'Original Recipe' Fried Chicken Tenders

Time 45 minutes, plus brining time
Yields Serves 2 to 4
Chicken tenders are arranged on a plate
(Denny Culbert / Clarkson Potter)
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Chicken tenders are fantastic party fare and super kid-friendly, but I rarely think to make them at home for dinner because of the deep-frying. These tenders, however, I could make any night of the week because they’re easy to throw together. I based them on a certain fried chicken chain’s original recipe chicken. It was my favorite snack as a kid, and through lots of trial and error, I’ve stumbled upon the right mix of 11 herbs and spices to stand up to the colonel’s.

Serve these with your favorite dipping sauce or in classic fashion, with sides of mashed potatoes and biscuits with gravy.


In a large bowl, combine the chicken strips, buttermilk and eggs and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.


Meanwhile, in a bowl, stir together the flour, paprika, white pepper, garlic powder, salt, celery seed, mustard powder, black pepper, ginger, basil, thyme and oregano.


Remove a few strips at a time from the buttermilk mixture, dredge in the seasoned flour until evenly coated, then transfer to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Spray the chicken strips all over with cooking spray.


Transfer half the strips to the air fryer in a single layer and cook at 375 F until golden brown and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer the cooked strips to a plate and repeat to cook the remaining strips. Serve the strips hot.

Excerpted from “Air Fryer Every Day” Copyright © 2018 by Ben Mims. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Denny Culbert. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.