All you need is four ingredients, including ranch dressing mix, to make these flavorful and easy fried chicken tenders.
My family has cow fits when I make crispy fried chicken tenders of any kind. It’s like a national holiday or something and while they light up with delight at seeing the holiday show up when they least expect it, I stand around shaking my head, wondering what the big deal is.
But I know what it is – a rarity. I hardly ever fry chicken. Why? ~shrugs~ I just don’t like to. It’s just not my favorite thing to do, plain and simple. However, this for is flavorful and simple to make and you’ll probably only need to look at the recipe the first time you do it.
I’ve even included a list of “pro tips” at the bottom of the post to ensure fried chicken tender success. This chicken is great on its own, with a fast Italian cucumber salad as pictured, or dipped in comeback sauce. Of course, the traditional sides of mashed potatoes and creamed corn wouldn’t hurt either.
If you have my book, Come Home To Supper, this recipe for Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders is listed as “Flavorful Fried Chicken” on page 83.
- Vegetable oil (for frying). I use refined coconut oil but you can use whatever you like.
- A packet of ranch dressing mix
- All-purpose flour
- About 2 pounds (give or take) of boneless skinless chicken tenders
How To Make Ranch Fried Chicken Tenders
Stir together the ranch dressing mix and flour.
In another bowl, beat the eggs.
It’s not often that we have an opportunity to willfully beat things and goodness knows that living with the nonsense we do in today’s world we have the need to from time to time, so really get into this if it makes you feel better. I understand.
Pour your oil to a depth of about 1/2-inch or so (it can be less if you are short on oil) in a large skillet and place this over medium-high heat for a few minutes until it is good and hot.
If you are using coconut oil it will go in as a solid and melt for you right away on medium-high heat. You can tell it is hot by dropping just a pinch of flour into it. If the flour bubbles a bit, it’s ready. Reduce heat to medium and prepare your chicken.
Dip each into the egg mixture on both sides, and then into the flour on both sides. Gently place in the oil and cook until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center, turning as needed.
Remove each to a paper towel-lined plate to drain before serving.
Oh, Mercy! This is good stuff! Here is a batch of my easy fried chicken tenders served as a alongside a refreshingly simple side salad. YUM.
And if you really want to take your chicken over the top, click here to get this super easy comeback dipping sauce recipe!
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat either in the oven or air fryer to make the coating crispy once more.
Tips On How To Fry Chicken
- The secret to frying chicken that isn’t greasy is making sure your oil is hot enough. That is why I allow my oil to preheat on medium-high heat for a few minutes. Then I check it and turn it down to medium before I add my breaded chicken tenders.
- To see if your oil is hot enough, drop a small pinch of flour into it. If the flour bubbles, the oil is hot enough. To avoid it being too hot, turn it down to medium heat and wait a minute before adding your chicken.
- If you really love the breading, double-dip your chicken! Set up an extra bowl of milk and dip your chicken in that, then the flour, then the egg wash and flour mixture again. Think of that first dipping as creating a “glue” that is going to help adhere that breading mixture to the chicken.
- Fight the gunk! Breading chicken can be a gunky process as the flour and egg wash builds up on your fingertips fast and the flour mixture itself can get pretty gunked up, making it hard to coat your chicken. Fight this by letting the egg wash drip off each for a few seconds before moving it to the flour mixture, and washing your hands in between each batch (not each piece, but every five or six pieces). I wash my hands a lot when I’m breading anything. If you find your flour mixture tends to get gunky more often than not, try only using half of it at a time so that you can add in a fresh batch when the need arises.
- Paper towel-lined plates are a must! Always always always let your chicken sit on a paper towel-lined plate for a few minutes to get rid of any persistent surface grease and have the best crunchy and imaginable.
- Frying bone-in chicken is easy and hands-off when you let your oven do all the work. Check out my recipe for doing just that by clicking here.
- You can just cut some boneless skinless chicken breasts in strips if you like. You can also take it from yard bird to table but I can’t walk you through that because the folks who think meat grows on styrofoam trays will freak out!
What vegetable oil should I use to fry?
I personally use coconut oil to be a bit healthier as this is a stable oil with a high heat point which means it doesn’t break down at high temperatures to more unhealthy fats. It is high in saturated fat but the saturated fats from plants are not the same as saturated fats from animal fat so some studies say it’s a better option. I used the refined kind as I am not a big fan of a strong coconut taste but they have unrefined as well. This is solid at room temp but when you apply heat, it liquefies easily.
You can use Ghee or lard or animal fats to fry if you like.
Other options for healthier oils are avocado oil, or some people use olive oil. But I find this loses its flavor when heated for a long time. It also tends to break down at higher and longer heating temps and times so this may decrease its wonderful health benefits. I stick to using olive oil to drizzle on foods after they are cooked or I use a little in a pan for coating.
Check out these other easy chicken recipes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 package dry ranch dressing mix 1 ounce
- 2 eggs
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
- vegetable oil for frying, I use coconut oil but you can use what you like.
- Pour oil to a depth of about 1/4inch and place over medium to medium-high heat while you prepare the chicken.vegetable oil
- Stir together the flour and ranch dressing mix in a shallow bowl.1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 package dry ranch dressing mix
- Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat well with a fork.2 eggs
- Dip each piece of chicken into the eggs to coat, then dredge each chicken tender in the flour mixture on both sides.2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast tenders
- Check the oil to see if it is hot enough (see pro tips in the post on how to do this) and reduce heat to medium.
- Place the breaded chicken pieces into the oil a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Cook until browned on both sides and no longer pink in the center, turning as needed.
If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble,
you wouldn’t sit for a month.