Perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders

I’m thinking that being able to make an honest to goodness crispy chicken tender — just like way better than what you’d buy at some fancy, expensive restaurant should make you a really valuable woman. Don’t you think? I expect the marriage proposals to come flooding in–non-stop.

Ok, no I don’t. But I’ll tell you this…

If I was married to some cute little farmer man–maybe even with a Scottish accent—he would be falling madly in love with me all over again because, you see, I’m magic.

I can make Crispy Chicken Tenders.

Oooh, ooooh, oooh–so can you…

Put two cups of flour in a bowl.

Add 1-1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt. If some other chickeny spices sound good to you, add them to the flour.  Personally, the seasoning salt works for me.

Soak a package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders in buttermilk for about 20 minutes. You may be asking, “how much buttermilk, lady. How much?” I’d say about 1-1/2 -2 cups. Save some for later.

Mix seasoning spices into the flour.

Ok, it’s later. Drizzle a few drops of butter milk onto the flour mixture. “Why?” you may ask. Well,  I can’t tell you yet.

Fluff the buttermilk drops into the flour mixture with a fork…

…until little crumbles form.

Dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture. Isn’t it cool how the crumbly pieces actually stick to the chicken? Remember the drizzling buttermilk? That’s why.

Deep fry the tenders until golden brown–about 3 minutes on each side.

Remove from heat and cool on paper towels. Look at all that crunchy stuff!

The temptation will be to grab one and take a big bite–but be warned–these things are dreadfully hot. So let them sit for awhile, while you make a salad or something.

Oh, I know…

How about if you just bask in the glow of perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders, and your magic-ness.

You’re gonna make lots of friends now.

And if you happen to see my little farmer man with the Scottish accent wandering around out there somewhere, nudge him in the right direction.

He really doesn’t know what he’s missing.

I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman. So there.
4.9 from 11 reviews
Perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders
  • 2 Cups flour
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt
  • Boneless Chicken--cut in strips
  • Buttermilk
  1. Put two cups of flour in a bowl.
  2. Add 1-1/2 Tbsp Seasoning Salt.
  3. Soak a package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders in buttermilk for about 20 minutes.
  4. Mix seasoning spices into the flour.
  5. Drizzle a few drops of butter milk onto the flour mixture
  6. Fluff the buttermilk drops into the flour mixture with a fork until little crumbles form.
  7. Dip each piece of chicken into the flour mixture.
  8. Deep fry the tenders until golden brown–about 3 minutes on each side.
  9. Remove from heat and cool on paper towels. Look at all that crunchy stuff!

71 Replies to “Perfect Crispy Chicken Tenders”

  1. Okay cute Launi dear, these look heavenly! Can I bake mine?? Pretty please?

    Is there such a thing as a scottish ward somewhere you could attend to find this cute little man? It seems like there are all kinds of other wards out there ie. polynesian, spanish, asian. Why couldn’t there be scottish??

    Have a lovely day ☼ I definitely need to come by with my little girl for a seive and a book. Love ya!

  2. Old Texas recipe that’s been in Granny’s kitchens…hidden!Hahaa…They’re Wonderful aren’t they?!!! Have a happy day sweetie!

  3. Do Scottish farmer men love crispy chicken tenders? I know I do, and I’m not Scottish, I’m not a farmer & I am definitely not a man. Sorry! Plus I am already married. lol. Recipe sounds good. The problem with my household is the men here love buffalo chicken strips. The hotter the better (I’d rather have your recipe). My stepson Jesse makes some pretty fabulous buffalo chicken strips. Maybe next time he makes some, I’ll make your recipe for little old me. Then there will finally be peace in the world. Aren’t you a miracle worker!

  4. I have been makeing some pretty kick **** (hinny) chicken fingers lately, but I will have to try yours next time… they look REALLY good! maybe for dinner tonight!

  5. These were great! 🙂 Nice work! You’ll have to thank Pioneer Woman for me! 😉 I love when it’s new recipe time around here! Yay!!!

  6. Anyone looking for a scottish farmer man should go to a scottish country pub in the winter. The place will be packed with them!

  7. you are a freaking genius! thank you soooo much for sharing! i have tried way to many “chrispy” chicken recipes, and none of them even came close to yours. i’m not joking, i tried an egg dip, flour, milk, bread crumbs, corn flakes.. nothing worked! This was sooooo yummy! better than KFC, i love it! Thanks

  8. Loving this recipe! Its so simple yet tastes so amazing! Thanks for sharing!!! 😛

  9. Have you tried to re-dip them in the buttermilk one more time, just wondering. Also, have you tried this recipe with a whole bird.

