Why you’ll love Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
I’m SO excited to share my mother-in-law’s famous chicken fingers!! All four of her grandkids absolutely love these chicken strips, and I simply had to learn it from her.
And lucky for us, she’s all about easy cooking! You’re going to LOVE her genius trick to coating the chicken tenders!! And yes, your fingers won’t get messy in the process! This recipe is also super easy and ready in just 25 minutes and don’t worry, the cleanup is minimal too.
Ingredients for Ritz Crackers Chicken Tenders
- Crackers – We love Ritz crackers for these chicken strips. Classic, whole wheat and even seasoned Ritz crackers work great!
- Chicken Tenders – or chicken tenderloins, are a narrow and long piece attached to chicken breast meat. It’s incredibly tender and requires minimal prep.
- Buttermilk – In place of buttermilk, you can substitute 2 beaten eggs.
- Oil – Any high-heat oil, such as canola, vegetable, grape seed oil works great for frying.
Chicken Strip Recipe Substitutions
- Chicken: I like to use chicken tenders for this dish, it’s a narrow and long piece attached to chicken breast meat. It’s incredibly tender and requires minimal prep. Chicken breast works fine too, just cut it into thin strips.
- Crackers: I like to use Ritz original crackers. But you can use any kind of crackers you like. My mother-in-law uses saltine crackers, Ritz crackers and Triscuits.
- Buttermilk: You can use store bought buttermilk, or if you don’t have any on hand use my DIY buttermilk substitute it only takes 10 minutes. You can also use two beaten eggs if you are in a hurry.
How to make Chicken Strips
1. Prepare the crumbs
Take your crackers of choice, salt and parsley in a food processor and blitz and transfer it into a zip lock bag. Alternatively, you can use your rolling pin, add all contents to a zip lock bag and use a rolling pin until you’ve reached the desired crumb.
2. Prepare the chicken strips
Next step is to take your chicken tenders, and place them into the buttermilk (or beaten eggs), toss them around so all sides of the chicken get covered. Then take your tongs and place each chicken tender into the zip lock bag with the cracker mixture in it. Toss the bag around so each chicken tender is coated with the mixture.
3. Fry the chicken fingers:
Heat a skillet and add oil. Remove the chicken tenders from the zip lock and place them in the pan. Fry them for approximately 2 -3 minutes on both sides. Once golden transfer them onto a wire rack.
- Try to cut your chicken strips into even pieces, so that they cook evenly.
- Feel free to use any kind of crackers, pretzels, or even combination of crackers and Panko.
- You may use beaten eggs instead of buttermilk.
- Heat the oil in the skillet well before adding the chicken fingers.
How to store this Chicken Fingers Recipe
Refrigerate the leftover chicken fingers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
How to reheat Chicken Tenders
- To preserve the crispy texture, I like to air-fry the leftover chicken tenders for 3-4 minutes at 370°F, or until heated through.
- Oven works great too. Bake for 5-8 minutes at 400°F.
What to serve with Chicken Tenders
Here’re my favorite ways to serve these crispy bites of chicken:
Chicken Finger Recipe FAQ
The short answer is no one really knows. But speculation is that the chicken looks like human fingers.
Chicken tenders are made from chicken meat, whereas nuggets are made from processed chicken.
Chicken fingers can also be called Goujons, chicken strips, chicken tenders or chicken fillets. They are made from the white meat located on either side of the breastbone.
The exact cooking time depends on the thickness of the meat. Typically, it takes 2-3 minutes per side, so 4-6 minutes total to pan fry chicken tenderloins.
Chicken tenders are cut of chicken meat, it’s a thin strip of muscle underneath chicken breast. Chicken strips, or chicken fingers, are breaded and fried thin and long chicken tenders.
Leftover chicken tenders are great for adding into fried rice, pad thai, or as a topping for a salad.
Easy Chicken Fingers
Buttermilk Chicken Strip Recipe
- 1 sleeve crackers Note 1
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- 1/4 cup buttermilk Note 2
- 3 tablespoons oil for frying
- In a small food processor, crush the crackers. (Alternatively, you can place the crackers in a ziplock bag and crush the crackers with a rolling pin.) And then add salt and parsley and mix to combine. Transfer the seasoned crushed crackers into a ziplock bag.
- In a shallow dish, pour buttermilk and add chicken tenders. Toss to combine. Using a pair of kitchen tongs, transfer the chicken into the bag with crushed crackers, shaking off the excess buttermilk. Close the bag and toss around until the all the chicken is well coated.
- Heat a large stainless steel, or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add half of the oil.
- When oil is shimmering, add half of the chicken one by one, shaking off excess breading, into the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until nice and golden. Turn and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Transfer the chicken fingers onto a baking sheet with wire rack. Continue with remaining oil and chicken. (TIP: If needed, wipe the skillet with paper towel to remove any burned pieces before cooking the next batch of chicken.)
– Reheat leftover chicken fingers in the oven at 400°F for about 5-8 minutes, or in an air fryer for about 3 minutes at 370°F.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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