Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Tenders are a delicious and easy recipe that the whole family will love! You can make them from scratch or use frozen tenders.
To prepare the chicken, mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl.
Work one piece of chicken at a time: first dredge in the buttermilk mixture, then egg wash and last in breadcrumbs.
How long to cook tenders
Air fryer chicken tenders are so easy to make and the results are surprisingly crispy. These are the perfect kid-friendly snack or dinner for any day of the week and would even go well with this copycat Chick-Fil-A sauce!
Start by preparing your dredge ingredients. Grab 3 shallow plates or bowls. In the first, mix together the flour with a good pinch of salt and pepper. In the second, whisk together the eggs. Finally, in the third plate or bowl, combine the breadcrumbs or panko and Parmesan cheese. If you’d like to spice things up, add a little chili powder or jerk spice to the breadcrumb mixture as well.
Once the dredge ingredients are ready, start dredging the tenders! Begin with the flour, then egg, and finally the breadcrumb mixture. Be sure to cover all sides of each tender with each step. If needed, work in batches to ensure that each one gets properly coated.
When all of the tenders are coated, arrange them in a single layer on an air fryer lined baking sheet and cook in your preheated air fryer. Cook for about 8 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. The timing will vary slightly depending on your model and how crispy you like them, so be sure to keep an eye on them as they cook.
Let the tenders cool a few minutes before serving. Serve them with this amazing Chick-Fil-A sauce or another dipping sauce of your choice! These chicken tenders are a great way to get the kids in the kitchen helping and they also make a fantastic snack for after school or on movie night. If you want to save some time, the entire recipe can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a month in an airtight container.
What temperature to cook at
Depending on your air fryer, you’ll want to cook the chicken for about 9-12 minutes. This will result in crispy tenders that are cooked through. To ensure your chicken is cooked through, use an instant-read thermometer to test for doneness.
To make these spicy chicken fingers, start by preparing the breading mixture. In a shallow dish, mix together the egg, buttermilk, salt, and pepper. In another shallow dish, combine the flour and seasonings. Dip each chicken tender in the buttermilk mixture, then into the flour mixture to coat. Continue to do this until all of the chicken is coated.
Once the chicken has been dredged and breaded, set aside. You can either cook the tenders right away or refrigerate them for a few hours (the longer you wait, the less crispiness you’ll have). When ready to cook, preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Arrange the tenders in a single layer and cook for 8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
When your tenders are finished cooking, serve with a dipping sauce or covered in your favorite marinade. These crispy air fryer chicken tenders are great as an appetizer, snack, or main course. They also work well with frozen sweet potato fries or french fries.
You can use different spices in the breading if you prefer, but I like to keep it simple with salt and pepper. Other great options include chili powder, jerk spice, cajun mix, or italian seasoning.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to deep-fried chicken, these air fryer spicy chicken strips are definitely worth trying! They’re perfectly crispy with a ton of flavor. Plus, they’re much easier to clean up than a pan of grease!
Any tips for perfectly crispy tenders
When baking chicken tenders, it’s important to pre-soak them in liquid to help the breading adhere better. You can also add a bit of butter to the coating to keep it extra crispy. Adding spices to the coating can also give them more flavor. Try a mix of Italian seasoning, or even chili powder for a Mexican twist!
Another way to get super crispy tenders is to use a wire cooling rack in the air fryer instead of tin foil. This will allow the air to circulate around the chicken more effectively, resulting in a crunchier coating. To ensure that the coating doesn’t fall off, it’s also a good idea to brush the rack with cooking spray before placing the tenders on top.
You should also be sure to use panko breadcrumbs. They will be much crispier than regular breadcrumbs and will give your tenders a more restaurant-style texture. If you don’t have panko breadcrumbs, you can substitute with all-purpose flour and a touch of salt. Using a gluten-free flour blend will make these tenders safe for those with celiac disease.
Finally, it’s a good idea to let the chicken tenders rest after frying. This will redistribute the juices, ensuring that they are moist and tender inside. Then, serve them with your favorite dipping sauce!
Air Fryer Spicy Chicken Tenders are a crowd-pleaser that kids and adults will love. This recipe is easy to follow and uses pantry staples, making it a great choice for busy weeknights. Plus, it’s a healthier alternative to deep fried chicken, without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Can I use frozen tenders
Frozen chicken tenders are a quick, kid-friendly food that can be air fried to perfection. They make for an easy lunch, snack, or dinner when you’re short on time. Frozen tenders can be used in all of the same ways as fresh ones, including dipping them in sauces or marinades. You can also make them more nutritious by coating them with a healthier breading.
To make sure the chicken is tender and fully cooked, it’s best to use an instant-read thermometer. This is a cheap device that can be purchased at most grocery stores, and it’s a simple way to test whether the chicken is done.
It’s important to dry the chicken tenders well before you coat them in breading. This helps the breading stick to the tenders and ensures that it’s crispy. It’s also a good idea to preheat the air fryer before you start cooking. This will help the chicken cook evenly and will speed up the process.
For best results, it’s a good idea to use a high-quality oven safe nonstick spray or baking sheet when making the chicken tenders in the air fryer. You should also make sure that the oven is preheated to the recommended temperature and that you don’t overcrowd the pan.
If you’re pressed for time, you can always skip the breading step and just coat the chicken in Buffalo sauce. This makes the recipe easier and faster, but it’s not as crunchy. You can also try using other types of sauces or marinades to add a different flavor. For example, a teriyaki marinade works well with this type of chicken. It’s also a good idea if you’re using frozen tenders to thaw them completely before you dredge and bread them.
What spices work well
The air fryer is having a moment, and for good reason. It cooks food fast, with little mess, and uses a fraction of the oil of a traditional fryer. It’s also a great way to make vegetables crispy and delicious. The key is to use the right spices and seasonings. There are special mixes and seasonings that are made specifically for the air fryer. These are available at most grocery stores. They typically contain a blend of flour, cornstarch, and seasonings, such as garlic powder or paprika.
Some dry spices work well in the air fryer, while others don’t. The heat from the hot air circulating in the device can blow the spices away. To avoid this, it’s best to coat your food in a small amount of oil before adding the dry spices.
You can also use a combination of spices to create a variety of different flavors. For example, Moroccan-spiced carrots are a fun twist on the typical side dish. They’re perfect for using up leftover veggies and are delicious served alongside grilled meats.
Sweet potatoes are another air fryer staple. The air fryer can make them extra crispy and add a lot of flavor in half the time it takes to roast them in the oven. This simple recipe is a family favorite.
You can also air fry frozen vegetables for a quick and easy side dish. Toss them with a sauce made from hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and toasted sesame oil for a Southwestern veggie side that’s perfect with enchiladas or quesadillas. Or, try a sweet and spicy sauce with red or green Thai curry paste and a combination of honey, adobo sauce, and cumin for a tasty Asian vegetable side dish.