Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders cooling on a rack.

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

These easy buttermilk fried chicken tenders are crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside, and will make you forget that takeout menu!


  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders or skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into roughly 1×4 inch pieces.
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Canola oil, for frying (you need enough to get 2 inches worth of depth in your frying pot)


  1. Pour buttermilk, milk, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon paprika and the garlic cloves into a large bowl and give it a good stir.  Add the chicken and stir again, making sure it is all submerged.  Pop the mixing bowl in the fridge for 8 hours or as long as overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 (or turn on your warming drawer if you’ve got one!).  Take out a couple of rimmed baking sheets and put cooling racks on top of them (this is to keep the chicken warm as you’re cooking it).
  3. Mix together the flour, poultry seasoning, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon sea salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.
  4. Ready to fry it up?  Pour the canola oil into a deep Dutch oven and turn the heat to high, heating the oil until it reaches 350 on an instant read thermometer.
  5. Use tongs to take the chicken out of the marinade, shake it off a little, and then dunk it thoroughly in the flour mixture.  When you have about a quarter of the chicken ready, use the tongs to put it gently into the oil, turning it now and then until it is cooked and golden, about 5-7 minutes.  Place the cooked chicken on the baking racks and pop it in the oven until all the chicken is cooked.  You should add a minute or two of cooking time with each batch, as the oil will have cooled down a little.
  6. Serve it up with your choice of dunking sauce – we like honey mustard, ranch, and just good old ketchup!


    • Chicken: You can either buy chicken tenders that are already cut to size, or you can take boneless chicken breasts and cut them into roughly 1 inch by 3 inch pieces.

    • Buttermilk: You can use either lowfat or regular buttermilk for this recipe. Both can be found near the regular milk in the dairy section of your supermarket.

    • Oil: We like canola oil for this recipe, but any vegetable oil will work. You want enough to fill your pot with about two inches of oil – I find that a 48 ounce bottle works for that.