Buffalo Chicken Tenders: A Flavorful Twist on Classic Comfort Food


When it comes to comfort food, few dishes rival the satisfying crunch and spicy tang of Buffalo Chicken Tenders. Born from the legendary combination of zesty Buffalo sauce and tender chicken strips, this crowd-pleasing dish has earned its place as a staple in the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. In this article, we delve into the tantalizing world of Buffalo Chicken Tenders, exploring their origins, the secret to their mouthwatering flavor, and how you can easily recreate this beloved classic in your very own kitchen.

Buffalo Chicken Tenders: A Flavorful Twist on Classic Comfort Food

1. The Legend of Buffalo Chicken Tenders:

The story of Buffalo Chicken Tenders begins in Buffalo, New York, in the 1960s. The credit for their creation is often given to the Anchor Bar, where the original Buffalo wings were born. However, as the popularity of this finger-licking dish grew, cooks and chefs began experimenting with the concept, leading to the advent of Buffalo Chicken Tenders. Soon, these delectable strips of chicken took center stage, offering a milder alternative to the traditional fiery wings while retaining the iconic Buffalo sauce flavor.

2. The Magic of Buffalo Sauce:

At the heart of Buffalo Chicken Tenders lies the captivating Buffalo sauce. A harmonious blend of hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, and an assortment of spices, this tangy concoction infuses the chicken tenders with a burst of flavor that is both spicy and addictive. The Buffalo sauce is what sets these tenders apart from other chicken finger recipes, making them a favorite indulgence for spice enthusiasts.

3. Perfecting the Chicken Tenders:

The secret to achieving the perfect Buffalo Chicken Tenders lies in the preparation of the chicken. Tender, juicy strips of boneless, skinless chicken breast are marinated to enhance their succulence and then coated with a seasoned flour mixture to provide that signature crispy texture. The tenders are then deep-fried to golden perfection, sealing in the moisture and creating a delightful contrast to the bold Buffalo sauce.

4. A Play on Heat and Coolness:

One of the allures of Buffalo Chicken Tenders is the delightful play on flavors and temperatures. The spicy kick of the Buffalo sauce is often complemented by cooling accompaniments like creamy ranch or blue cheese dressing, which soothe the palate and elevate the overall taste experience.

Tips and Variations:

Buffalo Chicken Tenders: A Flavorful Twist on Classic Comfort Food


1. Marination is Key: For tender and flavorful chicken tenders, marinate the chicken in buttermilk or a mixture of milk and hot sauce for at least 30 minutes to several hours before breading and frying. This step helps to tenderize the chicken and infuse it with flavor.

2. Season the Flour: Add spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt to the flour mixture for the perfect balance of flavors in the coating.

3. Double Dredge for Extra Crispiness: For an extra crispy coating, do a double dredge - after the initial flour coating, dip the chicken tenders back into the buttermilk mixture and then into the flour again before frying.

4. Use High-Quality Buffalo Sauce: Opt for a high-quality Buffalo sauce or make your own with a combination of hot sauce, melted butter, vinegar, and spices. The quality of the sauce directly impacts the overall flavor of the chicken tenders.

5. Temperature Control: Use a deep-fry thermometer to maintain the oil temperature around 350°F (175°C). This ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and the coating becomes crispy without burning.

6. Drain Excess Oil: After frying the chicken tenders, place them on a wire rack to drain excess oil. This helps to keep them crispy and prevents them from becoming soggy.

7. Experiment with Heat Levels: Adjust the amount of hot sauce in the Buffalo sauce to suit your spice preference. For milder tenders, reduce the hot sauce; for extra heat, increase it.

8. Try Different Dipping Sauces: While classic ranch and blue cheese dressings are traditional choices, consider trying other dipping sauces like chipotle mayo, honey mustard, or cilantro lime sauce to add new dimensions of flavor.


1. Baked Buffalo Chicken Tenders: For a healthier alternative, bake the chicken tenders instead of frying. Coat them in a mixture of breadcrumbs and bake in the oven until golden and crispy.

2. Buffalo Chicken Sliders: Serve the Buffalo chicken tenders on small slider buns with coleslaw or lettuce for a tasty and portable snack.

3. Buffalo Chicken Salad: Chop the cooked Buffalo chicken tenders and toss them with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing for a flavorful salad.

4. Buffalo Chicken Wraps: Roll the Buffalo chicken tenders in a tortilla with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and your favorite dressing for a delicious handheld meal.

5. Buffalo Chicken Pizza: Top a pizza crust with Buffalo sauce, cooked and sliced Buffalo chicken tenders, mozzarella cheese, and red onions for a spicy and cheesy pizza delight.

6. Buffalo Chicken Tacos: Fill soft tortillas with Buffalo chicken tenders, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and avocado slices, then drizzle with ranch dressing for a Tex-Mex twist.

7. Asian-inspired Buffalo Sauce: Infuse your Buffalo sauce with Asian flavors by adding soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and a hint of honey for a unique fusion experience.

8. Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese: Toss chopped Buffalo chicken tenders with macaroni and a creamy cheese sauce for a comforting and flavorful twist on mac and cheese.


  • - 1 lb (450g) chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips)
  • - 1 cup buttermilk (or a mixture of milk and hot sauce for marinating)
  • - 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • - 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • - 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • - 1 teaspoon paprika
  • - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste for spiciness)
  • - Salt and pepper to taste
  • - Vegetable oil for frying
  • - 1/2 cup Buffalo sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • - 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • - Ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping
  • - Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)

Buffalo Chicken Tenders: A Flavorful Twist on Classic Comfort Food


1. Marinate the Chicken:

- In a shallow dish, place the chicken tenders and pour buttermilk over them until they are fully submerged. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours for maximum flavor.

2. Prepare the Flour Coating:

- In a large bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir well to ensure the spices are evenly distributed.

3. Dredge the Chicken:

- Remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk, allowing any excess to drip off.

- Dredge each chicken tender in the seasoned flour mixture, ensuring they are evenly coated. Shake off any excess flour.

4. Fry the Chicken Tenders:

- In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat vegetable oil to around 350°F (175°C).

- Carefully place the coated chicken tenders into the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry in batches if necessary.

- Fry the chicken tenders for about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C).

- Once cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken tenders to a wire rack to drain any excess oil.

5. Make the Buffalo Sauce:

- In a separate bowl, mix the Buffalo sauce and melted butter until well combined.

6. Coat the Chicken in Buffalo Sauce:

- Dip each fried chicken tender into the Buffalo sauce mixture, ensuring they are fully coated. For milder tenders, you can toss them lightly in the sauce; for spicier tenders, give them a thorough coating.

7. Serve and Enjoy:

- Place the Buffalo-coated chicken tenders on a serving platter.

- Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro if desired.

- Serve the Buffalo Chicken Tenders with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.

- Enjoy your delicious and flavorful Buffalo Chicken Tenders as a mouthwatering appetizer, a game-day snack, or a satisfying main course!

Note: If you prefer a healthier version, you can also bake the breaded chicken tenders in the oven at 425°F (220°C) on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until they are golden and cooked through, flipping halfway through and brushing with the Buffalo sauce during the last few minutes of baking.