Buttermilk Chicken TendersJump to Recipe
Chicken tenders are always a guaranteed successful dinner at House Macheesmo. My kids love them. These Buttermilk Chicken Tenders are some of the best I’ve made and have a crispy, crunchy breading.
I prefer to fry these chicken tenders in a cast iron skillet with a shallow oil setup, but you could air fry them if you wanted or bake them! Frying them traditionally in cast iron will lead to the best crust though!
Serve them with any dip you like (my kids like honey) or I mix up a spicy hot honey for the adults (honey + hot sauce).
Breading Chicken Tenders
I like to let the chicken strips marinate in the buttermilk for at least an hour. The buttermilk keeps them really juicy and gives them a nice flavor. At least let them sit for a few minutes if nothing else.
For the breading, I like flour and traditional spices plus some baking powder which helps the breading crisp up a bit.
The Tip for Super Crispy Chicken Tenders
I can’t remember where I learned this, but it’s one of my favorite tricks any time I’m frying chicken. Add a few spoonfuls of the buttermilk to the flour mixture and stir it in. This will make little clumps of the breading.
Then dip in the chicken tenders and coat them well in the breading. They will end up having a really uneven coating on them, which is actually a good thing. All of those uneven edges and valleys will lead to very crispy crust!
I recommend breading all the chicken tenders before frying them.
Frying the Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
If you are frying these in a cast iron skillet, which is how I like to cook them, add enough oil to the skillet to come up the edge about 1/2-inch. It doesn’t take much.
When the oil is hot (350˚F or when flour sizzles immediately) then add your tenders in batches. Cook for about 8 minutes. Always test a large tender to make sure it is cooked through!
Baking the Chicken Tenders
If you don’t want to fry these bad boys, you can bake them in a 375˚F oven. I recommend spraying the chicken tenders with some oil to avoid sticking and help the breading crisp up. They will need to bake for 20-25 minutes.
How to Serve the Chicken Tenders
I recommend serving these chicken tenders with any dip of your choosing. Popular at my house is honey, BBQ sauce, ketchup, or even ranch. Personally, I like to add some dashes of hot sauce to honey to make a hot honey dip. YUM.
Serve these with some fries, a salad, or any steamed vegetable to round out the plate!
These buttermilk chicken tenders are always a hit at my house and also reheat really well if you want to make them in advance.
To reheat them place them in a 350˚F oven for a few minutes until they are sizzling and hot. Microwaving them is okay but the crust will get a bit soggy.
For a classic crispy chicken tender, try these Buttermilk Chicken Tenders! Easy to make and perfect for the kiddos. For the adults, I serve them with a side of spicy honey dip!
- In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cut chicken breasts into thin strips that are about 3 inches long. Add strips to buttermilk and let chill for an hour in the fridge.
- When ready to fry, whisk together all-purpose flour with salt, pepper, baking powder, garlic powder, paprika, Italian seasoning. Scoop out a few tablespoons of buttermilk from the marinade and drizzle it into the flour to form clumps.
- Remove chicken strips, letting extra buttermilk drip off. Add to flour mix and coat well. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet to rest while you bread the rest of the chicken tenders.
- When all chicken tenders are breaded, heat about two cups of oil in a sturdy skillet over medium-high heat. The oil only needs to go up 1/2-inch or so in the pan. Heat until the oil is 350˚ F or a pinch of flour sizzles immediately in the oil.
- Fry the chicken tenders in batches, not to crowd the pan, until they are golden brown on all sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Test a tender by cutting it in half or use a thermometer to test the internal temperature of a larger chicken tender (should be 165˚ F.)
- Remove cooked chicken tenders from skillet and add to a plate with paper towel to drain. Serve with dips of your choicing!