Who doesn’t love fried chicken? This is an easy mid-week meal that you can whip up in minutes, and give the family their favourite fried chicken dish without the expense of paying for a takeaway. Serve these crispy fried chicken tenderloins with a bowl of fluffy mashed potatoes covered in my homemade creamy mustard gravy and just sit back and wait for the compliments!
Easy fried chicken
Forget KFC. Let me introduce you to FFC (Foodleclub Fried Chicken) 🙂
My family loves fried chicken, but I’m always wary about frying chicken on the bone. Unless you are really careful, there’s always the chance that the chicken will be slightly undercooked against the bone. That’s why I love this recipe. It’s made with boneless chicken tenderloins that fry up in minutes, so you can always be sure that the chicken is cooked properly.
When you’ve had a hard day at work, sometimes you just want a dinner that’s made with no fuss and as little preparation as possible, but at the same time, you want something the whole family will enjoy. Believe me, you NEED this crispy fried chicken tenders recipe.
- Perfectly cooked chicken tenders that are crispy on the outside, yet still moist and juicy inside.
- Creamy mashed potatoes covered in my special instant mustard gravy (I’ve included the recipe for the gravy below, but I haven’t given instructions for mashed potatoes because everyone has their own favourite recipe for those 🙂 ).
- Sweet juicy frozen peas that warm up in the microwave in minutes.
The longest part of this recipe is the time it takes to marinate the chicken tenderloins, but you can get the mashed potatoes on to boil which the chicken is in the marinade. Or you can do as I do and put the chicken in the marinade the night before, then when you get home, all you have to do is coat the chicken and fry it.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- It’s made with chicken tenderloins which only take minutes to cook. Don’t worry if you don’t have tenderloins, you can just slice larger breasts in half and use those instead. And if your family prefers dark meat, you could even use skinless boneless thighs.
- Because these chicken tenders are cooked so quickly, there’s no time for the chicken to dry out. All the juices are locked into the meat.
- The chicken is marinated in buttermilk to keep it moist and juicy.
- There is very little preparation involved, just coat and fry the chicken, make some mashed potatoes and pop a dish of frozen peas in the microwave. Job done!
- The coating is super easy to make – just mix the spices with flour before coating the chicken.
- You don’t need huge amount of oil to cook it in – this chicken is shallow-fried, and because it fries so quickly there’s no time for the chicken to absorb the oil and become greasy.
- You end up with a pile of crispy fried chicken that make the perfect family supper when served with a bowl of mashed potatoes, peas and gravy.
- The creamy mustard gravy really turns this meal into something special. If you can boil a kettle of water, you can have this gravy ready in 5 minutes.
What you will need
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making these crispy fried chicken tenderloins on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
This recipe is sufficient for 4 people, allowing 3 small chicken tenderloins each, but you might want to make more than that so that you have leftovers. Served cold in a crispy bread roll, these fried chicken tenders make a delicious packed lunch.
Chicken – use skinless chicken tenderloin fillets if possible, as they are so tender. The tenderloin is the long muscle of flesh lying along between the inner breast and the breastbone. If you can’t get tenderloins you can use either sliced skinless chicken breast fillets or boneless, skinless thighs. A single serving of chicken is normally around 4 ounces (that’s about 115 grams). Tenderloin fillets are quite small, so I normally allow 2 to 3 per person.
Buttermilk – the acidity in the buttermilk helps to tenderise the chicken. If you don’t have buttermilk you can simply add a tablespoon of either lemon juice or vinegar to a cup of milk.
Flour – this is just plain all-purpose flour and is mixed with herbs and spices before being used to coat the chicken.
Herbs and spices – you will need a mixture of herbs and spices as listed below. The quantities given in the recipe card are sufficient to coat about 12 pieces of chicken. If you are making a smaller batch of chicken you can either halve the quantities given or mix up a full batch of the coating and store any leftover flour/spice mixture in an air-tight jar in the kitchen.
- Garlic granules
- Onion granules
- Cayenne pepper
- Ground all spice
- Dried sage
- Dried oregano
- Dried marjoram
- Dried basil
- Ground black pepper
Sunflower oil (not pictured) – you will need enough sunflower oil to fill your pan to about 1/2″ depth (just over a centimeter).
For the creamy mustard gravy
If you are intending to make my creamy mustard gravy you will need these ingredients too. I haven’t included them in the above photo.
Instant chicken gravy granules – these are gravy granules that can be bought in any supermarket (or you can order them from Amazon). They are normally just mixed with boiling water to form an instant gravy.
Wholegrain mustard – you can get this in jars in the supermarket. I like to use wholegrain because I like the little pops of flavour from the mustard seeds. You can use Dijon or English mustard if you prefer a smoother sauce, but be aware that these may be stronger than wholegrain mustard so you may need to use less.
Single cream – adds a luscious creaminess to the gravy.
