Country Buttermilk Chicken Tenders


This recipe uses a breading of flour with buttermilk and some spices to create a crunchy, crumbly, country batter that simply can’t be beat. We’ll also use fresh boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets, which are perfect for this country chicken tender recipe. Buttermilk is also an excellent marinade for chicken as it naturally tenderizes the meat, while maintaining the moisture and juiciness and adding a wonderful flavor. The buttermilk works with enzymes to break up the connective tissue and muscle fibers. It’s one of the ways southern cooks have been making the best chicken for ages.

This recipe can be made right on the stovetop, no deep fryer is necessary. In fact, by cooking on the stovetop, we get a more golden brown color to our tenders and they are juicy and delicious!

Country Buttermilk Chicken Tenders


  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  1. Place all marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag, mix up well and add chicken. Close bag tightly and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or overnight is even better.
  2. Mix all breading ingredients in a large bowl. Consistency will be crumbly, which is perfect.
  3. Add oil to a large, high-sided stovetop cooker and heat oil to high.
  4. Drop marinated chicken tenders into breading mix and press it all in real good. It will be a big clumpy mess but that's what we want.
  5. Using tongs, slowly add breaded tenders into oil. Do this slowly and one at a time, as not to drop the temperature of the oil.
  6. Cook tenders for a 3-4 minutes, until 1st side is golden brown, carefully flip over with tongs and let fry on other side for an additional 3-4 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Carefully remove chicken tenders from oil and place on a paper towel lined pan to drain the oil.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce such as BBQ sauce, ranch dressing or honey mustard.

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About The Author

Jason is a popular recipe teacher. His gift is making delicious recipes very easy to master with simple, step by step instructions. He loves bold, full flavoured cooking inspired by the South.

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14 thoughts on “Country Buttermilk Chicken Tenders”

    • Hey Jenna 🙂 In theory yes you could back them in the oven. – Though we haven’t tried it so couldn’t tell you exact temp / time. Just make sure they are cooked through before eating. Let us know how you go if you give it a try

  1. I make these tonight and they were great, the only thing I changed was the buttermilk because I didn’t have any so I substituted ranch dressing.
    I will definitely use this recipe again.

    • I found a “faux buttermilk” recipe. It’s just milk with lemon juice, and it works perfectly for marinating the chicken. It gets so soft and tender.

      I don’t have the recipe right in front of me but it can be easily found with a Google search.

  2. My husband is just wild about these! Now that we’re empty-nesters I don’t make fried chicken anymore because….well I just don’t feel like dealing with it or with the mess afterward. With these, I’m out of the kitchen in no time with minimal mess. (I have an extra large cast iron skillet and I fry three at a time – they turn out just fine.). I am so glad I gave these a try! 👍

  3. Terrific recipe. I switched up the buttermilk for soy milk & vinegar. Worked out great. My grandsons & family were very happy. So excited to eat I forgot to take a picture 😬


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