Spicy Fried Chicken Tenders


  • 1.3lb / 600g Chicken Breasts, sliced into strips (one breast should get around 5-6 strips)
  • 3-4 cups / 750ml – 1 litre Oil, for deep frying (see notes)
  • 1 cup / 250ml Buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml Hot Sauce (I use Frank’s)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper
Dry Mix
  • 1 3/4 cups / 225g Plain Flour
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 1.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tsp each: Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Baking Powder, Salt


  1. Combine your chicken with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for as long as you have time for. Preferably overnight, absolute minimum 2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all of your dry mix. I find this easiest in a small tray, but you could also use a bowl. One by one, coat your chicken strips in the dry mix, making sure you cover every spec of chicken. Press the mix right into the chicken so it goes nice and flaky. Place on a wire wrack and repeat.
  3. Heat up your oil to around 350f/175c. To test without a thermometer, drop a tiny piece of batter in the oil, if it very slowly rises to the top, you should be good to go. A medium heat for around 5-8 minutes should obtain this.
  4. Working in batches of 3-4, carefully place your strips into the oil. Separate them with tongs if the instantly stick together, then leaves for 3-4mins until they start turning golden. Flip over and leave for another few minutes until deep golden and visibly crispy. If your oil is too hot simply pour in more oil/turn down heat. If you’re not confident with deep frying then test one strip first.
  5. Place on a wire rack with a tray or paper towel underneath. Enjoy with a dip!
  1. a) Spice Level – the 1/4 cup hot sauce and 1.5 tsp cayenne pepper give these tenders a nice kick of spice. Nothing too drastic, but definitely apparent. As everyone’s spice preference is different, if you’re concerned then use 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper in the mix, test with one tender, and adjust accordingly if you want more. This way you won’t spoil the whole batch with them being too spicy. Much easier to add spice than remove it.
  2. b) Oil – You want to use an oil with a high smoking point with a neutral flavour to it, like vegetable or sunflower oil. Do not use olive oil.
  3. c) When is the Chicken Cooked? – Ensure the chicken is white all the way through the centre, piping hot, with the juices running clear. The safe internal temp of chicken is 165f/75c.
  4. d) Calories – It’s really tricky to calculate deep fried recipes, but the below stats are based on the following: 1/2 cup buttermilk stuck on, 3/4 cup flour stuck and 1.5 tsp oil absorbed during cooking. Calories per tender.

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