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Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Comeback Sauce

Charlotte Hancey
Chicken breasts strips are marinated in buttermilk then dredged in seasoned flour before frying to golden brown perfection. Comeback sauce is the ideal accompaniment with its creamy base and bold flavors like lemon, smoked paprika, Worcestershire, and Tabasco.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Resting Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

For the Buttermilk Chicken Tenders

  • 2 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Lawry's seasoned salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 3-3 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch wide strips
  • 48 oz Canola or Vegetable Oil
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the Comeback Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Add buttermilk to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon seasoned salt and 1 teaspoon pepper then stir to combine. Add chicken strips and stir to make sure they are coated well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for 30 minutes (or up to overnight).
  • Make Comeback Sauce by whisking all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Will keep for up to one week refrigerated.
  • Pour oil into a large, deep pot for frying. Heat oil to 350°.
  • While oil is heating up, make the dredge by combining flour, 1 1/2 tablespoon seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large, wide, shallow bowl (I use a round or square cake pan).
  • Once oil reaches temperature, use tongs to grab one chicken tender from the buttermilk. Let some of the excess drip back into the bowl then place in flour mixture. Turn to coat well then leave in flour mixture or set aside. Continue coating 4-5 chicken strips then place all of them in hot oil.
  • Fry the chicken strips until they are dark golden brown and place on a paper towel-lined platter. Sprinkle with extra kosher salt as soon as they are placed on the platter if desired.
  • Fry 4-5 chicken strips at a time so that the pan doesn't get too crowded and lose heat. Keeping the oil at 350° is essential.
  • Makes about 20 chicken strips. Serve hot with the Comeback Sauce for dipping.
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