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Southern Fried Chicken Strips

What's not to love with these crowd-pleasing golden fried chicken strips? A hint of garlic makes this fried chicken tenders recipe irresistible. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 5 min./batch
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins
  • Oil for deep-fat frying
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


  • In a shallow bowl, whisk egg and buttermilk. In a separate shallow bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt and paprika. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then flour mixture.
  • In an electric skillet, heat oil to 375°. Fry chicken, a few pieces at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with cheese.

Fried Chicken Strip Tips

What’s the difference between chicken tenders and chicken strips?

Chicken strips are slices of the whole chicken breast. The chicken tender (pectoralis minor) is the tender muscle located underneath each of the chicken breasts.

What is a substitute for buttermilk?

Buttermilk keeps the chicken strips moist and tender throughout the cooking process. Instead of buying buttermilk, place 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup and add enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also substitute buttermilk with 1 cup plain yogurt. Learn more about how to make buttermilk from scratch.

How do I get crispy chicken strips?

Do you have soggy chicken strips? For crispy, golden-brown strips, make sure the oil is heated to 375° before adding the chicken. That way, the chicken starts cooking instantly and doesn’t absorb too much oil. Follow our helpful deep frying temperature chart when you're whipping up a new deep fryer recipe.
Nutrition Facts
5 ounce-weight: 327 calories, 11g fat (2g saturated fat), 126mg cholesterol, 320mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 1g fiber), 39g protein.


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Average Rating:
  • Jessica
    Jul 13, 2020

    This is without a doubt the most moist chicken tender recipe I’ve used! I really think the buttermilk helped in that area (I actually used the substitute of lemon juice and milk) since this was kind of last minute. I got them nice and brown but they aren’t very crispy which was kind of saddening. Also I could of used more seasoning which surprised me with all that went into it. I’m a big fan of salt/seasoning and this was not enough lol. For those two reasons I took off one star.

  • Household
    Feb 27, 2020

    I couldn't get them to brown, but they still tasted good.

  • Mindy
    Aug 13, 2019

    Awesome chicken fingers! My kids request these a lot!!

  • Lady Fingers
    Jul 6, 2018

    This is a wonderful recipe! If you don't have an electric skillet, you'll have to watch it more carefully, but don't let that deter you. Can be doubled or halved.

  • khael
    Mar 10, 2018

    Just made these, came out fantastic, used eggbeaters. Canola veg oil setting #8-9 on an electric stove. Do not walk away for one second & every once & a while you will have to move the pan off the heat. That's how you regulate don't turn the dial up & down, takes to long. Good luck, mine was deliscious.

  • WonkyGirl
    Nov 18, 2017

    This did have a delicious tangy taste and was good dipped in honey mustard sauce. So glad I doubled for leftover lunch tomorrow. My hubby usually says only give four stars to new recipes but tonight he said this is a "5". This will go onto our menu rotation.

  • MarineMom_texas
    Feb 15, 2017

    I prepared these tonight and they were delicious. I followed the recipe except I only used one chicken breast for the two of us. The flavor was wonderful and tasted exactly like southern fried chicken. We will have this again. We both cleaned our plates. I highly recommend this recipe.Volunteer Field Editor

  • ClareDenise
    Jul 10, 2016

    I don't like cooking mainly but yesterday I just fancied something nice and fattening! I'd already roasted a chicken earlier in the day and wanted to find something yum and easy to do. This hit every spot going and have already emailed the link to several of my nearest and dearest. Delicious! This is something I know I'll crave having tried it already.

  • JMartinelli13
    Mar 14, 2016

    Substituted Penzey's Roasted garlic for garlic powder, held salt til after the chicken was fried and draining, omitted cheese. Beautiful crunchy chicken that the coating stays put when you cut it with a fork.

  • aimeej321
    Nov 15, 2015

    My first time ever preparing chicken tenders dipped in batter. I usually saute as is. This recipe is great. The fried tenders were a hit! I substituted Lawry's Seasoning Salt for the regular salt and also added about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt. I don't have an electric skillet, but a regular non-stick skillet worked just fine and I cooked the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side to get that perfect golden color and crisp. The chicken on the inside was perfectly cooked, tender and juicy! Will definitely add this to my dinner rotation!