These buttermilk chicken tenders are the most delicious chicken tenders you will ever make at home. They have a light and crispy batter and are so tender, juicy and delicious! There’s a reason they’re called The Best Damn Buttermilk Chicken Tenders. Now let’s find out why…
Buttermilk tenderizes and provides flavor
We start our recipe with boneless, skinless chicken breast. Cut it into strips and place in a bowl of buttermilk for an hour. But why buttermilk? Buttermilk and fried chicken have been synonymous together for good reason. The buttermilk contains enzymes which tenderizes the meat. It breaks down the protein much the way an acidic marinade would. Except with buttermilk, it also infuses a flavor that perfectly complements the meat as well as the breading. Speaking of the breading, let’s talk about that too.
Light, flaky and crispy batter
Most commercial chicken tenders or nuggets are fried in a simple breadcrumb mix. While this works, it’s nothing compared to a true batter made from flour and a few seasonings. You see, our buttermilk chicken tenders will get a double batter dunk which will create that perfectly crispy, light and flaky breading. After soaking in the buttermilk, the chicken will get dredged through flour, take a dunk in egg wash, then back into the flour. This creates that famous breading that you find at the best fried chicken establishments. The kind that’s so good you could practically eat it by itself!
The seasonings we add to our buttermilk chicken tenders couldn’t be more easy: season salt, parsley flakes and paprika. Seasoned salt it great for recipes such as this because it contains the perfect ratio of flavors and salt. The common spices in seasoned salt are onion powder, garlic powder. Then we add the parsley flakes and paprika. The paprika is important because it provides such a warm and subtle flavor, as well as helps with that golden, crispy color we know and love. Paprika makes the other flavors pop. It also makes the colors pop. Paprika is your friend. Embrace it and enjoy it, especially as part of the best damn buttermilk chicken tenders!
Stuffed Chicken: Broccoli and Cheddar stuffed Chicken Breast
More Stuffed Chicken: Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Breast
Cheez-It Chicken Nuggets: Chicken nuggets made with Cheez-It crackers!
Baked Chicken Tenders: Parmesan Ranch Baked Chicken Tenders
How To Make Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
- Total Time: 23 mins
- Yield: 2-4 servings
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (4oz each)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon season salt
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- Vegetable oil (about 2 cups)
- Place chicken breasts in between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to even thickness of about about ½″. Then cut into strips of about an inch thick. Place in a bowl with buttermilk and let sit in refrigerator for about an hour.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, season salt, paprika and parsley flakes. In another bowl, beat two eggs.
- In a deep frying pan, heat oil to about 350 degrees F (medium heat for about 5 minutes).
- Remove chicken strips from buttermilk, dredge in flour mix, the eggs, then back through flour. Set aside on a paper plate until complete.
- Carefully place coated chicken into pan with hot oil. Fry for about 3-4 minutes, then flip pieces over for another 3 minutes or until golden brown. Internal temp should be 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer.
- Carefully remove chicken from oil and drain on paper towels.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 8 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: American
Can these be made in a deep fryer and may I ask what season salt is.
Hi Donna. Season salt can be found in almost any supermarket spice/seasonings section. Lawry’s is probably the most popular/common brand. It’s basically salt and a mixture of a few other seasonings. To answer your other question – absolutely you can make them in a deep fryer.
Can you adapt this recipe to the Ninja foodie air fryer, please.
Hi Lynda, yeah I’m actually gonna be doing that soon. Thank you for the feedback.
Can it be oven baked instead of frying?
I’m sure the recipe is fine….but omg I can not fry chicken to save my life! Someone please help me. I do not know what I’m doing wrong. I thought it was because I used frozen chicken that I had thawed and the chicken was wet so I dried it with paper towels. That did not help. But, my problem is that when I make any fried meat (chicken, pork chops) my coating comes off as soon as you cut into to take a bite, like a glove. The entire outside comes off and it’s like a plain piece of meat. I have pictures. WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!? 😭😭😭
I used to have the same problem! I think my issue was not having the oil hot enough, but this time I tried the trick with adding flour and waiting for it to sizzle and it came out beautifully. When I put the coating on, I also sort of pressed it on to help it stick. I also did an additional egg/flour dip for the ones that didn’t look sufficiently coated before frying. I failed at this multiple times before being successful so just keep trying! You can do it!
could these be made in an air fryer?
Hi Angela, I’ve not tried these in an air fryer but from what I hear, wet battered and buttermilk battered foods can be tricky in an air fryer. I’m actually getting one soon and hope to have instructions once I get the hang of it.
Indeed the title lived up to its name. My family loved them so much I had to cook more the next day.
Awesome!!! So glad you enjoyed. Thanks for the feedback, Samantha!