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
Where or what type of buttermilk do I use?
Just regular buttermilk.
These were incredible. Super crispy and tender and I cannot wait to make them again. Thanks for sharing- so delicious!
Awesome! Glad you liked them, Sara!
Yum. Tried this with thicken thigh meat and smoked paprika, My husband says I can make it again. A high compliment indeed. Thanks for the recipe.
I’m so glad you both liked it! I love smoked paprika too. Really adds depth to the flavor.
I made these for dinner and the first thing my husband said was, “these are so Good, labor intensive but Good!”. Now my husband is one of those that rarely remarks about something being good. If he thinks if he is eating it, I should know its good, haha. However, when something is exceptionally good, like these were, he then will remark about it. Tried to give it five stars for this recipe but the stars are not working!?!
Thanks so much!! The star ratings should be right under the reply box. I really appreciate your feedback! ~Jason
The stars were there but with living in Costa Rica and the area I am at, my internet is horrible and the stars would not light up when I clicked on them when I originally left my message. So I will try them now for you, looks like they are working today..
I bake a lot of “fried” chicken. Would this recipe work well for this?
Hi Kathy. For best results making this a “baked fried” chicken recipe, prepare the same way, then place tenders on a rack on a baking sheet (this way the heat distributes evenly and you don’t have to turn them), at 375 degrees F for 25-35 minutes.
I hope this helps! I’d love to hear how it goes.
I tried baking them at 375 for 20 minutes. I put them on a baking rack and failed to spray it so the tenders stuck and all the batter came off, they also came out tough and just did not have that beautiful brown crust that frying gives them. Will stick to frying.
I made the chicken tenders for my family and they all loved it! They Were delicious.
Love from Denmark
Awesome you loved them! Thanks so much for the feedback.
This sounds delicious. Will try it on my grandchildren this weekend. They like that famous fried chicken!
David J D'Arcy
I’m trying to learn how to cook so I can cook for my wife, a Speech-Language Pathologist. I’m a medically retired Air Force NCO because of I contracted Multiple Sclerosis.
Thank you for your service David J D’Arcy. Wishing you well with your new found cooking skills, I am sure your wife will be very happy to come home to a good meal fixed by her wonderful husband. Praying for you with your Multiple Sclerosis.
When you say Vegetable I am assuming you mean oil ???
Yes indeed! Where did my “oil” go? Thanks for message Belinda. Correction has been made.
These were delicious. Only change I made was used boneless thighs. I coated them in the afternoon, let them sit in the fridge & fried them that night. Makes cleanup so much easier.
Excellent! Glad you liked them. I’m sure the chicken thighs would be delicious too. Thanks for sharing!