Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Spicy Chicken Tenders

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These buffalo chicken tenders are the perfect game-day snack. They’re saucy, crisp, and not terribly labor-intensive to make.

I have never met a chicken tender I didn’t like. But when they’re tossed in spicy Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce, they’re even more irresistible.

My husband is from Western New York, so he and his family are die-hard Buffalo Bills fans. For tonight’s game, I decided to break out a Buffalo-adjacent dinner.

I will preface it by saying that I used Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce, not their wing sauce. The main difference between the two is that the Buffalo wing sauce has butter flavor and paprika.

At its most basic, Buffalo sauce is just a cayenne hot sauce paired with butter. The butter softens the bite of the vinegary, spicy hot sauce and the texture becomes smooth and velvety. I’ve made the sauce both ways, and I’ll never say no to a buttery hot sauce! But for these crispy, pan-fried chicken tenders, I prefer the naked hot sauce with no butter.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders Recipe

How to make Buffalo chicken tenders

If you need a game-day snack for the Super Bowl that everyone is going to love, you want to add these Buffalo chicken tenders to your menu pronto! My little trick is adding Frank’s RedHot to the eggs to really get that tangy kick in every square inch of the tender.

What you need

  • Dredging station: It’s a necessary evil and might be my least favorite part of the recipe. But, it’s worth the effort and dirty dishes, I promise. You’ll need three bowls. In the first bowl, you’ll have flour, garlic powder, plenty of pepper, and a little salt. In the second bowl, two eggs and plenty of Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce whisked together. In the third bowl, you’ll have your panko and a little salt and pepper.
  • Chicken: I use regular old chicken tenderloins, but you could use chicken breasts cut into strips. You could also do this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs…crispy Buffalo chicken sandwich, anyone?
  • Frank’s RedHot Original Hot Sauce: If you don’t have Frank’s, use your favorite cayenne-based hot sauce.
  • Oil: I don’t deep fry these chicken tenders. Instead, I use just enough oil for a shallow pan-fry.
  • Scallions: You don’t have to do this, but I just like the herby crunch of fresh scallions.
Buffalo Chicken Tenders

How to make it

  • Step 1: Preheat your oil. I keep it on low or medium-low as I prep the chicken and then turn it up right before I’m ready to fry.
  • Step 2: Time to dredge! Prepare your dredging station in three bowls. The flour, eggs, and panko all go into separate bowls. I also set up a baking rack on top of a kitchen towel next to the panko bowl, so I have a place to keep the tenders as I dredge them. Coat the chicken in flour first, then dip into eggs, and then cover with panko.
  • Step 3: Warm the hot sauce. This is particularly important if your hot sauce is refrigerated. You don’t want to toss hot chicken in cold sauce! I put a little saucepan on the stove and keep the hot sauce bubbling over low heat as I fry the tenders. If you want to add butter, do so now.
  • Step 4: Time to fry. Turn the heat on the oil to medium. It should be shimmering, and if you throw a little piece of panko in, it should bubble but not overly vigorously. Add the chicken tenders and cook in batches until browned. Once they reach 165ºF, transfer them to a second baking rack.
  • Step 5: Sauce them up! Pour the warm hot sauce into a big mixing bowl and add the tenders in batches. Toss gently to coat and transfer to a serving platter. Finish with a big sprinkle of minced scallions.

I hope you enjoy these Buffalo chicken tenders as much as we did! If you make them, drop me a comment to let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

These buffalo chicken tenders are the perfect game-day snack. They're saucy, crisp, and not terribly labor-intensive to make.
4.34 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 12 tenders
Calories: 125kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet or wide pot
  • Small saucepan

Ingredients

Instructions

Prepare the chicken:

  • Pat the chicken tenderloins dry and season them with salt and pepper.

Set up your dredging station:

  • Set out three shallow dishes. To the first dish, add flour, garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and a pinch of salt. To the second dish, add 2 eggs plus 2 tablespoons of Frank’s RedHot and whisk until smooth. Add panko with a pinch of salt and pepper to the third dish.

Preheat the oil:

  • Add about ¼ inch of neutral oil to a wide pot or skillet. You only need enough oil to come up to half the thickness of a chicken tender. Turn the heat to medium-low to preheat the oil.

Dredge the chicken:

  • Dip a chicken tenderloin into the flour and shake off the excess. Next, dip it into the egg mixture and shake off the excess. Finish dredging the chicken by rolling it gently in the panko; gently press it into the tender to ensure it adheres. Transfer to a baking rack. Continue until all tenders are dredged.

Heat the sauce:

  • Simmer the remaining 1 cup of Frank’s RedHot over low heat as you fry the chicken tenders.

Fry the chicken tenders:

  • Turn the heat on the oil to medium. If you drop a piece of panko into the pot, it should bubble and sizzle but not overly vigorously. You can use a meat thermometer to ensure it is 350ºF.
  • Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken tenders in batches, about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Once the tenders reach 165ºF, transfer them to a cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate.

Sauce the tenders:

  • Once all the chicken tenders are fried, pour the warm sauce into a large bowl.
  • Add the chicken tenders to the bowl in batches and toss gently to coat in the sauce.

To serve:

  • Transfer the sauced tenders to a serving platter and sprinkle with minced scallions. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 650mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 16mg
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