Buffalo Fried Chicken Tenders

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Sweet & spicy buffalo fried chicken tenders! These are brined in buttermilk, deep fried until crispy then glazed with a buffalo & honey sauce

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buffalo fried chicken tenders

Chicken tenders, made fried chicken style!

For these fried chicken tenders, we’re marinating chicken fillets in a spicy buttermilk brine, dredging them in seasoned flour then deep frying them until crispy. We’re not stopping there though, because we’re also glazing them in a homemade, buffalo honey sauce.

Incredibly crispy, super tender, tangy & mildly spicy, these make a great appetiser or main course, when served with one of our side dishes.

What Is Buffalo Sauce?

Buffalo sauce is typically made of cayenne pepper hot sauce & butter. Depending on how hot you like to make this sauce, the ratio of butter to hot sauce can vary from a 1:1 ratio to 1:2. For this recipe, we’re using our homemade buffalo sauce as a glaze, so we are adding in honey & Worcestershire sauce for extra flavour & stickiness.

What You’ll Need

  • Chicken Fillets – Also called tenderloins. These come off the breast & can be found in most supermarkets & butchers. If you can’t get any, you can cut chicken breasts into 2-3 cm wide strips.
  • Frank’s Hot Sauce – Frank’s RedHot hot sauce is one of the most popular choices for making buffalo sauce. This cayenne pepper sauce is available in most supermarkets. Feel free to use a different hot sauce, if you’d prefer.
  • Buttermilk Brine – Using a buttermilk brine makes the best, most tender fried chicken! There’s not really a substitute for buttermilk in this recipe but it is available in most supermarkets. We’re flavouring ours with hot sauce, smoked paprika, garlic granules, salt & pepper.
  • Flour Dredge – Before frying, the chicken tenders are coated in a flour dredge. This consists of plain flour, cornflour, smoked paprika, garlic granules, salt and pepper.
  • Buffalo Honey Glaze – Used to coat the fried chicken, our buffalo style glaze is made with hot sauce, butter, honey & Worcestershire sauce. This recipe makes enough to glaze the chicken & to serve on the side as well.
buffalo fried chicken tenders

How To Make Buffalo Fried Chicken Tenders

The full, printable recipe card for these chicken tenders can be found at the bottom of this post!

  1. Buttermilk Marinade – First up, the buttermilk brine. To make this, we whisk together buttermilk, hot sauce, smoked paprika & garlic granules. This then gets seasoned with salt & pepper then we add in the chicken fillets & chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  2. Flour Dredge – This is the coating for our fried chicken. We make this by mixing together plain flour, cornflour, smoked paprika, garlic granules, salt & pepper. This part can be made well in advance.
  3. Buffalo Honey Glaze – The buffalo honey glaze is made by melting butter & honey in a pan then whisking in hot sauce & Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Frying – Depending on the size of your fryer, you’ll probably need to cook the tenders in batches. To do this, take 3 or 4 pieces of chicken out of the buttermilk, toss in the flour then immediately (and carefully) place into a deep fat fryer (preheated to 180°c/356°f). Now we fry the chicken until the coating is crisp & golden & the chicken is cooked through (a digital food probe comes in handy!) The chicken’s internal temperature should be at least 75°c/167°f. Once cooked, the chicken is drained on kitchen paper & seasoned with sea salt.
  5. Glazing – Once fried, we transfer the tenders into a mixing bowl then pour over half of our glaze. This gets tossed, to completely coat the chicken in buffalo glaze then they can be served. The remaining glaze can be used to dip the chicken tenders in.
flour dredge for fried chicken
chicken frying

What To Serve With Buffalo Chicken Tenders

These buffalo fried chicken tenders are great eaten on their own but would also work fantastically with a range of different side dishes. From homemade coleslaw, to a simple iceberg lettuce salad or a creamy blue cheese dip. Or whilst you’ve got your deep fat fryer on, why not make some triple cooked chips?

Fried Chicken Tips & Tricks

  • For the most tender fried chicken, brine the meat in buttermilk for at least 4 hours.
  • Use a deep fat fryer to fry the chicken until it’s golden brown & super crispy.
  • For perfectly cooked chicken, check the internal temperature with a digital food probe.
  • Drain the fried chicken on a piece of kitchen roll to stop it going soggy.
  • Use the glaze whilst still warm for better chicken coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a deep fat fryer to make fried chicken tenders?

