Crispy Chicken Tenders with Garlic Chilli Dip! My technique for chicken that’s juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and packed with flavour!Crispy Chicken Tenders in a blue bowl sprinkled with herbs

I worked in a fried chicken shop for 5 years when I was at high school and college, so I know my crispy chicken tenders!

Back then, most of the chicken was chopped in store on a bandsaw, but sometimes, when the cut stuff was running low, we had to get the cleaver out.

Yep, a 15-year old, with a cleaver, trying not to cut any fingers off.

A Crispy Chicken Tender being dipped into garlic chilli mayo

We also had a massive old pressure cooker, a burger grill that literally spat out flames (those burgers tasted amazing though) and more than a few interesting/scary customers. Especially when I was:

A: Working on my own – which was quite often during my year before university!
B: Serving the worse-for-wear customers in the early hours of the morning – when the nightclubs had chucked out.

It’s safe to say that job was a confidence builder! And whilst I vowed at the time that I wouldn’t work in a fast food shop again, I managed to fall into a job at Wimpy during the first couple of my Uni years!
No fried chicken there though!

So, coming back to the chicken….

Crispy Chicken Tenders in a blue bowl with Garlic Chilli Dip in the background
In those days, the chicken was simply coated in a special blend of spices and flour (I don’t have the secret recipe – it came ready-mixed in great big sacks), and then fried. Simple and delicious!

I use my own special blend of spices with these crispy chicken tenders, and after a fair bit of tasting and experimentation, I think I’ve got it spot on, or even better. I also use this coating recipe in my crispy chicken burger and Chinese crispy chicken!

Lewis tell me it’s the best chicken he’s ever tasted. Whilst Gracey is too busy stuffing her face with second and third helpings to actually say anything.

Because I’m using chicken breast pieces – rather than chicken on the bone (which is naturally more juicy and tender) – I marinate the chicken in a simple mixture of buttermilk, salt, pepper and garlic salt for at least an hour first. Trust me, this makes ALL the difference!

Go heavy on the coating, then fry until beautifully golden. I use our deep fryer for this, but I am experimenting with an oven-baked version, so I’ll update you when I’ve perfected that recipe.

Perfect crispy chicken, with a hint of chilli spice (leave it out if you don’t like it spicy, it still tastes amazing!).

The Crispy Chicken Tenders with Garlic Chilli Dip Recipe:

5 from 4 votes

Crispy Chicken Tenders with Garlic Chilli Dip

Crispy Chicken Tenders with Garlic Chilli Dip! My technique for chicken that's juicy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and packed with flavour!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, British


  • 4 chicken breasts sliced into long, thick strips
  • 240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt

Crispy Coating:

  • 180 g (1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp celery salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • juice of half a lime
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp sriracha
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Place the chicken in a bowl. Add the buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Mix together, cover, and place in the fridge to marinade for at least 1 hour (up to over night)
    4 chicken breasts, 240 ml (1 cup) buttermilk, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • Preheat the oven to a low heat (to keep the cooked chicken warm). Heat a large pan of vegetable oil (or preheat your deep fat fryer) until hot (you can test by dropping a small cube of bread in there, if it rises immediately to the top and starts to bubble rapidly, it’s hot enough). You’ll need at least 1 litre (4 cups) of oil.
    vegetable oil for frying
  • Mix together the crispy coating ingredients in a small bowl. Take the chicken out of the fridge. Lift a piece from the buttermilk and allow the excess to drip off. Dredge the chicken in the crispy coating mixture – ensuring it’s fully covered. Place on a tray and repeat until all of the chicken is coated.
    180 g (1 1/2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, ½ tsp celery salt, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Once the oil is hot enough, add in 5 or 6 of the chicken tenders. You can add more or less depending on the size of your pan, just be sure not to overcrowd the chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown and cooked in the middle. You can check this by cutting open a piece of chicken, if it’s no longer pink in the middle, it’s cooked.
  • Place on a tray in the oven to keep warm whilst you cook the rest of the chicken.
  • Mix together the dip ingredients and serve with the crispy chicken.
    3 tbsp buttermilk, 2 tbsp sour cream, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tbsp chopped coriander, juice of half a lime, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 small garlic clove, 1 tsp sriracha



Nutritional Information is per serving.
This info is approximate, as all of the flour may not be used up in coating the chicken (I've counted all of the flour as part of the nutritional info though). Also, I've included 1 tbsp of oil per serving to account for the oil that is absorbed during deep drying (this is an *approximate* amount, the chicken may absorb more or less).


Calories: 471kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 1448mg | Potassium: 753mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 445IU | Vitamin C: 2.6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2.4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate the recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Baltisraul says:

    5 stars
    If you want more crispy, use powered salt when making your coating. It works for all things fried. I make up a supply and keep on hand. Place table salt in a blender, not a food processor, and grind it up fine. You can also put it in a coffee grinder too. I actually use both methods to get it as fine as possible.

  2. Phoebe says:

    5 stars
    I had never made fried chicken before and decided to try this recipe. It is my favourite thing I’ve learned to cook in a while. The batter/coating is so good, it’s like having takeout at home.

  3. Dean Lindsay says:

    Hi Nicky,

    Love love love the Chanel. As a “50 something” I remember as a young boy, my mum always doing a chicken Kiev with braised celery and Crocket potatoes. (Can’t remember what sauce but it was always a once a week dinner)

    Trouble is mum never really cooked from scratch so my recollection is that it was always a bought item on the Kiev front. (2 chicken breasts in a pack as I remember). Is this a dish you could put a spin on and show how to cook from scratch while keeping it succulent as well as home made. I would love to recreate it.

  4. Conor says:

    Hi, is there an oven-baked version of this recipe?

  5. Chris says:

    5 stars
    The Coating on these is unbelievable!. Genuinely one of my food cravings and i have many 🙂

  6. KC says:

    5 stars
    Tried these over the weekend, I was looking after my grandchildren for the weekend. Needless to say I am now voted the best Grandma ever, thanks to this fab recipe.