them!
Only thing I did differently was letting the tenders sit longer in the buttermilk.
Will definitely be making these again!
Will low fat 1% buttermilk be ok?
I’m sure it will!
Delicious just the way it is! Thank you!
Delicious. Used crispy crushed ritz crackers & crushed rice Chex. My grandson said this was the best chicken ever!
Why do I not get the thick crispy breading, mine always look flat and have no crunch. I feel like there is some secret trick that is not listed on any recipe because I’ve tried them all. Your photo looks like what I’m going for the most though.
Hi, Your oil is not consistently hot enough or you may have too many pieces of chicken in the skillet. If the oil doesn’t keep it’s consistent temp, the breading will fall off as it’s cooking. Overcrowding can make turning chicken harder to do and the breading will fall off. Also.T try to turn the chicken only once or twice. The first turn shouldn’t be until the chicken is golden brown on it’s cooking side. Frying temp between 350 degrees and 375 degrees. Hope that helps.
Made these tonight. Didn’t have buttermilk so I substituted whole milk with lemon juice. Worked like a charm! Best homemade chicken tenders I’ve ever made, my dad had 5 pieces!!
Chicken Tenders are the best! So happy everyone loves them, Thank you for your support!
i tried this and it came out really well for the first time. Although i did create a doughy mess that stuck everywhere once the buttermilk gets into the flour bowl. Would it be worth removing the chicken from the butter milk and letting them drip a bit before dredging?
Totally up to you!
My crust fell off no good
too salty for my taste. not crispy at all. when I fried them to deep gold in an attempt to make them crispy chicken was over cooked.
Read all reviews. Heres what i did. Doubled all spices except salt. Used 3 tsps seasoned salt. Added onion powder & a splash of cajun spice. Patted fingers DRY after removing from marinate. Pressed into flour with fingers to get a good coat. Shook off excess. Dipped in egg & let it drain off & repeated pressing flour into chicken. Placed on waxed paper in fridge for 30 mins to set. Deep fried as directed in clean oil & they turned out just like ur pic. Perfect. This will be my go to recipe! Thank you!
Thank you Dan!
LOL your right on = this recipe is a guild and a pretty good one , for some people that cant cook lol , I am a real good cook and I but you are also = you looked up this recipe for a guild = I did this also = I knew id change it = thanks , for your take on this = I will be using yours for my base = but I am adding a few thingys of my own
Can you cook these in an air fryer and get a similar crispiness? Also, if you don’t want spice, do you leave out the hot sauce? Lastly, does the MSG add flavor? Can you do it without the MSG and still have a tasty chicken?
Hi! I have not tried these in the air fryer so I don’t know the level of crispy they would get. As for spice, I have seasoning options in the blog on how to make it different flavors, and the MSG does add flavor as well.
I haven’t tried this yet, but I will really soon. I have a question though. Previously when I try to fry up some chicken, the crispy breading would separate from the chicken after frying. I’m left with chunks of fried breading and bare chicken. What am I doing wrong? I’ve tried the flour-egg-flour method. Someone said to put it in the fridge to dry the chicken before breading it and I still get the same result.
Hi! We do a Buttermilk Marinade for this which helps stick the breading.
It sounds like the temp of your oil may be off. Also, if you put the chicken on paper towels to drain it will make it soggy and the breading will fall off. Use cooling racks placed over a cookie sheet to drain. Hope this helps.
Absolutely fantastic. I followed the directions as written. Easy to make and my family loved it.
Thanks for the 5 stars, JL.
Too much pepper and ginger!! Had to throw out the whole mix
Did I miss something I do not see any ginger in this recipe?
Artiste, my apologies but there isn’t any ginger in this recipe?
Ginger?? Ginger doesn’t go into this. . . . .why would anyone put ginger into fried chicken tenders anyway? Did you even give a single nanosecond to re-read this before making it public? (That was a rhetorical question)
The kfc spice actually has ginger in it. At least the one I found online does.
Actually, it is true. Ground ginger is in the recipe touted to be authentic. To read a fascinating story about how Colonel Sanders’ nephew came to have the 11 spices recipe, google KFC Dan Mikesell, then click on Copycat KFC Chicken-Oven Fried. I have not tried it yet, but will soon.
