|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 48g||62%|
|Saturated Fat 10g||48%|
|Total Carbohydrate 38g||14%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 6mg||28%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
You may think chicken tenders are strictly the domain of bar food, takeout, or fast food, but making chicken tenders at home is easy. It allows you the opportunity to customize them exactly how you like them, and giving them a kick is just a matter of adding some heat. These spicy chicken strips are excellent for an everyday meal, tailgating, or as an appetizer for a party. Serve alongside homemade french fries, a green salad, and coleslaw.
This recipe works best with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. The chicken marinates in buttermilk, making it tender and juicy, along with garlic powder and hot sauce for flavor. Once marinated, the chicken strips are double-dipped in the spicy buttermilk and a seasoned flour mix to ensure a flavorful, crispy breading.
Buffalo wing sauce is easy to make, and the recipe will work great with your favorite hot sauce. You will also need a deep fryer or a large pan for the stovetop and a deep-frying thermometer to monitor the oil temperature.
1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup Buffalo wing sauce, or 1/4 to 1/2 cup of a similar hot sauce, such as Texas Pete or Frank's
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable oil
For serving: chipotle mayonnaise, Buffalo aioli, blue cheese or ranch dressing
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch strips, about 3 to 4 inches in length.
In a bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, wing sauce or hot sauce, and 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic powder.
Put the chicken strips in the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight.
In a large shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the flour, oregano, remaining garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and ground black pepper.
Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Coat each piece with the flour mixture, arranging them in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Dip each chicken strip once again in the buttermilk mixture, then coat again with the flour mixture. Discard any remaining buttermilk mixture.
In a deep fryer, large saucepan, or deep sauté pan, heat vegetable oil to 365 F. Fry the chicken strips in small batches, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove to paper towels to drain.
Repeat with the remaining chicken strips.
Serve these tasty chicken strips with chipotle mayonnaise, Buffalo aioli, or a blue cheese or ranch dressing.
Should Chicken Be at Room Temperature Before Frying?
Don't use chicken straight from the fridge. If you put cold chicken into the hot oil, it will significantly reduce the temperature of the oil. The chicken won't cook evenly nor will it be super crispy once it's fried. Instead, take your chicken out and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before you plan to bread it.
How to Store Spicy Chicken Strips
Fried chicken always tastes best the day you make it. You can keep leftovers in the fridge, wrapped in foil, for three to five days. Reheat in foil in a low oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Or, use it cold straight out of the fridge and add the chicken to a salad, put it in a wrap, or turn it into a creative grilled cheese sandwich.
Why Isn't the Fried Chicken Crispy?
Maintaining proper oil temperature is key to great fried chicken. If it's too hot, the breading will burn, and the chicken will be undercooked. When too cool, it will need to cook longer, and the breading may get soggy. Don't overcrowd the pan and use a deep-fry or candy thermometer to ensure the oil stays close to 365 F.