Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

March 11, 2009 · 16 comments · Print This Post

in Appetizers, Dinner, Poultry, Reviews

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

I had an opportunity over the last few weeks to sample a number of products from a company called Just BARE Chicken. The chicken they sell is all natural, antibiotic, hormone, and cage free while also being vegetable fed. All excellent lifestyle options for the chicken you serve to posses, but the really cool thing is that you can trace your dinner back to the family farm that raised it.

The majority of my chicken came from farm code 054.  When entering this special identifier on the Just BARE Chicken website it brought up Ken and Evelyn K’s farm. Ken and Evelyn have been raising chickens in Minnesota since 1985 and they state that, “Everything on earth comes from the earth. So we need to protect it so our grandchildren have a healthy place to live.” Of course that sentiment caused me to have a great big “awe” moment.

With the exception of the chicken legs that I sampled (I’m just not a chicken leg fan), I really enjoyed all of meals I made with this product. It tasted great and consistently yielded very tender and flavorful chicken dishes. My favorite creation was made with several packages of Just BARE Chicken chicken tenders. Using an original recipe from Elise, of Simply Recipes, I soaked the tenders overnight in a mixture of onions, herbs, spices, and buttermilk. Then fried them in a savory coating until they were golden brown.

The few times I’ve fried food I usually ruin whatever I’m wearing with rogue oil splatter, but for once I actually remembered to sport my pretty pink protective apron. I was actually quite proud of myself. Since I fry food on very rare occasions I took advantage of the naughty opportunity and breaded the leftover strained onions from the marinade and produced a small side of crispy and spicy onion rings as well. The chicken tenders were finally paired with a creamy and tangy honey-mustard sauce for a seriously moist, satisfying, and rare treat.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders
Adapted from the Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe originally published at Simply Recipes

2 pounds of chicken tenders
2 cups buttermilk
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, thyme) or a teaspoon each of the dried herbs.
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
2 cups grapeseed oil, or other high smoke-point oil such as canola oil, or peanut oil

Soak chicken overnight (at least 8 hours and up to two days) in buttermilk with onions, herbs, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Drain in colander, leaving some herbs on chicken. In a large paper or plastic (sturdy) bag, mix flour with seasonings. Meanwhile, heat 2 cups oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (cast iron, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum – something that can take the heat) on medium high heat until a pinch of flour starts to sizzle when dropped in the hot oil (but not so hot that the pan is smoking). Remember when working with hot oil, always have a pan lid close by.

Place chicken pieces in bag with flour and shake until thoroughly coated. Add chicken tenders to hot pan and fry for 4-6 minutes, until golden brown, turning once. (Erin’s Note: I found that the chicken cooked very quickly. Mine were consistently done in 4 minutes. But depending on the size and thickness of your chicken please adjust the cooking time accordingly).

Use tongs to remove chicken from pan. Place on a rack over a cookie sheet or broiling pan for the excess oil to drain. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
Adapted from the TGI Friday’s Honey Mustard recipe at CDKitchen.com

2 tablespoons mustard
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl with a wire whisk and serve.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Elle March 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Fabulous! Love how you went ahead and fried the onions, too. And if you are going to fry chicken, soaking it in buttermilk is the only way to go.


2 Susie March 11, 2009 at 2:05 pm



3 Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" March 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm

These sound really great! I love all the herbs in it. How neat to be able to trace your chicken, lol!


4 Diana March 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm

That’s so cool that they take such good care of their chickens. I’m gettig more and more into all-natural, responsibly-raised meats. I think that’s awesome that they’re able to tell you where your chickens came from.

The chicken fingers look delicious! You’re making me want to grab a side of honey mustard and swipe some tenders from the screen! Yum! 🙂


5 Kathy - Panini Happy March 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm

Yummy! We all deserve a treat once in a while 🙂 That’s interesting that you can know the farm the chicken came from. It’s easy to feel “distant” from our food, especially chicken the way it’s all packaged down for us. I could stand to get a better appreciation for where my food comes from.


6 snooky doodle March 11, 2009 at 8:21 pm

these look yummy and even more cause they natural 🙂


7 Elyse March 12, 2009 at 1:12 am

You know, I was just talking about how I really don’t care for fried chicken (being from the South, I realize I’m speaking blasphemous words). However, I totally love chicken tenders. Weird, right? It’s something about the bone. Anyway, point being, your chicken tenders look fabulous! Buttermilk only makes them that much better!


8 Flying Cloud March 12, 2009 at 9:47 am

Chicken strips and a honey mustard dipping sauce is my favorite meal at home. I like the marinade idea and will try this!


9 Happy Cook March 12, 2009 at 11:22 am

Wow these look so crunchy delicious.


10 Kelly March 12, 2009 at 2:24 pm

Those sound delicious. I am definitely going to have to look into that company. It sounds interesting and like there is so much more accountability than ordinary food companies.


11 Angie March 12, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I made these for dinner tonight and they were excellent. My came out a little more browner than yours but I tend to be fanatic about chicken and it being thoroughly cooked. Thanks for the recipe.


12 Kerstin March 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm

I always forget to put on my apron too! I love all the spices you used in the batter – they look delicious.


13 KT March 13, 2009 at 9:28 am

I love buttermilk fried chicken! I’ll have to try these. For those nights when you don’t want to bust out the fryer (and deal with the cooling/straining/re-storing of quarts of peanut oil), I’ve had pretty good luck with oven-fried chicken strips. You just dip them in buttermilk first then dredge in a mix of breadcrumbs and grated parmesan (about half and half), and then bake at 450 on an olive-oil greased baking sheet. It takes about 15-20 minutes. Just thought I’d share that in case you have any of that delicious Just Bare chicken left!


14 Mari March 13, 2009 at 7:09 pm

You need only say the words fried chicken tenders and my mouth is watering.


15 Julia Cleary March 14, 2009 at 2:31 pm

I am just a week away from having surgery and eating nothing but soup and sherbert and ginger ale. I have been watching so many food tv shows that I vowed that whatever I put in my body from here on out into my body for all the weight I am losing, it must be nothing but natural, healthy delicious food. This might be the first meal I try! OMG Erin, it looks so good, my appetite is finally coming back, thank you!


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