If you love bacon, you get 2-thumbs up.
KFC Spice blend: Marion Kay 99x. Read their back story. It’s the 11 herbs and spices (99) plus one more (X). This nails the seasoning. They recommend 2C flour/1-1/2 Tbsps salt/1 Tbsp 99x). For my taste buds it’s 2C flour/3 Tbsps salt/6 Tbsps 99x/1 tsp MSG.
If brining pieces overnight, reduce salt to 1-1-1/2 Tbsps. I recommend starting with their recommended measurements, then tweak from there. When brining, I use 1 Tbsp salt per pound of chicken pieces with enough water to cover well. Bag, chill over night; drain, blot dry then proceed with the recipe. The chicken is so moist and tender this way. For extra crispy coating, bake in a 350°F oven for 15-20 minutes.
I’m really after the gorgeous craggy coating shown on your photos. I’ll let you know soon if I have achieved that.
Will the hot sauce make these spicy? I’m making them for my 3 year old and she hates even a hint of spicy.
You can leave it out if you’d like. It does add a hint of spice to it.
Absolutely perfect recipe no changes needed! We live way out in the mountains so quick grocery stops aren’t an option, so I keep powdered buttermilk on hand – worked perfectly for this. I fried them in a combo of Safflower oil & tallow from our beef, they turned out so good, served them with air fried yukon french fries – my family absolutely loved dinner. I mostly cook low carb but every now and then I like to throw in something like this for a real treat, I will continue to use this recipe from now on. This is one of those rare recipes you don’t have to tweak or add a lot of spices to make it palatable. So glad I found it, thank you!
You just made my day, Liz. Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know.
Can you do these in a ninja foodie and if so what degree and how long
I haven’t tested it using one but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
I used tenderloins, came out great for someone that struggles frying chicken.
Glad you decided to give it a try, Doug.
This is my third recipe I have tried from you and you now have a devoted fan. All were fantastic! I have a dozen more marked to try.
Made this tonight and they were super! Crispy and so juicy inside. Now if there is a secret to avoiding the mess we made doing it I’d love to know but the taste was outstanding!
You can always use a splatter guard to help with the mess. So glad you enjoyed it!
I used a deep fryer outside which made it much easier from a mess stand point and it also avoid the lingering smell of fried food in the house.
That’s smart! My mom used to do that too.
I am terrible at frying chicken. My family loves KFC mashed potato bowls so I thought I give it another go. NEVER have I ever fried chicken without breadcrumbs. I was skeptical to say the least. But this turned out amazing!!! I can hear the crunch! This was hands down the best fried chicken! My husband said, “you need to leave a great review “ Never using bread crumbs again!
Yay!! I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know.
Saw this, made this, Loved it! As is. Come to your site often for recipes; Thank you for sharing & caring!
I’m so glad you love the site and the recipes! Thanks for the 5 stars, Rene’
Followed the directions thoroughly and the recipe was bland. The process might be right but the amount of seasoning is lacking. Had to serve it with sauce, and a slaw to cover up the lack of flavor.
Thanks so much for this recipe. I too added much more seasonings and spices to the flour (we like spicy food). But the process and recommendations was SPOT ON. I was actually wanting to replicate the Chicken Bowls from a famous Fried Chicken Chain. The first time I pretty much made the chicken, I cut them into longer tenders and they turned out great. But for the bowl with mashed potatoes, gravy and corn, I decided to cut the chicken in to nugget size. I stilled followed the process of soaking them in buttermilk over night then dredging them in seasoned flour, egg (added water to the egg) and one again seasoned flour. Frying took less time for the smaller pieces and I the taste was FABULOUS!!! I got great review for the 10-15 people I served on a wintery day. Classic comfort food. Thanks for this great recipie!
That bowl sounds amazing! Thanks for the 5 stars, Grace.
My family and I loved them and it’s made me never want to cook them any other way again because it was amazing
Wow, thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know.
Just made this – completely perfect! Thanks for the recipe!
You’re welcome, Kelli.
I tried this recipe but I found it to be lacking in flavor due to not enough spice in the flour! I would at least double the amount of every spice listed or even triple the amount!
