“These chicken tenders are glorious! They might look simple but they are delicious” That’s my oldest daughter’s introduction to this recipe. She loves helping and she is 100% right.
Marinated in buttermilk and coated with a thin layer of cornmeal and spices, these chicken tenders have the perfect combination of juicy meat and crunchy crust.
On this recipe I show you three different ways to cook these chicken tenders but no matter which way you choose, (oven, air fryer, deep fried) I am sure your whole family will love them. Don’t skip my Honey Mustard dipping sauce! It’s the perfect complement to this delicious meal.
What you need to make Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Tenders:
What you need to know before you make Cornmeal Crusted Chicken Tenders:
The crust for these chicken tenders is a mix of cornmeal and spices, it is very simple but a little different than traditional wheat flour. Corn meal absorbs a lot of moisture so you want to keep it as dry as you can while you dredge your chicken in it. Just place the chicken on the cornmeal mixture, press it down slightly, do the same on the other side and shake off any excess. You want to get a thin, even layer of cornmeal.
1 teaspoon honey (more if you like a very sweet sauce)
Juice ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Make ahead: In a large bowl, add the chicken and all the ingredients for the marinade. Buttermilk, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
Make the honey mustard sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard, deli mustard, honey and lemon juice until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Prepare the chicken: In a medium size plate add the cornmeal, salt, pepper, paprika and oregano. Mix.
Remove the chicken tenders from the marinade, getting rid of as much buttermilk as you can. Gently lay one chicken tender onto the cornmeal mixture and press it down slightly, flip the chicken and do the same on the other side (do not roll the chicken into the mixture, you want to keep the cornmeal as dry as you can) Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the rest of the chicken tenders.
Cook the chicken: You can cook the chicken in three different ways.
Oven: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top and arrange the chicken making sure it is not overlapping. Spray the chicken with cooking spray and cook for 16 minutes. Turn the broil to high and cook for 2 more minutes, just enough to make the cornmeal dry and crispy. Let it cool for a couple of minutes before serving.
Air Fryer: Spray the Air Fryer basket with cooking spray and arrange the chicken tenders making sure they are not overlapping (you might need to cook the chicken in two batches) spray the chicken with cooking spray and cook for 10-12 minutes or until cook through.
Stove top: In a large skillet heat about 1” vegetable oil or canola oil on medium heat for a couple of minutes. When the oil is hot enough (you can add a pinch of corn meal to the oil and if it sizzles, it is ready) carefully place a few chicken tenders at a time in the hot oil and cook for about a minute and a half on each side until golden brown and done. Remove from the hot oil and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
Serve with honey mustard sauce.
NOTE: the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the chicken tenders. The internal temperature for fully cooked chicken is 165 degrees.
Hello, my name is Marisol Chancellor. I was born and raised in Monterrey Mexico. I’ve been living in Texas for 12 years and even when I love barbeque, fruit cobblers and sweet tea, there’s something that has the power of transporting me right back to my mom’s kitchen and gives me a little piece of home, cooking. I grew up in the kitchen and for me, memories are always linked to food, and behind the food, well, there’s always a story that comes along. So, please let me share with you my love for cooking and while we are at it, let’s share some memories, because let’s be honest, we are also hungry for nostalgia.