Crispy, crunchy Spicy Chicken Tenders Recipe! Easy to make and 100 times better than fast food or take out! Dunking them in pollo tropical cilantro garlic sauce or white bbq sauce takes them right over the top!
Why you'll love this recipe
What's not to love? They taste just like Chic-fil-A Chicken Strips - only this recipe is better! They are light and crispy.
The spicy chicken strips recipe only takes about 20 minutes to make (you can't get to the drive-thru and home that fast!) and filled with flavor - these are SO GOOD!!
For the exact measurements for the chicken fingers recipe, please refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- all purpose flour, onion and garlic powder, paprika, pepper, salt and Frank’s Red Hot seasoning powder
- bread crumbs - for extra crispy use Panko breadcrumbs.
- chicken tenderloins - you can substitute with skinless chicken breasts thinly sliced.
This is an overview of the instructions. For the complete directions for the spicy fried chicken tenders, just scroll down to the bottom!
- Heat oil in a deep pan, deep fryer or skillet over medium heat.
- Combine all of the spices and flour together, place in a shallow pan.
- Beat the eggs in a shallow bowl.
- Place the bread crumbs in another shallow pan.
- Coat the chicken by dredging in the flour mixture, then the eggs, next the breadcrumbs. Dredge in the eggs again, and finally in the bread crumbs.
- Fry in the hot oil for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
- Drain the chicken strips on paper towels laid on a baking sheet.
That means your oil is too hot. It overcooks the coating before the inside is done. Use an instant read thermometer. The proper temperature for the oil is 350 degrees.
Use a neutral oil like canola, vegetable, corn or peanut oil. They have a higher smoke point and will lessen the chances of burning the chicken keeping it light and crispy!
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature and cooking them quickly with the oil at the correct temperature.
There is a small tendon in the tenderloin that is tough. It doesn't hurt to eat it, but a quick tug will remove it and make the meat more tender.
Don't overcook the chicken. That makes it dry and chewy. Use a meat thermometer. The chicken is done when the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
If you don't want them to be too spicy, just cut the amount of hot seasoning powder in half.
What if you don't have Frank's Red Hot seasoning powder? No problem, substitute with your favorite seasoning, like Montreal Steak Seasoning or a great dry rub. You just need to watch the salt content, so they don't get too salty.
If you like the heat, you can add a few shakes of hot sauce to the eggs or an extra pinch of cayenne pepper to the spice mix to really heat it up!
Got leftovers? Refrigerated biscuits make great slider buns, add the chicken, top with bbq sauce and you have another great meal!
Reheat in the oven or with your air fryer. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 10-15 minutes and they will crisp right up!
Be sure to try the crispy chicken strips with your favorite dipping sauce! I love to dip the chicken strips in pollo tropical cilantro garlic sauce or alabama white bbq sauce, but this sweet Jezebel Sauce is delicious as well! If you prefer a spicy sauce, habanero sauce is excellent (and super hot!!!).
Serve the chicken fingers with homemade jiffy skillet cornbread. It's the best and super simple to make. Of course French fries or tatter tots are a given!
I like serving this with a salad with a vinegary bite, like Mexican coleslaw. It cuts through the richness of the spicy chicken tenders - YUM!!!
Spicy Chicken Tenders Recipe
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup Frank’s Red Hot seasoning powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- Heat the oil in a large skillet to 350 degrees.
- Add the flour, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, salt, and Frank’s Red Hot seasoning powder in to a shallow bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl.
- In a third bowl, add the bread crumbs.
- Coat the chicken pieces first by dredging in the flour mixture, then the eggs, next the breadcrumbs. Dredge in the eggs again, and finally in the bread crumbs.
- Fry in the hot oil for 3-5 minutes on each side, making sure the chicken is completely cooked. Use an instant read thermometer. When the internal temperature 165 degrees, the chicken is cooked.
- Drain the chicken strips on paper towels or a wire rack to remove excess oil.