Outstanding! I marinated my chicken breasts in buttermilk overnight, the spices were perfect…and they fried up with very crispy. This one goes in my recipe book for sure! My family loved them! Thank you for the help. I’ll be seeking out more of your recipes!
Fantastic! I look forward to seeing you around the site, Deba.
Made this for the fam and they tore into them like they hadn’t ate in months. A good and easy recipe. Thumbs up to Dinner for Dessert
Haha, that sounds like a winner to me! Thanks for the 5 stars, Alfredo.
Wonderfully crispy. I added extra spices tho
I think it was the baking powder I think it make crunchy is cornstarch and panko
I made the tenders it turned black what did I do wrong and it wasn,t crispy it was like general tow
Let’s troubleshoot. Were you measuring the temperature of the oil? Was there enough oil in the pot? Usually if it blackens too quickly your oil is running too hot. Would love to help out, this is a family favorite recipe we use often.
How can I convert this recipe to airfryer?
I’ve not tested it using one but if you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked out for you. Thanks!
I made these last night. It was kind of bland tasting and the batter was not crunchy, except for the edges. The batter did stay on the chicken well, but it was just kind of soft, not the crunchy recipe I’m looking for.
It was absolutely delicious!! Will be making again for sure.
Great recipe, easy to make and very tasty! I grabbed vindaloo spice instead of the paprika by mistake lol!! It still tasted great tho! 🙂
Super easy to make and tastes sooo good. This was my first attempt at making fried chicken. I bought a new deep frier and wanted to try it out.
Glad you decided to give it a try.
So Good my kids picky eaters loved it
So did me and my husband thanks for a grate recipe a keeper for sure
Part of the breast is the tenderloin. You can buy a pack of all tenderloins in the chicken section of the meat dept fresh!
Constantly making this! The chicken is so flavorful I haven’t bought fried chicken since discovering this recipe. Thank you very much for sharing !
Both our kids are picky and they LOVED these! Lots of flavor. We will definitely be making these again.
Sounds like a great easy recipe. One question..what kind of hot sauce do you recommend ? Tabasco? Tapatio? Thanks sop much!??
You can use whatever you prefer but I like Franks Red Hot pepper sauce. Enjoy!
I love this recipe so much! I used my air fryer, and it was very successful. 380 for 10 minutes, flip the pieces, then cook for 10 minutes longer. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!
use oinion powder, garlic powder,seasoned salt, on chicken before marinating
Seen this recipe just after I had cooked mine and seen yours is exactly the way I cook mine. Nut while family love them. There are never any left. The only difference is I do use the Panko. It gives that extra crispy everyone loves. And the buttermilk makes all the difference in the world and didn’t know this til just recently. But grateful I did. But I didn’t know you could add lemon juice 96th vinegar to regular milk to get the same result. Thanks for that tip. But just wanted to say I was glad to see the same recipe already in writing that I use. Only difference is I use different spicies. But Its all just a matter of taste of the person that is making them and who they are making them for. So everyone out there. Use whatever spicies you want. Just make sure you marinate in buttermilk. Then go into the floor then the egg. Then into the panko. They’ll come out great every single time. And make sure your oil is good and hot before you out in the chicken. I always get alit’l water on my finger and fling it into the oil. If it pops. Its ready to go. Happy cooking everyone.
Remember everyone who reads this. To let your chicken sit in the fridge for at least 15-20 mins. Before frying or baking. This will give the chicken a chance to bind with the breading.
Follow this formula and you will succeed every time.
Marinate chicken for 3 hrs in buttermilk/ or cream. Make sure to season the mixture.
Then when ready to try. Mix eggs with cream until perfectly blended. Then follow this step below:
From the marinade into all purpose flour with seasoning…
Then into the egg wash
Then into the final coating be it flour or bread crumb.
Let the costed chicken sit for 15 minutes in the fridge without touching it.
Straight from FLOUR TO OIL -Colonel Sanders
I never thought abt letting out sit so the seasonings could bind. Thanks for the tip. I’ll be trying that the next time. But I kinda disagree abt adding cream to my eggs. Cuz I want the gooeyness of the eggs cuz it makes the panko or flour stick so much better. Its really more of a quick dunk than actually submerging. But everything else you said makes alot of sense. So I’m gonna try it. Thanks so much.
