Crispy Chicken Tenders dipped in ranch

Best Crispy Chicken Tenders

Crispy Chicken Tenders- the tastiest, crunchiest, juiciest chicken tenders you will ever make!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Marinating Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 16 minutes
Servings 20 Chicken Tenders
Calories 83 kcal
Author Lisa


  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbs salt divided into 2 tsp and 1 tsp
  • 2 lbs chicken tenders
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch I love using Argo® Corn Starch!
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 cups corn oil


  1. Combine the paprika, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Mix well and set aside. (1 tbs paprika, 1 tbs pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp cayenne pepper)
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and 2 tsps salt. Then add in 1 tbs of the mixed spices and whisk until well incorporated. (½ cup buttermilk, 1 large egg, 2tsp salt)
  3. Place the chicken tenders in the buttermilk mixture, making sure they are well coated. Place all contents of the bowl in a Ziploc baggie and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight, making sure to flip the bag every now and then to make sure the chicken is evenly coated. (2lbs chicken tenders)
  4. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and the remaining spice mixture in a large bowl- stirring until evenly mixed. (½ cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup cornstarch, ½ tsp baking powder).
  5. Add 2 tbs of the buttermilk marinade from the ziploc bag to the flour mixture, mixing it well into the flour. Remove a chicken tender from the bag, allowing any excess buttermilk to drip off, and dip into the flour mixture. Toss to coat. You made need to press the flour onto the chicken to get to stick nicely.*
  6. One at a time, transfer the chicken pieces to a fine mesh strainer and shake off any excess of the flour mixture.* Then set on a separate plate.
  7. In a cast iron pan or large fry pan or cast iron pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot (~400°F) place the chicken tenders into the oil, making sure they don’t touch. Fry the chicken until it’s a deep golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes* then flip each piece and fry an additional 3 minutes. (2 cups corns oil)
  8. Once fried place on a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool enough to serve.
  9. Eat hot and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Helpful Tips
*Dip your chicken tenders in the flour mixture one at a time. This allows you to get a good coating on it and will make the crispiest chicken!
*Let your chicken cook for at least 3 minutes before moving it in the fry pan to check for it to be done. If you move it sooner it may make the breading come off and we don’t want that!


This recipe is adapted from The Food Lab Cook Book- love this book and all the science that it explains about cooking!

Nutrition Facts
Best Crispy Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving
Calories 83 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 38mg13%
Sodium 412mg18%
Potassium 205mg6%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 212IU4%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 18mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.