Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fried Chicken Tenders

There are as many recipes for fried chicken tenders as there are names.  Whether you call them chicken fingers, chicken tenders or chicken strips one thing remains the same.  The chicken needs to be juicy and flavorful and the breading needs to be crispy and not greasy.  We love this version.  Marinating in a buttermilk mixture results in chicken that is moist and succulent.  The combination of cracker crumbs and flour in the breading creates a coating that doesn't fall off during the frying process. 
The Fried Chicken Tender Line-Up
Combine buttermilk, beaten egg
and garlic powder.
Cut into 1/2-inch strips. 
Season with salt and pepper.
Place in a zip-top bag and cover
with buttermilk mixture.  Marinate 2-4 hours.
Crush saltine crackers
Add flour, baking powder and salt. 
Shake to combine.
Drain chicken strips
Add chicken strips to the cracker mixture.
Shake to coat.  See how easy it is when
you use the bags?  Easy clean up too!
Heat oil in a heavy skillet.
Fry chicken strips in batches until
crispy and golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
Be sure to serve with
Chicken Tender Dipping Sauce!

Fried Chicken Tenders
5-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-2 packages saltine crackers
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
oil for frying

In a bowl combine buttermilk, beaten egg, and garlic powder.  Pound chicken breasts so they are all an even thickness.  Cut into 1/2-inch strips. Season with salt and pepper.  Place in heavy zip-top bag and pour marinade mixture over.  Close bag.  (Set bag in a bowl just in case there is a leak!)  Refrigerate 2-4 hours.  Crush saltine crackers.  Place in a zip-top bag and add flour, baking powder and salt.  Shake to combine.  Drain chicken strips, but do not pat dry.  You want them to remain moist so the breading will stick.  Place chicken strips in bag with breading and shake to coat.  Heat oven in skillet to about 350-365 degrees F.  Fry chicken tenders in hot oil in batches until golden brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels.

Prep Time:  Approximately 2-4 hours     Cook Time:  Approximately 25 minutes

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