    Think I know what I am cooking for dinner. Thanks.

  10. No on both counts. But you might lose some of the crumbles if you re-dip…I don’t know. If you do it, please let me know how it works. :}

  11. No on both counts. You might lose some of the crumbles if you re-dip…I don’t know. If you try it, please let me know how it works. :}

  12. These are excellent and sooo easy! Everyone in the family loves them. A new family favorite. Thanks!!

  13. Thank u so much , this was an easy recipe and especially when i have a small baby makes cooking much easier. Hope my husband will love it as he loves crunchy chicken.

  14. Made these tonight and they were sooooo good! My teenager even said they were better than Zaxby’s. LOL.

  15. I’m gonna make it right now, but i don’t have buttermilk this time, so i’ll use regular milk i don’t know if it’s gonna get crispy.

  16. Yes and finally, i love popeyes tenders but going out isn’t doable all the time and really not practical, but i’ve been dying trying to figure out how to make my chicken strips as crispy as there. Guess i just found out how they do it.

  17. Sorry, I’m just seeing this now. For next time, if you don’t have buttermilk–just use one cup of regular milk and add 1 Tbsp lemon juice. Wait a minute or so and POOF! You have buttermilk…or as good as. :}

  18. I can’t speak for Scottish farmers but this Irish carpenter is very grateful for your recipe. I had to make the substitute buttermilk but the flavor and crunchiness was still wonderful. Thanks!

  19. Irish carpenter hmm? Well, you made my silly heart thunk a bit this morning. ;} Thanks for that. So glad you liked the recipe. :}

  20. I’ve made these three times since last week when I found this recipe. I think they are wonderful, however I have a little problem… The first time they came out perfectly, but the next two times they came out crispy and them after they cooled and I bit into them all the breeding fell off! I did the recipe the same way each time, but somehow I must have done something wrong because they didn’t turn out quite right. The second and third time I made these there was a little less oil in the skillet so maybe that’s it. I use an oil filled skillet to cook them…anyway, please tell me what I’m doing wrong!!!! Thank you so much!

  21. Also, the chicken itself wasn’t as moist and juicy the second and third time I made this recipe, please help!!! Thanks again!

  22. I had the very same problem when I didn’t immerse them in oil. It was almost like by cooking them on one side and then the other it made the breading fall off. I wonder if the chicken needs to cook all at one time for it to work. I used an actual deep fryer to make mine and it worked perfectly. There something about the DEEP frying that seems to be the key. Please let me know if we have found the solution.

  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for responding to me so quickly! I’m going to try again soon and I’ll let you know how it turns out! By the way when my husband saw me making these…they looked so good and crunchy until he just had too try one…the kicker is…he’s a vegetarian!!! 😛

  24. this sounds very good, i never thought of adding some sprinkles of buttermilk to the flour, i have done the buttermilk soaking many times, however, i add 1 egg to it just for a little sticking power! thank you for the posting…

  25. I love this! Going to make it for sure this month! Love the step by step photos, made it incredibly easy for me. I was looking at other recipes and it was too complicated. Thanks so much!! 😀

  26. This recipe sounds amazing! Do you know exactly what sort of herbs/spices are in the seasoning mix? Thanks!

  27. Actually, for this one I just used Seasoning Salt and that was it. I just know that plenty of people like all kinds of crazy seasonings, and they would work just fine. We’re just simple folks. 😉

  28. :grin:I can’t wait to try these, this is the first recipe I pulled up for crispy chicken tenders. I’m

  29. I made these yesterday and was disappointed.. not sure if I made them right. I followed the instructions and after frying them I put them on a paper towel to drain and they got soggy within a couple of minutes. So I tried putting them on a cookie rack, but they still got soggy. The batter also didn’t stick very well once I took them out of the oil. It peeled off really easy. Am I doing something wrong? I was so excited for this recipe 🙁 😥

  30. It really is a great recipe. I’m so sorry that it got weird for you. Dang it. Of course, I can’t say for sure what the problem was. But I know that when I made them I had to cook them longer than I thought I should or the breading would be soft. Also, if I didn’t DEEP fry them the breading fell off. There is just something about cooking the whole piece at the same time rather than in shallow oil and turning them. Did you cook them in a deep fryer or frying pan?

  31. @Launi, I didn’t deep fry it so that is probably where I went wrong. I will try it again with a deep fryer. Thanks!

  32. Do you use all-purpose flour or self rising?
    Looks great! My husband is the chicken strip chef here but I have a little one who has to go on a high protein diet so I need to learn for lunch!