I just cooked this using bite size pieces of chicken tenderloin and it was the best fried chicken! I work at a chicken restaurant and my homeade was so much better! I will definitely be using this recipe again!
Though I followed your recipe to a T. , my chicken did not come out with a crispy skin such as the ones in the pics. The outer part came out more like a thin flour covering – even though I used so many eggs in the end; the last few pieces of chicken took alot of eggs because by then the egg bowl had so much flour in it, that it was just absorbing the eggs. Another thing – towards the middle, the oil became a frothy mess . I was sooo disappointed – my ‘crispy’ chicken nuggets came out like soft covered chicken nuggets – I really need to understand what to do about the crispiness, the oil & the eggs.
It sounds like you might need to dredge less or not make it as thick when dredging…does that make sense? That would cause too much coming off in the egg and making the oil frothy. Try and have a lighter hand or make a few batches to swap out in between if that happens again. Hope this helps!
First time frying chicken in over 25 years. It was easy and delicious. I probably could have gone a little more golden, but they were still good
Glad you decided to give it a try!
I have a 10 year old who will only eat chicken strips from KFC. I googled “KFC chicken strips” and this recipe popped up in the results, so I gave it a whirl. Like others have said below, I cranked up the paprika and garlic powders as I thought 1/8 tsp would leave it quite bland. Otherwise, I followed it and used my little deep fryer to cook them in (minus the suggestion of using “Accent”).
He took one bite and excitedly shouted “These taste just like KFC!”, so this recipe is going into the favorites.
Thanks for sharing it!
Yay!! Thanks for coming back to let me know, Art.
After reading this recipe because I wanted to try the oven baked version, I was really disappointed because there were no directions about the breading with breadcrumbs for the baked version. I was always taught never assume when writing a recipe, Confused in Ohio.
In the post, there are directions for the oven baked version. Hope this helps clear up any confusion.
Good recipe. I used more garlic and paprika then the recipe called for, also added a little onion powder. I normally season my chicken and the coating but in this case, followed the recipe. The chicken was not as rich as i would have liked. Next time, I’ll try that. Also, the store had 0 buttermilk. I googled a substitute, milk and for each cup add 1tsp of vinegar. Turned out great and you couldn’t taste the vinegar. Also, great idea placing the fingers in the oven. All and all, happy with the recipe and fingers came out nice, tasty and crispy.
My kids (17, 13 & 7) all loved these! I did add a few extra dashes of Tabasco to the buttermilk and a bit more of each spice and finished with a little salt after they came out of the oil. They turned out just like the photo and none were left behind. Will be making again soon.
What can I use in place of buttermilk ? If I don’t have any.
You can make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Hope this helps!
1/4 cup of milk whisked together with 3/4 cup sour cream
the seasoning is not enough, tasteless. sorry.
I didn’t have buttermilk. Measured 1tsp lemon juice and filled the rest of the cup with milk. Turned out amazing!
I made them and they were tasty however, they didn’t turn out to be like the ones in your photo. They were crispy but I was hoping they would turn out just like the ones you made. I used everything in the recipe. Did you use breadcrumbs to give them the texture like the ones in the photo?
I didn’t, I only used the ingredients in the recipe card.
Why don’t you try to substitute yogurt instead of buttermilk it’s delicious as well some allperpus seasoning, crushed garlic
I made these for my family and they loved them! I tossed them into buffalo sauce to give them more flavor and they were delicious! The only thing I would say is add a little more spices or what not to give it that extra flavor.
Made this recipe today!! Worked out great tenders were so crispy , only thing was I tripled the recipe but found could of used a little more seasoning, but ground some black pepper and salt ontop and they worked out so good! Definitely adding to my recipe book , family favourite!!
I have made this several times ! My husband loves it I like that it is made with boneless chicken breast
So glad you love it so much!
The pics of chicken make me hungry.
I fixed this recipe yesterday and it was a hit.
The strips came out good for the most part. However, I honestly don’t see the point in adding hot sauce to the buttermilk, the breading all fell off with the first bite, and if anyone wants more of a kick I suggest added crushed red pepper to the flour mix.
liked the recipe real tasty
You cannot cut a chicken breast into tenders.
They are called “tenders” because they are made from chicken tenderloin.
Otherwise, recipe is good 🙂
This is the funniest comment!
