Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips

Plate up these fried-chicken strips with Southern-style nibbles like pimento cheese, freezer-aisle biscuits, and pickled okra—then dig on in, y’all!
Publish date:
spicy buttermilk fried chicken strips

Recipe by Sarah Karnasiewicz

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4 to 8


  • 1 1/2 lb. chicken tenders

  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 1/2 cups flour

  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

  • 1 tbsp. cayenne

  • 2 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. onion powder


1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, buttermilk, and 1/2 tsp. salt. In a large deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil over medium-high until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350°.

2. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, whisk the flour, cornstarch, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper. Working in 2 batches, lift the chicken strips out of the buttermilk and coat in the flour mixture. Dip the chicken in the buttermilk again, then dip in the flour again to double coat.

3. Working in 2 batches, transfer the breaded chicken to the skillet. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes per batch; return the oil to 350° between batches. Let the chicken drain on a paper towel–lined wire rack.