Homemade Chicken Tenders

It’s the last week in our comforting classics series and I wanted to bring something that everyone loves! Chicken tenders are definitely one of those comforts you can find everywhere. But, have you thought of making them yourself? With this recipe they are much more flavorful and easier than you would think! Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves… they’re that good!

Homemade Chicken Tenders

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!This is mostly the same batter I use for my normal fried chicken, although I’ve been making them into tenders more and more often!

 This Silly Girl's Life

It’s the last week in our comforting classics series and I wanted to bring something that everyone loves! Chicken tenders are definitely one of those comforts you can find everywhere. But, have you thought of making them yourself? With this recipe they are much more flavorful and easier than you would think! Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves… they’re that good!

Homemade Chicken Tenders

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Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!This is mostly the same batter I use for my normal fried chicken, although I’ve been making them into tenders more and more often!

Homemade Chicken Tenders

Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts I get the split packs, debone them and discard the skin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp season salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup cold water
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Kosher or a coarse salt to use when chicken is done frying

Instructions

  • In a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides, add in enough oil to go up the side of the pan 2-3 inches. Heat oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.
  • Cut up your chicken into 1 inch strips, cutting against the grain if you can.
  • Place chicken in a large bowl and add the dried seasonings. Mix together so all the pieces are coated.
  • Add in the baking powder, baking soda and flour. Coat the chicken in this mixture.
  • Add in the cold water and mix, by hand until a batter form, if there are some lumps that's okay. (If you need to add some more water, do so a little at a time. It can depend on the weather if more is needed. It should be like a pancake batter consistency.)
  • Test the oil with a tiny drop of the batter, if it sizzles and bubbles immediately but doesn't burn you're ready!
  • Place the chicken strips one by one into the pan, but don't over crowd them. They should not be touching.
  • Let fry on one side about 4 minutes and flip over with a tongs. Chicken is done when golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. About 8-10 minutes total.
  • Do chicken in batches. When chicken is done frying, place on a wire rack over a pan so the excess oil and drip off. Immediately sprinkle a little of the kosher or coarse salt on the chicken. This will ensure the salt sticks, when there is still some oil on the outside.
  • Continue doing this until all chicken is done. If you have a lot of tenders, you can hold the already fried chicken in a oven set on the lowest setting.
  • Serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauces and enjoy!

Tools to make this recipe easier:

Step by Step Directions

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

Cut up your chicken into 1 inch strips, cutting against the grain if you can.

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

Place chicken in a large bowl and add the dried seasonings. Mix together so all the pieces are coated.
Add in the baking powder, baking soda and flour. Coat the chicken in this mixture.
Add in the cold water and mix, by hand until a batter form, if there are some lumps that’s okay.

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

Test the oil with a tiny drop of the batter, if it sizzles and bubbles immediately but doesn’t burn you’re ready!
Place the chicken strips one by one into the pan, but don’t over crowd them. They should not be touching.
Let fry on one side about 4 minutes and flip over with a tongs. Chicken is done when golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. About 8-10 minutes total.

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

Do chicken in batches. When chicken is done frying, place on a wire rack over a pan so the excess oil and drip off. Immediately sprinkle a little of the kosher or coarse salt on the chicken. This will ensure the salt sticks, when there is still some oil on the outside.
Continue doing this until all chicken is done. If you have a lot of tenders, you can hold the already fried chicken in a oven set on the lowest setting.

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

Serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauces and enjoy!

These are also amazing the day after, just cold. The flavor is amazing!!

Homemade Chicken Tenders: Super crunchy outside and moist, tender chicken inside, serve with your favorite dipping sauce or by themselves... they're that good!

The hardest part might be getting the oil temperature just right but when you’ve mastered that you’re good to go! Simple, easy and delicious. I really hope you enjoyed this last post in the comforting classics series, check back next week for February’s series!

Until next time,

Dana's-SignatureMake sure to check out Parrish’s series post by clicking on the image below:

Philly_Cheese-steak_Mac_&_Cheese_

Past comforting classics recipes:

Salted Caramel Brownies | Homemade Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza

Chicken Alfredo Ravioli Bake | Creamy Chicken Pot Pie

Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie | Easy Homemade Shepherdโ€™s Pie

Need even more yummy inspiration? Make sure to follow my food board on Pinterest!