For the best fried chicken, you will need a deep fat fryer. You could also use a pan of oil, heated up to 180°c/356°f on the stove. Make sure to do this really carefully though!

How long do chicken tenders need to marinate in buttermilk for?

Fried chicken tenders should be marinated in buttermilk for at least 4 hours or up to a day. I find that overnight/12 hours works best.

How will I know when chicken tenders are cooked?

Once cooked, the chicken tenders will be golden brown & crispy. I’d also recommend taking the internal temperature with a digital food probe. It should be at least 75°c/167°f.

What cut of chicken will I need for tenders?

For this recipe, you’ll need to use chicken fillets/tenderloins, that come from the breast. If you can’t get these, you can slice chicken breasts into 3-4cm wide strips.

How do you make tender fried chicken tenders?

The secret to making super tender fried chicken is marinating the meat in buttermilk for at least 4 hours before frying. The acidity tenderises the chicken & the texture/thickness of the buttermilk helps the coating stick.

buffalo honey glaze

Equipment Used

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Buffalo Fried Chicken Tenders

Sweet & spicy buffalo fried chicken tenders! These are brined in buttermilk, deep fried until crispy then glazed with a buffalo & honey sauce
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Brine Time4 hours
Total Time4 hours 25 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 3 Portions
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Deep Fat Fryer
  • Digital Food Probe
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Small Saucepan

Ingredients

  • 400 g Chicken Fillets See Notes

Buttermilk Brine

  • 300 g Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce
  • ½ tsp Garlic Granules
  • ½ tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Flour Dredge

  • 160 g Plain Flour
  • 40 g Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ tsp Garlic Granules
  • ¼ tsp Table Salt
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Buffalo Honey Glaze

  • 75 g Unsalted Butter
  • 100 g Honey
  • 75 g Frank's RedHot Hot Sauce
  • ½ tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Instructions

Buttermilk Brine

  • Place the buttermilk, hot sauce, garlic granules, paprika, salt & a few cracks of black pepper into a mixing bowl then whisk together.
  • Add in the chicken fillets then mix well, to fully coat each piece.
  • Cover with clingfilm then leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to a day.

Flour Dredge

  • Place the flour, cornflour, paprika, garlic granules, salt & a few cracks of black pepper into a mixing bowl. Whisk together then set aside for now.

Buffalo Honey Glaze

  • Add the butter & honey into a small saucepan then place over a medium heat.
  • Once melted, remove the pan from the heat & whisk in the hot sauce & Worcestershire sauce.
  • Set aside whilst you fry the chicken tenders.

Cooking

  • Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180°c/356°f.
  • Take 3-4 chicken fillets out of the buttermilk then toss in the flour dredge, making sure that they are fully coated.
    Don't worry about letting the buttermilk drain off the chicken!
  • Carefully place the dredged chicken into the hot oil & cook until golden, crispy & cooked through.
    This will take around 5 minutes. If you take the internal temperature with a digital food probe, it should be above 75°c/167°f. Repeat the dredging & frying process with the remaining chicken fillets.
    Depending on the size of your fryer, you might be able to cook several chicken tenders at a time. Make sure not to overcrowd the fryer though! Keep the chicken warm in an oven between batches or serve straight away.
  • Once cooked, transfer the fried chicken to a plate lined with kitchen roll/paper then season with sea salt.

Glazing

  • Transfer the cooked chicken tenders into a large mixing bowl then pour over half of the glaze.
  • Toss to coat then serve with the remaining buffalo sauce on the side.

Notes

1. Chicken Fillets – You’ll need 400 grams of chicken fillets for this recipe. This equates to roughly 9 fillets. If you can’t get chicken fillets, cut chicken breasts into 2-3 cm wide strips.
2. Deep Fat Fryer – For the best results, a deep fat fryer should be used for cooking the chicken. If you haven’t got one, a pan of oil heated up on the stove will work, just make sure to do this carefully!
3. Storage – The deep fried chicken fillets should be served as soon after cooking as possible. The buffalo honey glaze can be made up to 3 days in advance & kept in the fridge. Reheat the glaze over a low heat before pouring over the chicken.
4. Hot Sauce – I used Frank’s RedHot hot sauce for this recipe but feel free to use a different cayenne pepper hot sauce instead. If you’d like to make the glaze hotter, add in some extra hot sauce.

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