appetizer, Chicken, Entree, Recipes, Sauces

Crispy Crusted Chicken Tenders

Chicken tenderloin is the name for a piece that is located under the chicken breast. These elongated pieces are very moist and tender, and they don’t require any cutting or handling before using.

In order to make them even more flavorful and tender, I marinated them in a mixture of buttermilk, spices and dried thyme for two hours. Frying them, after coating with flour, eggs and bread crumbs, gave them a tasty and crispy texture.
Served hot, with a sweet and spicy sauce on the side, and some steamed broccoli, created a light and tasty lunch. Try it and enjoy.

* Chicken breast strips can be used here as well, though the texture will be slightly drier.
* Sometimes chicken breast strips are sold under “chicken tenderloins”, and for the higher price of the tenderloins. You’ll be able to notice this easily, as the tenderloins are one piece, not cut.
* Buttermilk powder is a great ingredient to have at hand, as it can keep longer than fresh buttermilk. It is also used in baking.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 2 hours
Frying time: 20 minutes

1.13 lbs (510 grams) chicken tenderloins (see notes)
2 Tbs buttermilk powder
1/3 cup water
½ tsp salt
1 tsp sweet paprika powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried thyme leaves
For coating:
½ cup flour
2 L eggs
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup plain bread crumbs
½ cup oil
For the sauce:
1 Tbs date syrup
2 Tbs maple syrup
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
½ tsp Sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp Korean Gochujan paste
1 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar

For serving:
Lemon wedges, steamed broccoli

1. Pat-dry the tenderloins with paper towels. In a flat container, mix the buttermilk, salt, spices, thyme and water. Place the tenderloins in the mixture, in one layer, cover and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before frying. Drain and discard the marinade.

2. Prepare three flat containers and place the flour in one, eggs, salt and pepper in the second, and bread crumbs in the third.
3. Pour the oil into a large frying pan, and place over medium-high heat.
4. Coat  the tenderloins in the flour, shake to get rid of excess flour. Dip in the egg mix, and then in the bread crumbs mix.

5. Place in the pan, in one layer. Lower the heat to medium, and fry until golden brown on both sides. Place on paper towel, to absorb excess oil.

6. While the chicken is frying, mix all the ingredients for the sauce.
7. Serve warm, with the sauce on the side, lemon wedges and steamed broccoli.

64 thoughts on “Crispy Crusted Chicken Tenders”

  1. Yummity-yum-yum! I’ve been reading about marinating chicken in buttermilk for decades but somehow have never given it a whirl. I make my own buttermilk, and have a good supply, so now is the time to try it out.

    Crisply-fried chicken strips are a favorite around here, and they actually reheat pretty well from frozen, if you put them on a trivet within a heat source and don’t let the breading touch the surface of the heating unit.

    I have my air fryer choice down to three now, so something like this would probably do well in that sort of appliance, at least for the second round.

    Virtual hugs,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Judie, I’m glad you liked the recipe. Marinating chicken in buttermilk really does wonders. I’m sure it would work even better with your homemade buttermilk.
      I’m also reheating breaded/fried chicken the way you’ve described it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous. I think these are the same as what’s called chicken tenders here, but I don’t like them because it’s hard to get the tendon out of them. But I love what you created. I’ve now used buttermilk, and also kefir, with great marinating results! But I do have buttermilk powder, and need to try that out!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Mimi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I’ve noticed that the tendons are not always as stringy and noticeable, so most times I don’t bother with removing them.
      Buttermilk powder is a good alternative when fresh is not at hand. I also love adding it to yeast dough. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Everyone likes chicken fingers – I especially like your sauce. Gochujang always gets my interest. Probably 35 years ago I first fried chicken that had been soaked in buttermilk. Delicious and this couple was always asked to bring the chicken to the annual homeowners meeting.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right Judy, these are always so popular, and now wonder why, as they are so very delicious!
      I have you to thank for, for introducing Gochujang in your posts. It is such a tasty paste and now I use it often. 🙂


      1. I have no idea as you always have been able to comment. Sorry for sending so many posts this week – I have too much time on my hands! There’s no comment in spam from you and I have other comments from people – who is to say when it comes to WordPress 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. My grandchildren love these, Lily calls it my KFC chicken…lol…Love the ingredients in the sauce gochujang is our new favourite ingredient. I always use buttermilk but wasn’t aware you can get it dried so will check that out ..Fried chicken is a lovely treat they look delicious, Ronit 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Carol, this type of dish is indeed popular with all ages.
      Gochujan is a new favorite of mine as well, and by now I use if often in such dipping sauces.
      Buttermilk powder is a great ingredient to have at hand. I hope you’ll be able to find it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not silly at all! Originally, buttermilk was the leftover liquid after churning butter. Nowadays, it is produced on its own. It’s basically a type of milk beverage, that is quite thick and fairly acidic. It is often used in cooking or baking.
      If you can’t get it, you could mix a teaspoon of plain vinegar in a cup of whole milk, and let it sour for a few minutes at room temperature.
      Hope it helps. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you Ronit. That is what in Italy we call Latticello. However it is not easily found here if not at very specialized shops selling stuff from other Countries. For the process you explained in your recipe we mostly use acid yogourt.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Ronit, over here we call the chicken tenderloin kycklinginnerfilé or chicken inner fillet. It’s popular here in Asian dishes and fried up as well. But, not in the American style like your recipe. I’m going to be making some of these.
    Also, I would have never thought of using those Rubbermaid type organizers as dipping and coating trays. What a perfect idea and as I have some gathering dust in our storage room. Thanks for sharing and stay safe over your way.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Ron, I’m glad you liked the post and found it helpful. These containers are so great for keeping the work space clean during the messy breading process.
      It was interesting to learn about the use of this piece in Sweden. Asian twist on it is always a good idea. I’ll search it out soon. Best regards, and stay warm! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. On their own. My wife eats a low carb diet and she makes them. She rinses the chicken, seasons it and the ground up pork rinds with some Tony Chacere’s, presses the pork rinds onto the chicken and oven bakes it. We use the Sam’s store brand pork rinds, which are only $5.98 in the store. No idea why they’re $15.72 in this online link.

        Liked by 2 people

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