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Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders
Crispy ranch chicken tenders may be my new favorite recipe. This recipe creates the most amazing crispy crunchy exterior, while maintaining a tender and moist interior.
They’re perfect for a delicious weeknight meal when you need to feed the kids a hearty meal, but don’t have a ton of time. Or they can also make an amazing game day snack or appetizer. Simplicity and versatility make this a go-to recipe!
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Have you tried making these crispy ranch chicken tenders yet? Come on in and let me tell you about them!
Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders Ingredients
Chicken, tenders are the easiest but you can use chicken breast as well, about 2 pounds
Buttermilk, 2 cups
Flour, 2 cups
Ranch Dressing Seasoning Mix, 1 packet
Black Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
Parsley, 2 teaspoons
Oil for frying, i used vegetable, but you can use anything you prefer
Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders Directions
Place the chicken tenders in a mixing bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Make sure that no tenders are stuck together and all are coated in the buttermilk. I like to let mine sit for about half an hour, as I’m prepping the rest of dinner.
In a second mixing bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together. Salt, pepper, flour, ranch seasoning, and parsley. I like to use a spice grinder to grind the parsley into a fine dust, and it mixes in more evenly. Whisk all the dry ingredients together.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the oil in a dutch oven, cast iron frying pan, or a deep fryer. You want the oil to be roughly 375 degrees. I turn my burner on to be right in the middle of 7 and 8, for reference.
Be careful that the oil doesn’t get too hot as you start working on the tenders. If it is smoking or looks like it may explode, take it off the burner and let it cool for a few minutes.
Remove one chicken strip at a time from the buttermilk and place in the flour mixture. Coat evenly with the flour and gently press it down to help it stick. If you’re having any trouble with the coating sticking, add in a little bit of cornstarch to the flour.
Turn the chicken over and repeat until the entire tender is completely and evenly coated.
Place the chicken on a cutting board, wire rack, or a plate until this process is complete.
Fry the chicken until the outside is golden brown and crispy. Place the chicken into a baking dish and bake in the oven to finish for approximately 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees, measured by a meat thermometer.
If you don’t want to bake the chicken, you can continue frying it for 5-8 minutes per side until it is done. I prefer mine in the oven, because I know I won’t undercook or overcook it that way.
If you’re using an air fryer, replace 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of Panko, and continue coating the chicken as directed. Heat the air fryer up to 400 degrees. Place 2-3 strips in the basket, but be careful not to overcrowd it. Lightly spray the top of each chicken tender with cooking spray. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, spray, and repeat.
To reheat the chicken, turn the oven or a toaster oven on to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes until it is warm and the breading is crispy and starting to glisten. Pull them out and they are ready to serve!
Does the chicken taste like ranch salad dressing? That is a question I’ve often been asked when talking about this recipe. Nope. What is ranch seasoning? It is buttermilk powder and some spices mixed together. That’s it. What that wonderful combination does is ensure a delicious and savory tasting chicken. Buttermilk, even in powdered form, also helps to tenderize the chicken.
To me, ranch seasoning is simply a shortcut to cutting down on the number of ingredients necessary to season the flour mixture with. When frying chicken, the breading or coating on the outside is everything. That makes or breaks a fried chicken from being just okay or being amazing. Seasoning the flour is essential to a great fried chicken, and the ranch seasoning is a simple way to do just that, with minimal effort.
If you don’t have chicken tenders, you can easily replace that with chicken breast. The key here is cutting them to a uniform size, so they cook at the same speed.
Why I Love This Recipe
Chicken tenders are much faster to cook than bone-in chicken, but can still be equally crispy and amazing. This is perfect for a busy weeknight meal when time and energy are both in limited supply.
Have you made these delicious crispy ranch chicken tenders before? Are you a fan? Do you cook with ranch seasoning? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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