Please, please tell me where the chicken tenderloin is on the chicken so the next time i can make these properly.
He’s actually correct. It is a part of the breast. That is why some places serve chicken tenderloins or tenders and others serve chicken strips. Some don’t know any better and call it whatever they want to. Chicken tenderloins are premium in my opinion. I absolutely prefer them. But a sliced chicken breast aka chicken strips go a lot further when feeding a crowd, on a budget or just don’t care. I do both, but I prefer tenders.
When I make chicken tenders I like to add many spices from the cabinet. As well as some salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.. I also like to add a little onion powder, ground mustard…**Also** I add a packet of ranch dressing seasoning to the dry flour mix and it really adds a LOT of good flavor to your chicken tenders. A lady I worked with for years that makes great soul food recommended this to me and I’ve been making them this way ever since. Happy frying! 🙂
Can you make this an air fryer?
I don’t know what I did wrong as followed the recipe to a t but my super crispy chicken nuggets weren’t that crispy
Hello Courtney, about how much of a portion do you put of the ground mustard? If you don’t mind me asking. for years I try to look for a good recipe and tonight is the night I think I’m going to try it finally. Wish me luck and thank you to all and Sabrina very much for all of this yummy cooking to be so delicious & to be possible for me to make.
Really nice but the seasoning wasn’t flavoursome enough. But really nice and crispy. Will make again. Any ideas on what else could be added to the seasoning?
Depending on how much spice and heat you like, you can always add in some red pepper or chili powder. Also, feel free to up the amounts of the other spices, especially the garlic powder and the black pepper.
add hot sauce to the buttermilk, It won’t be overly spicy. I have marinated before in straight up hot sauce.
These were delicious! Super crunchy and cooked well. I soaked a little longer than suggested in buttermilk and loved the taste! Will definitely use again.
So glad you liked them! They are a big favorite of my kids and me!
This was so delicious. Thank you for sharing.
You’re welcome! Glad you liked it!
Can i substitute flour with whole wheat flour?
Your metric conversion is crazy. Dry measures should be in grams. Liquid measurements in liters.
So sorry you feel that way. I use universal measurements that the majority of home cooks are comfortable with. If you are comfortable around using a scale, I say feel free to convert the measurements 🙂
Wow, you handled that rude comment from Paul very well. Even if he had legitimate suggestion to make, he definitely should have started with “Thank you for the recipe” and then offering his suggestion respectfully. Well done, and thank you for the recipe!
“Crazy” and “Should be” are pretty rude and pointless judgments. One gram weighs one milliliter. Same same as far as a recipe is concerned. Whether you put a bowl or measuring cup on a scale and weigh liquid in grams or flour in milliliters you’ll get the same amount. Find something legitimate to complain about.
I’m unable to have casien, so instead of buttermilk, I added a tablespoon melted ghee to 2 cups soy milk. It worked great and was very delicious! Even my sister, who hates chicken, LOVED it!
What a great swap – thanks for sharing! So glad to hear that you enjoyed. 🙂
Hi Sabrina, this recipe looks delicious! But I have a quick question for the oven recipe. Since your adapted directions don’t reference the eggs (but it does direct to dredge) can you confirm whether I would still use the eggs? Thanks in advance! I can’t wait to try this recipe!
So sorry I missed this! I would leave out the eggs, too much moisture will keep them from getting crispy. Let me know how it turns (turned) out!
Made these for dinner. I did let the chicken breast slices soak in the buttermilk overnight. They were so tender. Now, mine did not look like the photo, but they were crunchy and tender. I tried to keep the oil as close to 350 degrees as possible, which was hard to do. I would love to see a video of the preparation of this recipe, as I never know if I am breading the chicken correctly. I will try the baking option next time, as I typically only fry about once a year! Great recipe!
Glad you liked the recipe. Thanks for the feedback, hopefully we can get more videos out to you in the future! Let me know how the baking option goes!
As I don’t like canola oil, would I be able to use peanut oil instead? Or would that alter the flavor? Thanks for all the great recipes!
Sure, just know that it will mildly adjust the flavor. Enjoy!
Can I substitute something for buttermilk??
You need to use buttermilk but can make your own combining 1 cup of milk and either 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and then let sit for 5 minutes before using. Good luck!