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I participate in these linky parties, DIYHSHP and Orj Junkie.

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65 Comments at Homemade Chicken Tenders

  1. This is almost exactly the recipe I use to make sweet and sour chicken but I make them nugget sized. They always taste so amazing! Man, now I’ve got a craving! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh man, Dana, you have me drooling! Chicken tenders are probably my favorite of all comfort food (especially when paired with a side of mac and cheese). Can you believe I’ve never tried making them at home? Can’t wait to try!

  3. And the presentation is fantastic! I feel like we’ve tried homemade chicken tenders and they never quite make the mark. The last ones were way too chewy for my four-year-old. The baby didn’t even attempt it.
    Your recipe looks perfect!
    Thank you for linking up to our Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party!

  4. My husband would live off chicken and fish tenders if he could, so I see a lot of them- I mean ALOT. These looks super yummy and I like the batter. I am going to get him to taste test these ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for linking to Snickerdoodle Sunday!!

    1. I strain the oil and keep it in an air tight container in the fridge. Then when I’m ready to make these babies again I just take it out and heat it up! Once the oil starts to smell you need to replace it. I’m glad you liked this post, yay!

  5. So the secret is the baking soda & powder! Very similar to my recipe but, I love how those ingredients change the fried dough texture. These look so yummy my daughter will be excited when I make your recipe. Pinning. Feel free to drop by sometime.

  6. You ROCK for linking up this week to Tip Me Tuesday. {high fives}

    Just a heads up, Tip Junkie can help you index your blog more effectively if you upload at least 2 images, 2 steps, and blog post URL into your Tip Junkie craft room!

    Simply login and click “add a project” on your profile page to get started. {yep I’ve got your back!}
    ~ Laurie {a.k.a. the Tip Junkie}

    Link ~ http://www.tipjunkie.com/how-to-add-a-craft-room-project-on-tip-junkie

  7. Wow these look like perfection! I’ve never been super satisfied with my breaded chicken so I am going to make these really soon. Thank you so much for linking this recipe up at Recipe Sharing Monday. I hope to see you back next Monday. Have a good weekend!

          1. Oh my gosh, I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the usual flour/egg/breadcrumbs combo. These were awesome! Very easy recipe.

  8. I wanted you to know I came across this on Pinterest and followed your recipe. These turned out great. Thank you so much! I will be making these again -Erinn from 3sonshavei.com

  9. I was wondering if using self rising flour will make a mess of this recipe. I do not have all purpose on hand right now. Thanks for any response.

    1. You can use self rising flour. Just leave out the salt and baking powder in the batter itself. Still season the tenders after frying with salt. I hope you enjoy this recipe, thanks for coming by!

      1. Thanks for the response Dana. I have made them already, I did leave out salt but still put some baking powder in since the self-rising flour I have has been in its canister and not a fresh bag. They turned out just fine and I thank you for this wonderful recipe.

  10. I have literally tried dozens of chicken nugget and chicken finger recipes. Some were very good, some were so-so, and some were a disaster. This is literally the best so far. Very easy, very tasty. Thanks!

    1. YAY! Thanks soo much, and thank you for coming back to let us know how they came out! This really made my day, I hope you try out some more recipe son here and let me know how they worked for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I made these tonight and they were delicious. I used a fryer because I hate messing with oil on the stove. They came out great but I learned something important. Don’t use a basket when doing these in a fryer. The batter sticks to the basket. Thanks for the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Thanks Dana , I made these and they were just great! Chicken was tender inside the tasty batter. Mine looked just like the photo. I have been cooking for years and never had a good recipe for this. I will try it on shrimp also.

  13. I tried and I loved! My family and grandchildren devoured them. They are better than any chicken strip that I have ever tried.

  14. I make chicken tenders similarly except I use seltzer or club soda because the carbonation makes the batter puff up nicely. But this recipe is good for me for the seasoning and flour, etc. amounts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Absolutely Delicious! Thank you for such an easy recipe. My kids loved them. My 14 year old said they were the best she’s ever tasted! This is definitely going on my Tried & Loved board! ?

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