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This is one of our all-time favorite recipes for Battered Chicken Tenders. Picture this: crispy, golden-brown chicken strips that are oh-so-tender inside and full of flavor!

battered chicken tenders on a wire rack

Yes, I’m talking about these amazing Battered Chicken Tenders! This easy recipe will remind you of those delicious chicken tenders from your favorite diner, but now you can make them right at home.

I think it goes without saying that these chicken tenders were a huge hit with my daughter. I mean, they’re chicken tenders, right? 

The real win was with my husband, Jeremy. He kept saying, “wow”, as he ate them. Ha! Apparently he was really surprised at how juicy and crunchy they were. “They’re better than the restaurant!” He said.

You might not know that a homemade chicken tender recipe can be just as good as any professional version. You can get crispy chicken strips any time with the right ingredients and instructions, and that’s what this recipe will do for you!

My advice here is to cook up a big batch. Whoever you serve them to is going to eat more than you guess. They’re just that good!

Our recipe today calls for a skillet on the stove. However, if you have a deep fryer, then all the better! 

Whether you’re looking to serve up a quick weeknight dinner or want to impress guests, these battered chicken tenders are always a hit.

Some of our other favorite chicken recipes we have on our site include: Popcorn Chicken, Crispy Southern Fried Chicken Recipe Without Buttermilk, and Italian Lemon Chicken Foil Packet.

battered chicken tenders on a wire rack

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Golden Brown Goodness: Using a deep skillet ensures that your tenders get that perfect golden brown crispiness we all love.
  2. Batter Up!: The special batter, with garlic powder and onion powder, not only coats the chicken perfectly but also infuses each tender with mouthwatering flavor.
  3. Cook to Perfection: By monitoring the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, you ensure that it’s both safe to eat and tender.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Chicken tenderloins
  • Garlic powder
  • Season salt
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • All-purpose flour
  • ice water
  • peanut oil
  • Kosher salt
ingredients needed to make battered chicken tenders

HOW TO MAKE BATTERED CHICKEN TENDERS:

  1. Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and add the garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika and black pepper. Mix together so all the pieces are coated.
  2. Add in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Coat the chicken in this mixture.
  3. Add in the cold water and mix, by hand, until a batter forms, 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.)
  4. In a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides, add enough oil to go up the side of the pan 2-3 inches—heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F.
  5. Place the chicken strips one by one into the pan, but don’t overcrowd them. They should not be touching.
  6. Let fry on one side for about 4 minutes and flip over with tongs. Chicken is done when golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 165°F degrees. About 8-10 minutes total.
collage of images showing how to make the batter for battered chicken tenders
  1. Fry chicken in batches. When the chicken is done frying, place it on a wire rack over a pan so the excess oil can drip off. Immediately sprinkle a little of the kosher salt on the chicken. A little oil still on the outside will ensure it sticks.
  2. Continue doing this until all the chicken is done. If you have a lot of tenders, you can hold the already fried chicken in an oven set on the lowest setting.
  3. Serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauces, and enjoy!
final steps for making battered chicken tenders

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

WHAT ARE BATTERED CHICKEN TENDERS?

This recipe calls for chicken tenderloins, dipped in a flavorful batter and deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy.

They’re like the grown-up version of chicken nuggets!

HOW DO YOU KEEP THE TENDERS CRISPY?

After frying, place the chicken tenders on a wire rack over a pan. This lets the excess oil drip off and keeps them crispy.

Also, sprinkle some kosher or coarse salt while they’re still hot. It gives a great taste and helps maintain that crunch.

a hand dipping battered chicken tenders into bbq sauce

WHAT TO SERVE THESE WITH?

Oh, there are so many delicious options! You can serve these with french fries, a fresh salad, or even some coleslaw.

And don’t forget your favorite dipping sauce, like honey mustard sauce or barbecue.

CAN I USE OTHER CUTS OF CHICKEN?

While chicken tenderloins for boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into strips work best for this recipe, you can also use sliced boneless skinless chicken thighs.

Just remember, cooking time might vary!

ANY ADDITIONS?

You got it! Here are some great options for this crispy chicken.

  • Mix some parmesan cheese into the batter for a cheesy twist.
  • Add a hint of lemon juice to the batter for a zesty flavor.
  • Toss in some cayenne pepper if you like it spicy.
  • Serve with a homemade honey mustard dipping sauce.
  • Consider a sprinkle of fresh herbs once fried for added freshness.
  • Pair with a side of green beans or broccoli for a full meal.
  • Garlic lovers can boost the flavor with some additional garlic powder.
  • For a tangy twist, try a drizzle of malt vinegar or white vinegar on top.

ANY SUBSTITUTIONS?

Sure thing guys. I’ve got your back!

