Thursday, September 26, 2013

chicken tenders

Okay so, chicken tenders and delish, right? And Ed loves chicken tenders. So, usually I just buy a big bag of frozen chicken tenders and let it go at that. Well. Those days may be far behind me. I made the mistake of making homemade chicken tenders and this may be all he accepts from now on.
So, you could always purchase chicken tenders but I had chicken breast in the freezer already. So, slicing it up is all you need to do to make chicken tenders anyway.
See how easy that is? Just a couple of slices.
Now those little tenders are going for a swim... in some buttermilk! Well, of course, I have no buttermilk on hand, but in the milk and vinegar fake buttermilk I usually use.
Now for the flour dredge. This is a combo of all purpose flour, lemon pepper, smoked paprika, all seasons salt and black pepper.
Now this is a little unorthodox, but this is what makes the whole difference. Using a fork, stir in about a quarter cup of milk and make little crumbles of flour that latch onto the chicken and become those crispy bits like on the frozen kind.
Press the soaked chicken tenders into the flour and crumbles- and I do mean press so that it all sticks on there nice and good. Flip and then repeat.
Repeat that with all the chicken tenders. And now I think is an important step. Place those chicken tenders on a tray and pop them into the fridge for about 15 minutes. This ensures that the chicken tenders and the flour will stick together when they are fried- no lost crispiness.
This is how I test my oil- drop a small bit of flour into the oil and if it sizzles but doesn't burn, then the oil is good to go.
The chicken doesn't take very long at all- in fact less time than in the oven for sure! 2 to 3 minutes on one side and about 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.
Almost there.....! Just need to drain on a paper towel and season with a tiny bit of salt.
Chicken Tenders
2 large chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon all seasons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
Vegetable oil

Preheat about an inch of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, slice chicken into tenders and place into a large bowl. Cover with buttermilk and soak for 15 minutes. In a shallow bowl, combine together flour, all seasons salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and lemon pepper. Drizzle in milk and stir with a fork to create small clumps. Press soaked chicken tenders into flour mixture and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with all tenders. Place in fridge and chill for 15 minutes. Place tenders in hot oil in batches and fry on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until cooked through. Drain on a paper towel and enjoy!