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Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

This recipe shows 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 a 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 did 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 also do not need to turn the chicken, which you do have to in the pan, as you can fully 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 these the following evening so effectively the chicken was marinated for about 22 hours. But 8-10 hours would also be fine – you could marinate in the fridge during the day and eat in the evening.

buttermilk chicken tenders
Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with a curry dip

You could try marinating for a shorter period, 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 on game day 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 Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise.

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. We certainly did!

curry dip recipe

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

How to make buttermilk chicken tenders

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buttermilk marinated chicken

Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinade Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

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


  • 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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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 514Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 1427mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 47g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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Leyla Akmal

Monday 19th of July 2021

I would like to try this delicious recipe with chicken drumsticks- how long would you fry those to be sure? Thank you!


Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Good plan. I have no idea - I have never tried with drumsticks, but it would take longer than stated in this recipe I think. It would also depend on the heat of your oil. Good luck trying though.

Tripp wilson

Tuesday 6th of July 2021

The buttermilk is listed as mi the flour is listed as grams I have no way to measure those can you please put that in cups also The temp for deep fryer and how long to cook them in fryer can't wait to try them


Tuesday 6th of July 2021

If you apply some common sense, the buttermilk and flour amounts obviously do not have to be measured that accurately. The buttermilk is to marinate and the flour is to cover the chicken. Use what you need to do the job. If you are still struggling, will tell you that you need a bit more than 2 cups of buttermilk. Using cups to measure the weight of flour is inherently inaccurate anyway, as you will see if you Google it, as it depends on the density of the flour in the cup. But use about a cup (or more if you need it). I would fry at about 175C in a deep fryer (if I had one) - that's about 347F. Hope this helps.

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