In the above video you heard Sally talk about how she has fried a lot of chicken. She isn’t kidding. My youngest brother, Clifton, loves chicken tenders! When he was younger, some would say Clifton was a picky eater, but I prefer saying he had a very selective palate. My Mom quickly discovered that he would always eat chicken tenders, which lead to chicken tenders being on the family menu at least once a week. He would eat the ones from the freezer section, but Sally noticed than he preferred ones that she fried herself. For years Sally has made chicken tenders at least once a week pretty much every week. Yes even holidays. On our Thanksgiving menu we have two types of poultry: turkey and chicken tenders (by the way chicken tenders with cranberry sauce and gravy is something you have to try). She wasn’t kidding when she said she made tenders last night. The night before we filmed this, I bet you can guess what Clifton had for dinner!
Clifton likes his tenders only one way and eats the same meal every time. A plate full of tenders, ketchup, a side of green beans, and corn. That is the way he likes it and being the one who hasn’t graduated high school yet, that’s the way my Mom makes them. I wonder how he can eat the same thing week after week, but something must be working. I am 11 years older, but somehow he is two inches taller! I’m 6’1″ so there must be something in these tenders.
I have found a benefit of Clifton’s love of chicken tenders. It’s not worth the time to only make enough tenders for one, so there are always leftovers. When Sally and I are working on a recipe for a client or Taylor Takes A Taste blog post and I haven’t had lunch, I know exactly where to go. I know that there is a good chance Clifton had chicken tenders the night before and there will be a plastic bag with leftover tenders in the refrigerator. My mom’s rule is that whatever leftovers are in the fridge are fair game, so sorry Clifton, your leftover tenders are my lunch.
Clifton may enjoy the consistency and same tenders every week, but I am a little more adventurous in my tastes. Sally and I were discussing how she could change up her chicken finger game. Her solution: add the crunch and saltiness of Fritos. Genius! When paired with a Sweet & Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce you have an appetizer or entree that is perfect for any entertaining occasion. Chicken Tenders are a food that was meant for tailgating. You can find Clifton’s Chicken Tenders in The Southern Tailgating Cookbook, but I am thinking these Frito Fried Tenders are perfect for your Super Bowl Menu! They are versatile in that you can have one or two as appetizer or a plate full as a main meal. You can eat them with one hand while standing up and they can feed a crowd! If you are looking for a new take on a delicious dish give these Frito Fried Chicken Tenders a try!
For the Tenders:
2 cups buttermilk
3 cups self rising flour
2 cups instant corn masa flour
1 Tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 large egg
1 bag (9 3/4 ounces) Fritos Corn Chips
peanut oil for frying
Sweet and Spicy Peach Sauce:
Juice of 1-2 fresh limes
*You may use equal volumes of hot pepper jelly and your favorite fruit jam (apricot, pear, cherry, etc.) if desired.
1. Cut the chicken tenderloins in half lengthwise. Put the tenders in a bowl and add the buttermilk. Stir until all the tenders are covered with the buttermilk. Set bowl aside. (at this point you may refrigerate the tenders up to 6 hours before proceeding with the recipe)
6. While the chicken is in the oven, prepare the dipping sauce. Put the hot pepper peach jam into a small bowl. Add the juice of 1 lime. Stir the jam until it is well mixed. Taste the sauce and add additional fresh lime juice to taste. Remove the Frito Fried Chicken Tenders from the oven and serve warm or at room temperature with the Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce.