My Mom’s Fried Chicken Tenders

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Everyone has a favorite dish from their parents. Mine is my mom’s fried chicken tenders. Growing up, my mom used to make fried chicken tenders every so often and it’s one of the meals I looked forward to the most after school. (Except for her spaghetti and meatballs and her chili and her chicken corn soup…I guess there were a lot of meals I looked forward to!)

My mom’s fried chicken tenders are ultra crispy and flavorful and juicy. Just as long as you don’t fuss over them too much. Let them hang out in the pan and get kind of crispy. The key is to make sure your tenders are well-coated with flour and that the pan is the right heat.

Here are my mom’s tips for checking the heat for your fried chicken tenders: Check your pan. It should be getting hot, so increase your heat from low to medium-high and wait until it’s hot enough that a drop of water will cause a nice sizzle but not a popping sizzle. Grease in your eye is too hot.

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I served these chicken tenders with a Horseradish-Honey Mustard but you can serve with any dipping sauce you like! You’re going to love how crispy and juicy these chicken tenders are. You may not want to make them every week, but you will want to make these on the regular because of how darn tasty they are!

Looking for more chicken recipes? Check my archives!

If you made this recipe, please rate the recipe below and leave a comment to tell me how you liked it! If you take a picture of it, please tag me on Instagram so I can feature you in my feed!

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My Mom’s Fried Chicken Tenders

My mom's fried chicken tenders are ultra crispy and flavorful and juicy. Just as long as you don't fuss over them too much.
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 572kcal


  • Skillet
  • Ziplock bag


Chicken Tenders:

  • 2 pounds chicken tenders or, boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
  • ½ cup canola oil for frying
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder more or less to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Flaky Sea Salt for serving

Horseradish-Honey Mustard

  • ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Set up your Frying Station:

  • Make the spice mixture. In a bowl, combine the salt, pepper, cayenne powder, and paprika.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk the buttermilk and four eggs. Add half the spice mixture and continue whisking until smooth. In a gallon freezer bag, combine flour with the remaining spice mixture.

Heat up the Oil:

  • Place a large skillet with the canola oil on the stove and heat on low as you dredge the tenders.

Dredge the Chicken Tenders:

  • Add all the chicken tenders to the buttermilk and egg mixture and use tongs to evenly coat all of them. Add about 5 of the tenders to the freezer bag with the flour and seal it. Shake the bag around to evenly coat the tenders with the flour.

Fry the Chicken Tenders:

  • Turn the heat up to medium-high for a few minutes. Add a tiny drop of water to see if it sizzles. If it sizzles, begin frying the chicken. Add the chicken tenders, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 6-7 minutes or until very golden brown on the bottom. Flip and continue frying another 6-7 minutes or until completely golden brown all over. Note: the first batch will take the longest since your oil isn't super hot yet. The rest will go quickly. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the tenders from burning.
  • Once the first batch is golden brown all over, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Continue frying the rest of the tenders in batches, adding a line of paper towels between each layer of tenders to soak up the excess grease. After each batch, sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top of the finished tenders if desired. Keep warm.

Prepare the Horseradish-Honey Mustard:

  • In a saucepan, combine the horseradish, honey, and mustard and cook over low heat until well combined and thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to one or two small bowls.

To Serve:

  • Serve the chicken tenders with the horseradish-honey mustard. Enjoy!


Calories: 572kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 28g | Sodium: 1160mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 2mg
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