  • Swap all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a healthier touch.
  • Use canola oil or vegetable oil in place of peanut oil.
  • If you’re out of garlic powder, fresh garlic finely minced can be a great replacement.
  • For a tangier taste, substitute season salt with a pinch of lemon zest.
  • Instead of cold water, try soda water or beer for a lighter batter.
a hand holding up battered chicken tenders in air

HOW TO STORE:

Refrigerator: Store leftover chicken tenders in an airtight container in the fridge.

Reheat in the oven on a wire rack over a sheet tray to try and keep them crispy. Reheating in the air fryer should work too!

Freezer: For longer storage, place the tenders in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze.

Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag. They can be stored this way for up to 3 months.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer: This tool is your best friend to ensure the chicken is cooked just right.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Fry in batches to ensure every tender gets crispy.
  • Adjust Heat as Needed: If the tenders are browning too fast, reduce the medium heat slightly.
  • Dry Chicken First: Before battering, pat the chicken pieces with paper towels. It helps the batter stick better.
  • Stay Safe: Always be cautious when working with hot oil. It can splatter!
  • Add Seasonings to Taste: Feel free to adjust the seasonings in the batter to suit your preferences.
battered chicken tenders with a bite taken out on top of bbq sauce

Battered Chicken Tenders are more than just a dish; they’re a crunchy, yummy experience. Easy to make, incredibly tasty, and always a crowd-pleaser, it’s no wonder they’re a favorite for many.

Whether you’re making them for a special occasion or a regular oven dinner, they’re bound to be a hit. So, let’s get to it! 

If you’ve tried this BATTERED CHICKEN TENDERS, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
4.96 from 25 votes

The Best Crispy Fried Battered Chicken Tenders

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
This is one of our all-time favorite recipes for Battered Chicken Tenders. Picture this: crispy, golden-brown chicken strips that are oh-so-tender inside and full of flavor!
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Place chicken tenders in a large bowl and add the garlic powder, seasoned salt, onion powder, paprika and black pepper. Mix together so all the pieces are coated.
    1 pound chicken tenderloins, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon season salt, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 tespoon black pepper
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Coat the chicken in this mixture.
    1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Add in the cold water and mix, by hand, until a batter forms, 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.)
    1 Cup cold water
  • In a heavy bottom skillet with deep sides, add enough oil to go up the side of the pan 2-3 inches—heat oil over medium heat until it reaches 350°F.
    peanut oil for frying
  • Place the chicken strips one by one into the pan, but don’t overcrowd them. They should not be touching.
  • Let fry on one side for about 4 minutes and flip over with tongs. Chicken is done when golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 165°F degrees. About 8-10 minutes total.
  • Fry chicken in batches. When the chicken is done frying, place it on a wire rack over a pan so the excess oil can drip off. Immediately sprinkle a little of the kosher salt on the chicken. A little oil still on the outside will ensure it sticks.
    Kosher salt
  • Continue doing this until all the chicken is done. If you have a lot of tenders, you can hold the already fried chicken in an oven set on the lowest setting.
  • Serve with your favorite sides and dipping sauces, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use an Instant-Read Thermometer: This tool is your best friend to ensure the chicken is cooked just right.
  • Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: Fry in batches to ensure every tender gets crispy.
  • Adjust Heat as Needed: If the tenders are browning too fast, reduce the medium heat slightly.
  • Dry Chicken First: Before battering, pat the chicken pieces with paper towels. It helps the batter stick better.
  • Stay Safe: Always be cautious when working with hot oil. It can splatter!
  • Add Seasonings to Taste: Feel free to adjust the seasonings in the batter to suit your preferences.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 570mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 96IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Love This Recipe?

Follow @ThisSillyGirlsKitchen on Instagram and @danadevolk on Pinterest for more!

Originally posted January 14th, 2014

Updated with recipe and post text tweaks September 2023

4.96 from 25 votes (14 ratings without comment)

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74 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Just made these wonderful chicken tenders. So simple and sooooo good. Thank you so much for this awsome recipe.

  5. 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!

  6. 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! 🙂

  7. Have you (or anyone reading) ever baked these?

  8. No I haven’t I don’t think the batter would stay on in all honesty. BUT, if you do try it let us know how it comes out, thanks!

  9. Has anyone made these in a deep fryer instead of a pan?

  10. OMG these are fantastic. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Yes, please and thank you. Made these for lunch today for the kiddos on a snowy day in Michigan. Perfection! Just delicious! Thank you!

  12. So glad to hear it! Thanks for letting us know how they came out!

  13. 5 stars
    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. 🙂

  14. Wow, great tip!! I’m glad you said something, thanks so much!

  15. Made these tonight for my husband. He really enjoyed them!

  16. I made them again tonight too! I’m so glad he liked them 🙂

  17. 5 stars
    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.

  18. Pearl Shourd says:

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

  19. Making these tonight…can I get the batter ready ahead of time then just fry when I’m ready?

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