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Chicken Tenders

Wed, Apr 22, 2009

Cooking, Featured Articles, Recipes

Where I come from there is a saying.  Everything is better deep fried.  While I do not subscribe to the idea that EVERYTHING is better deep fried, I do know that the humble chicken breast is very tasty deep fried.  Very, very tasty indeed!

Chicken Tenders Breading Fixins

My mom taught me to deep fry a few months after she deemed me ready to start cooking on my own, sometime around my 13 birthday.  With the exception of cookies, I was not allowed to do more than assist and watch what mom prepared.  Watching, and talking about what she was doing, was how her mom taught her, and that is how she taught me.  Should I ever have children of my own I will most likely do the same.  It’s tradition.

We did not eat a lot of deep fried foods growing up so when mom would make chicken fried steak or chicken tenders it was almost always a special occasion.  I can only ever remember having my Aunt Ruby’s fried chicken when we went up for the week of Thanksgiving.  She never made it any other time of the year, and she only made it then because the whole family was around to celebrate the holidays.

Chicken Tenders

A few things to note about deep frying, much of which is common sense:

1.  Never drop wet food, tongs, spiders, or slotted spoons in hot oil.  Do the words, ‘Third-degree burns,’ mean anything to you?  Yes?  Good.

2.  Make sure your oil is hot enough to do the job right.  Cooking chicken in oil that is even ten degrees lower than it should be will result in soggy coating.   Yuck.

3.  Allow the oil to completely cool before you dispose of it, and NEVER pour oil down the drain.  The first will prevent those third-degree burns we discussed, the second will keep the drains clear and prevent a waste water backup into your kitchen. 

4.  Allow at least three to four inches of room at the top of your pot so the oil does not spill over onto your hot burner and cause a fire.

I know, it is all common sense, but it is sometimes good to review these things.  I do it because I care!

So, now that the safety rules are behind us, let’s get to frying!!

Chicken Tenders    Serves 4

1 lb chicken breast sliced into strips, or chicken breast tenders
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
Oil for deep frying

 Sliced Chicken Breast

Slice your chicken into strips, if you are using chicken breast.  Pat dry with paper towels and set aside. 

In three dishes prepare the following:

In the first bowl mix 1 cup of flour with the salt, red pepper and paprika.  Mix well.

In the second bowl mix the egg and buttermilk until well combined.

In the third bowl put the remaining flour.

DSCF1153

Dip the chicken strips, a few at a time, in the seasoned flour.  Tap off any excess, but make sure the tender is fully coated.  It is this flour that will make the coating stick.

Chicken Strip in Milk Mixture

Next, dip the strip into the buttermilk.  Allow the excess buttermilk to drain off.

Chicken Strips - Ready to Fry

Last, dredge the strips in the plain flour.  Place them on a plate, or sheet pan, to dry for at least thirty minutes. 

While the tenders dry heat the oil in a heavy bottom pot heat your oil over medium heat until it reaches 375F.  

Hot Oil

Carefully drop the tenders, no more than three at a time or less depending on the size of your pot, until they are golden brown, float to the surface of the oil, and read an internal temperature of 165F.

Drain in a towel lined platter and season with salt.

Chicken Tenders

Serve warm with gravy, or other dipping sauce.

© 2009, Evil Shenanigans – Baking & Cooking Blog. All rights reserved.

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12 Responses to “Chicken Tenders”

  1. jenn says:

    I always order these as appetizers whenever it’s on the menu. They’re also an easy weeknight dinner choice. Maybe with a little bbq or honey mustard dip. Yummy!

  2. Everything is better deep-fried. Amen, sister.

  3. Ii can’t think of a single thing that isn’t better deep fried. I hate “wasting” so much oil frying though- too expensive!

  4. Looks delicious! I love chicken tenders… they take me back to my college days!

  5. It’s only breakfast time, but these are inciting massive hunger pains!

  6. Yum! Chicken tenders look delicious!

  7. Alta says:

    So, how do you know spiders are not good to drop into the hot oil? Just curious. :-)These look yummy! I have some oil leftover from frying churros the other day and didn’t want to throw it out, maybe I’ll make these!

  8. Alta says:

    Oh, spiders. Like the ones you cook with. Nevermind. Please ignore me. :)

  9. Jessica says:

    Those look delicious. I keep meaning to buy a deep fry thermometer so I can get the temperature just right. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for the lovely story on how you learned to cook!

  10. Donna says:

    you will be my childrens new hero with this recipe.. They will devour these..

  11. helen says:

    I have to say, these chicken tenders look so fresh and way more delicious than those from a restaurant. You’re mother has taught you well.

  12. gaga says:

    Those are great tips. They may be common sense, but they’re definitely important. I’ve only recently started deep frying in our household and am loving it. I’m putting this chicken on my list of stuff to try, thanks!

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