If you love finger foods, then you need to make these hot honey chicken tenders! Chicken tenderloins coated in buttermilk, flour, then fried to perfection and smothered in sauce.
I love easy chicken recipes like air fryer chicken wings but some days I crave regular deep-fried chicken tenders. These hot honey chicken tenders are crispy, juicy, and taste so good. They’re sweet with just a hint of spice. I like to serve them with 4 cheese mac and cheese, coleslaw, and blue cheese dressing.
Chicken – I used chicken tenderloins but feel free to use chicken breasts sliced into long strips.
Hot Sauce – Use your favorite spicy hot sauce. I personally like Cholula hot sauce for this recipe.
Buttermilk – Thick and store-bought buttermilk is best.
Spices – I used a combination of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Feel free to use Cajun seasoning, chipotle seasoning, or your favorite chicken rub instead.
- If using chicken tenderloins, I recommend removing the white tendon attached to the tenderloin. To remove the white tendon, slip the tendon through a fork, and pull the tendon using a paper towel. It should slide right off.
- I didn’t add too much salt to the spice blend because most of the flavor will come from the sauce. However, feel free to season the chicken how you normally do.
- Don’t overcook the chicken! If you want it extra juicy on the inside, only cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Serve the chicken tenders with extra hot honey on the side! The hot honey gives it so much extra flavor so make sure to dunk them in the sauce.
- Use peanut oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil for frying.
Can I Adjust The Hot Honey Sauce To My Liking?
Yes, of course. Taste the sauce before coating the chicken tenders and if you want it a little spicier, feel free to add more hot sauce or cayenne pepper.
Can I Bake These Instead?
I highly recommend frying these chicken tenders. They taste so much better when fried and smothered in sauce. They turn out perfectly crispy and aren’t greasy at all.
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Hot Honey Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken tenderloins white tendon removed
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup honey
- oil, for frying
- In a small bowl, combine the salt, pepper, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Add the chicken tenderloins, 1/2 of the spice blend, and buttermilk to a bowl, and let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the flour, cornstarch, and remaining spices in a large brown paper bag or zippered plastic bag. Mix well.
- Dip the chicken tenders in the flour mixture shaking off any excess buttermilk before coating. Make sure to coat the chicken tenders well. You shouldn't be able to see the flesh under the flour. Coat twice if needed.
- Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. and fry the chicken tenders for 3 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through. Place the chicken tenders on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate.
- While the chicken cooks, add the hot sauce and honey to a saucepan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk the sauce until nice and smooth.
- Coat the chicken tenders with the hot honey sauce and enjoy!
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