Thank you! I don’t have buttermilk, but I do have lemon juice and milk, I am trying this tonight!! Thank you for a great recipe!!
Tried your Black Pepper Chicken for dinner last night. Delicious. Better than Panda Express!! Healthier too.
Thank you. Love your recipes.
These chicken Tenders were amazing!! Thank you so much for a great recipe!
You’re welcome! Thanks for the 5 stars.
Is this spicy?
No, they’re not spicy at all. Enjoy!
This recipe is delicious and something my whole family loves! I just wanted to mention Sabrina, your recipes are so easy to make and most of the ingredients are already in our kitchens ?. I enjoy and look forward to getting your new recipes each week. I have made so many and have so many new “favourites”. Thank you!
That’s so kind of you to say, Debbie!
You can exchange regular flower with Almond flower and us baking soda instead of baking powder for more crunch. These two changes will make it Keto friendly!
Thanks for the suggestions!
Cooked this last night .. OMG THE BEST CHICKEN TENDERS EVER !!!!!
Can you leave the chicken in the buttermilk longer than 30 mins? Of so, whats the longest you can leave them soaking?
Yes, you can leave it soaking in the fridge overnight if needed. Enjoy!
These were absolutely wonderful!!! My husband’s favorite! Thank you so much for this recipe.
Loved it!! Only change was I added pickle juice instead of vinegar to my milk to make the buttermilk. It gave it a distinct dilly flavor and extra saltiness. Awesome recipe. Leftovers were great in the air fryer the next day.
Thanks for dropping by to let me know! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it!
Could I use almond milk to make buttermilk?
You don’t address the hot sauce, which is a liquid. Probably wouldn’t work well here, you might want to use simple cayenne pepper powder.
Not quite sure what your question is but I used the hot sauce with the buttermilk in this recipe (step 1).
Hope this clears it up.
These were very good, very flavorful. I did double the spices to the flour as well as pre seasoned the chicken. It’s always nice to find a recipe the kids will enjoy.
I just found this recipe and want to try could I use whole milk if I don’t have any buttermilk? Please reply
You can make your own buttermilk by taking 1 cup of milk and adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. Hope this helps. Enjoy!
Can you use cow milk for this ?
You need to use buttermilk but you can make your own by combining 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon on either lemon juice or vinegar. Stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. Hope this helps!
Hi just wanted to know if i can make a big batch and freeze? I can then defrost and crumb to put in the oven. Will this work?
Yes, I would flash freeze them in a single layer after they’ve been made and then store them in a freezer safe container. To reheat, place it in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!
Hi! Me again… wondering if you get better results if the flour coating stays dry or if it becomes batter like from resting before frying?
I think you’ll be good either way. You can always try it both ways and see if it makes a big difference for you.
Thank you!! This is the closest we have come to restaurant quality fried tenders. The seasonings were perfect. I marinaded the chicken in buttermilk and salt before I found this recipe so I cut down the salt in the flour and it worked. I halved the recipe so basically just threw in dashes of the seasoning and it was perfect. It takes a lot to get added to our rotation so thank you!!
I feel honored! Thanks so much for the 5 stars.
I wonder which breadcrumbs you used in the picture. Was it Panko? As it seems soo crispy but I can’t imagine it that crispy with only flour!
I didn’t use any breadcrumbs for the ones in the picture. 🙂
I couldn’t get my chicken to come out as crispy as yours. The colour wasn’t right either. Any tips?
Make sure not to overcrowd the pan while frying. That’ll help to get them crispy. Also, make sure the oil temperature is hot enough. Hope this helps for next time.
Can this be made in my air fryer??
I haven’t tested it but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!
Did you try it in the air fryer? Cause I was just thinking the same thing!
This was a super good recipe. The buttermilk does the trick for moist chicken. I only wished I would have put less chicken in the oil. A few at a time is the key. Otherwise it’s too crowded & the crispy flakes come off. Sorry no pictures, mine was not pretty. But TASTY
I have always done all the cooking at home. I made these tonight and my wife said I had overdone myself this time. She vowed to never eat chicken tenders from any where else again other than mine.
Hi can I use shortening instead of oil? I plan to make them tonight
So sorry I didn’t see this earlier. You can use shortening for frying. I hope they turned out good!