How to make fried chicken tenderloins
Start off by marinating the chicken tenderloins in buttermilk for at least half an hour. You can leave it for longer if you have the time. It won’t come to any harm if you leave it marinating for up to 24 hours in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and add all the herbs and spices. Give it a good mix to get the spices fully incorporated and well distributed.
Lift each piece of chicken from the marinade and allow the marinade to drain off. Then coat each piece of chicken with the flour mixture, taking care to press the flour firmly all over the chicken (image 2 above).
Place the coated chicken pieces on a large plate.
Once all the chicken has been coated, cover the plate with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes. This allows the flour to settle onto the chicken and helps to keep the flour on the chicken as it fries.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan until it reaches 160°C° / 325°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, the oil should be hot enough to turn a cube of bread into a light golden brown colour in about 15 seconds. Don’t let the oil get too hot or it may burn the outside of the chicken before the inside is cooked.
Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil for about three minutes per side.
The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 74C / 165F. Alternatively, if you cut a piece of chicken in half, it should be completely white with no pink showing.
Drain the fried chicken tenders on paper towels and serve hot with mashed potatoes and peas.
Creamy mustard gravy
This will make one cup of gravy. Double up the gravy granules, water and cream if you want to make extra, but use your own judgment on how much extra mustard to add. You don’t want the mustard to overpower the taste.
To make the mustard gravy, pour boiling water over the gravy granules in a measuring jug. Stir well until the granules have dissolved and the gravy has thickened. Use enough gravy granules to get a thick gravy (thicker than you would normally make it). The addition of the cream will thin the gravy down.
Mix in one tablespoon of wholegrain mustard (more or less according to your own taste).
Stir in the cream.
Serve the gravy poured over the chicken and mashed potatoes.
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How to freeze
You can freeze the chicken (provided you make it with fresh chicken and not chicken that has been previously frozen) once it has been coated in the flour mixture.
Just arrange the chicken on a single layer on a tray and place the tray in the freezer until the chicken is solid. Then transfer the chicken pieces into a freezer bag and freeze them for up to three months. Open-freezing the chicken in this way will ensure that the chicken pieces stay separate in the freezer.
When you are ready to make the chicken, remove the pieces from the freezer bag and fry from frozen for about 4 minutes per side until cooked.
Pin for later
If you would like to try these crispy fried chicken tenderloins for yourself why not pin the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so that you can find it again easily. Just click on the image below.
Other chicken recipes you may enjoy
You may also like to try some of my other easy chicken recipes
- Cheesy bacon-wrapped chicken parcels
- Easy chicken cordon bleu
- Crispy chicken schnitzels
- Creamy chicken marsala with mushrooms
- Oven-baked peri-peri chicken (just like Nandos)
- Chicken Diane with bandy sauce
Crispy fried chicken tenderloins with mash and gravy
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 1 pound / 450 grams chicken tenderloin fillets
- 1 cup / 240 ml buttermilk
- sunflower oil for frying the chicken
- 1 cup / 140 grams plain all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried ground paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried onion granules/flakes
- ½ teaspoon ground all spice
- ½ teaspoon dried sage
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to your own taste
- 1 tablespoon chicken gravy granules
- 1 cup / 240 ml boiling water
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard use more or less according to your own taste
- 2 tablespoons single cream
- Place the chicken tenderloins in a shallow dish and pour in the buttermilk.1 pound / 450 grams chicken tenderloin fillets, 1 cup / 240 ml buttermilk
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to marinate.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour with all of the spices in a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly to distribute the spices evenly through the flour.1 cup / 140 grams plain all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon garlic granules, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon dried ground paprika, ½ teaspoon dried onion granules/flakes, ½ teaspoon ground all spice, ½ teaspoon dried sage, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried marjoram, ½ teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Lift each piece of chicken from the marinade and allow the marinade to drain off. Then coat each piece of chicken with the flour/spice mixture, taking care to press the flour firmly all over the chicken. Place the chicken pieces on a large plate.
- Cover the place with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
- Pour sufficient sunflower oil into a wok or large frying pan to a depth of about ½ an inch (just over 1 cm).sunflower oil
- Heat the oil to 160°C° / 325°F. If you don't have a thermometer, the oil should be hot enough to turn a cube of bread into a light golden brown colour in about 15 seconds. Don't let the oil get too hot or it may burn the outside of the chicken before the inside is cooked.
- Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil for about three minutes per side.
- The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 74C / 165F. Alternatively, if you cut a piece of chicken in half, it should be completely white with no pink showing.
- Drain the chicken on paper towels and serve hot with mashed potatoes and peas.
- Place the gravy granules in a measuring jug and add the boiling water.1 tablespoon chicken gravy granules, 1 cup / 240 ml boiling water
- Stir will until the granules have dissolved and the gravy has thickened.
- Add the wholegrain mustard and stir.1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- Stir in the cream.2 tablespoons single cream
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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