  33. I have been living overseas for a decade now and wanted to try something new for my Argie gf considering I tend to reach for more elaborate dishes I wanted her to try some good ol´ crispy chicken strips, what do you know? they came out great ! I did make my own buttermilk and added a few drops of tabasco too, then left the chicken marinating on the fridge overnight and also added a pack of hiiden valley ranch mix to the flour and spices mix.
    Amazing was an understatement – Gracias from Argentina.

  34. I used a deep fryer on medium heat. If you use a skillet, I’d say about an inch and a half of oil. Heat the oil on medium low so that the flour bubbles when sprinkled in–but isn’t so hot that it burns easily. 😉

  35. Thank you for this recipe! I tried these with my new fry daddy and came out with some of the best chicken I’ve made, I’m eating them as I type this actually.
    My variations:
    -Instead of buttermilk, I used 2 cups of whole milk with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and let it sit a while before adding the chicken.
    -After the chicken sat in the milk/vinegar, I hand rubbed a thin layer of real mayonnaise on each tender then dipped them back in the milk/vinegar before adding them to the flour mixture
    -In the flour mixture I used the flour and seasoned salt as shown, a little Old Bay Seasoning and cracked black pepper
    My results:
    DELICIOUS, crispy, better-than-the-restraunts chicken tenders that were melt-in-your-mouth moist.
    They went great with Honey Roasted Garlic barbecue sauce.
    Thanks again for the recipe, I can’t wait to share these with friends and family!

  36. Launi…all I can say is that I found this recipe by accident and am So HAPPY I DID! I just finished deep frying a batch of these and they are by FAR the best fried tenders I’ve ever made! I will add that I altered the recipe because one of my daughters and I eat gluten-free so I used King Arthur’s multi purpose gluten-free flour. Wasn’t sure if it was going to be as tasty as yours – but as my husband said, “honey, I know these are gluten-free, but these are AWESOME!”

  37. Love your name, especially the spelling. Made this for dinner tonight and my husband and kids LOVED it! One said it tastes like zaxbys. I’ve tried to get crispies several different ways and never accomplished it until now. So thank you!!!

  38. 😆 Made these today they came out excellent glad i picked your post when i searched! i just tweeked the seasonings in flour i added some cayenne to make them alittle spicy and that did it !! thanks again for a good recipe!!! 😆

  39. How much chicken does this make?

    I have a large family that eats a TON … Usually I use about 3 pounds of chicken breast tenders.

    I can’t wait to try this tomorrow for my son’s 8th birthday (he asked for crispy chicken pieces like KFC)! But I’m sure I will need more than the recipe says.


  40. Sounds like you’ll need to at least double it. The good news is that even if you have to double or triple the recipe, you can add it to the bowl a cup at a time and use it as you need it. That way if you have some left over, you can just save it for the next time.

  41. If you’re using regular milk you can turn it essentially into buttermilk by stirring 1 tsp. of lemon juice or vinegar into one cup. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and stir again. It will work just fine. 😀

  42. I am wondering what kind of oil to use. I have olive oil or canola oil on hand. Would do you recommend?

    Should I put a lid on the skillet (like a deep fat fryer)?

    Can I save the oil and use it again for frying?

    Thank you.

  43. I have tried several recipes trying to get a crunchy coating and this is by far the best. After frying them I dipped them in Franks Red Hot that had a few tablespoons of melted butter mixed in. Then I baked them in the oven at 400 degrees to get them crunchy again. They were incredible! Boneless Buffalo wings! A little blue cheese and celery on the side and it was like eating out! Thanks for the great recipe.

  44. 😛 I made this for dinner tonight and my hubby told me it’s a keeper!! So simple but made my chicken nuggets so delicious. Thank you for posting this.. I found it on pinterest!

  45. Ok, I’m going to try these! I’m wondering what dipping sauce you recommend or if you have any recipes for sauces??

  46. I haven’t ever posted a sauce recipe–but I’ll tell you what I do. I take about 3 Tbsps of Ranch Dressing and add 1 Tbsp of Wishbone Italian dressing. You should try it sometime. It’s awesome. Great for salads of course, but as a dip too. 😀

  47. We headed out on a cross country RV trip. I made these for a roadside picnic. Make sure to bring them to room temperature before frying. If using cast iron, cold chicken will cool your oil. I also added 1T cornstarch to flour mixture for even more crunch. Nothing like cold, southern fried chicken! Thanks for the recipe.

  48. You can also use water instead of buttermilk. I soaked the strips in salt water instead of buttermilk and used water to make the crumbled flour mixture and it tasted great.

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