Just tried this recipe for the first time last night. It was AMAZING!!!! WE used 64 oz of oil in a dutch oven and it was the perfect amount of oil. At 350 degrees they cooked very quickly 3-4 minutes but the cutlets were super thin. This is a winner and we’ll be making again!
So glad you enjoyed it, Sal! Thanks for the 5 stars!
Hi there! Would you recommend making popcorn chicken and fried wings with this recipe?
Hmm, popcorn chicken would probably work but breading such small pieces might be a challenge. As far as fried wings go I think because the meat is hidden in between the bone, it won’t be cooked before the outside gets to dark. I’m not sure it would work. Sorry.
If I up the amount of spices, do I also need to increase the amount of baking powder?
Making these for dinner tonight so want to make sure I don’t screw it up lol
I found the addition of dipping in egg and the inclusion of baking powder in the flour made the coating more bread than crust and separated from the meat…I would keep the baking powder but skip the eggs…if crunchier coating desired just double dip between buttermilk & flour.
Can these be frozen?
Yes, I would recommend freezing them after they’ve been made. Flash freeze them completely in a single layer and then store them in a freezer safe ziplock bag. To reheat, place in the oven at 375 degrees 20-30 minutes. Hope this helps!
Hello, may i know, what flour do you use ?
I used all purpose flour for this recipe. I hope you enjoy them!
Can I use pablo bread crumbs as well as flour? Tuen out the same?
I would suggest making them in the oven if you’re adding a bread crumb coating. Enjoy!
Were these really spicy on 1-10 scale! Or should I leave hot sauce out! They look really good just was wanting to know spicy factor!
They’re not spicy so you should be fine!
If we were to decide to add the accent seasoning do we replace the salt with it or add that on top of the salt the recipe already calls for??
You’ll want to omit the salt if you’re using the accent seasoning.
Can i not use hot sauce with the buttermilk i do not like spicy.
You can leave it out if you’d like. 🙂
I made these for 4th of July- while the rest of the country was BBQing we fried! It was my first time deep frying anything and I’m so glad I picked this recipe they came out really good and everyone loved them. Thank you
Haha, nothing wrong with frying on the fourth!! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Could I make these using a Skillet to cook them in?
Yes, you’ll just want to make sure that it’s deep enough to be able to fry the chicken. I like using a dutch oven because the sides are high which means less splattering and clean up.
Wow!! The fingers were heavenly! This recipe is my families new favourite!!
Hello! How much of the accent seasoning is needed for this recipe?
This recipe doesn’t require the accent seasoning. The original KFC recipe does and I wanted to include it in case others were interested in it.
Where’s the Accent used?? I’m missing it.
I didn’t use it for my recipe because it’s MSG. I just wanted to give the information if others wanted to use it.
I’m always on the lookout for a great fried chicken tenders recipe and these look perfect!
Made these today with some mac-n-cheese, so good!
Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you loved it!
From the reviews, I’m assuming the amount of spices indicated are enough to give the tenders that KFC flavor…My husband doesn’t like spicy & I do, so he would probably like that amount of spices in the recipe.
Will let you know how they turn out. They will probably become a regular in my meal rotation.
Looks delicious. Could you do this in the oven ?
It really won’t be as crispy in the oven. You might be able to do just a light breadcrumb coating and try it in the oven that way.
I made this for my boys Wednesday evening. They gobbled it all up lickity-split!
Love it!! Definitely kid approved!
Did they really crisp like the picture?
I’m definitely making these for my picky grandchildren one night this week. They are always at my house on Thursday nights. I know they will go nuts for them. I’m also looking forward to them, they look SO good.
These look super crispy! ! I have to make them!
The crispier the better for me!! YUM!
I absolutely love a chicken tender like this!! So crunchy!
They’re the best!!
I love a good crunchy chicken tender and these sound perfect.
Doesn’t get much better than super crispy chicken just like this! Lo Is so delicious!
Those look like absolute perfection!
Wowza I can practically taste these through the screen!!
They really need to come up with that technology!!
i think my husband would marry me all over again if i made these for him!
You can serve them at your vow renewal, haha!
Can I make these in a air fryer?
I haven’t tested it but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Thanks!