Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

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Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

This recipe will show you how to make some delicious crispy buttermilk chicken tenders. In this recipe, the buttermilk is used as a marinade to tenderise the chicken overnight to make the most delicious tasty fried chicken.

buttermilk marinade
Chicken with buttermilk in a sealable bag


Chicken tender recipe

There are many different ways to make fried chicken, but this is one of the best ways to prepare the meat so you get a delicious tender chicken breast. The chicken is marinated overnight in some buttermilk in a large sealable bag, which helps to make it more tender.

After marinating, the chicken is coated in a flour and spice/herb mixture to add some taste and a crispy outside layer to the chicken. Then it is fried in some hot vegetable oil in the pan or in a deep fryer.

chicken coating ingredients
Flour and spice mix to coat the chicken


I did try to make these in the air fryer, but the result was not as good as in the pan, I did not think. My wife liked them, as there was obviously less fat involved and hence they were a bit healthier, but they do not crisp up so well without deep frying in oil.

We do not have a deep fryer, as we left ours behind when we moved. But it is probably better to use a deep fryer to cook these than using a frying pan, as it makes less mess and it is quicker. You do not need to turn the chicken, which you do in the pan, and you can immerse the strips in the oil.

frying buttermilk chicken in wok
Frying buttermilk chicken in wok


Still, I did cook these in my wok, and it worked fine, but it did spatter a bit of oil on the hob.

How long can you marinate chicken in buttermilk?

For this recipe, I recommend marinating overnight. It does not ask for any extra effort – you just need to remember to prepare it beforehand!

buttermilk marinated chicken


We ate in the evening so effectively the chicken was marinated for about 22 hours. But 8-10 hours would also be fine – you could marinate during the day and eat in the evening.

buttermilk chicken tenders
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with a curry dip


You could try marinating for a couple of hours, but I do not think the effect will be so good.

If need be you could marinate for 2 to 3 days before you would have to cook the chicken. And remember to marinate in the fridge!

buttermilk chicken
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders


How to serve chicken fingers

These are great served up as finger food together with a dip of some kind. Try a curry mayo dip or a honey mustard dill sauce – both go great with these chicken tenders. 

chicken finger food
Super tenderised chicken


A wasabi mayo dip is also a good mix to try out, if you have never tried it! Just mix some wasabi with some Hellman’s.


buttermilk tenders with dip
Tenders with a wasabi mayo dip


Or serve them up as a full-blown meal with some fried potatoes for a good old chicken and chips!

chicken and chips
Chicken tenders with fried potatoes and a curry mayo dip


I hope you enjoy these crispy buttermilk chicken tenders.

curry dip recipe


If you try them please let me know how you get on in the comments section below! 

How to make buttermilk chicken tenders

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

buttermilk marinated chicken

These buttermilk chicken tenders are marinated overnight and have a crispy outside and a soft tender inside. Great finger food at parties.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinade Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes


  • 500ml Buttermilk
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into strips
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Vegetable oil to fry
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 2 tsp onion granules
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  • Chopped fresh coriander and mint


  1. Prepare the chicken and place it in a large sealed bag together with the buttermilk. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight. (Put in a bowl in case the bag leaks!)
  2. When ready to cook, mix the flour well with the other dry ingredients (spices and herbs).
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until shimmering.
  4. Then take the chicken from the buttermilk and roll the individual pieces in the flour mixture to coat the meat.
  5. Fry the chicken in the oil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. This takes about 5-8 minutes per piece, depending on how thick the strips are.
  6. Check that the chicken is properly cooked through before serving.


Serve up with a nice dipping sauce like a curry dip or a mustard dill sauce.

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