I’ve never been the world’s biggest Chik-fil-A fan but every once in awhile I think about the combo of crispy tender and Polynesian sauce and just get a craving. That usually happens on Sundays…when CFA is closed. Cause of course it does.
Today was one of those days and, since I had to stop at the grocery store anyway, I figured I might as well try to satisfy that craving myself. As it happened, the chicken tender cut was one of the cheapest at my grocery store and I was able to get a decent sized container for around $4 – already way cheaper than CFA. The rest of the ingredients I had at home!
In order to get crispy tenders like those that come in a fast food bag, you need to use a batter and you need to fry them. Needless to say this isn’t the world’s healthiest recipe but it’s DELICIOUS and, in the end, probably still better than something that gets handed through your window in a bag. In the future I think I’ll try air frying but, for now, an occasional deep fried chicken tender is worth it.
Crispy Chicken Tenders
- 2 Lbs boneless Chicken tenders alternatively you can cut chicken breasts into strips
- 1 2/3 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Large egg
- 1/3 Cup water
- 2 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pepper
- 3-4 Cups canola or vegetable oil
- In a medium sized bowl combine 2/3 cup of the flour, half of all the spices, the egg and the water. Whisk until all ingredients are incorporated into a thick batter. You don’t want this to be clumpy so, if too thick, whisk in a little more water at a time
- In a second bowl, combine remaining flour and spices and whisk to combine
- Prep a try with wax or parchment paper and set within reach – this is where you’ll place the prepared chicken
- Begin heating oil in a heavy bottomed pot on the stove at medium heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet for this or a sauté pan with deep sides to avoid splatter
- Take each chicken strip and dip in the batter, then the flour. You’ll notice what look like flour chunks forming on the chicken – that’s good! That is how you get the signature crispy bits on the tenders so don’t knock off excess breading. You don’t want these to be smooth
- Once all chicken is battered, start frying in batches. You’ll only need a couple minutes per side – just until the batter is golden brown and crispy
- Move finished tenders to a paper-towel lined plate to drain
- Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce!