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hand dipping one fried tender into ranch
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Cajun Fried Chicken Tenders

Perfectly seasoned, tender pieces of chicken fried golden brown. A dinner recipe that everyone will actually love.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
marinating4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 55 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: cajun chicken tenders, fried cajun chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 542kcal
Author: Katie Shaw


  • Deep fryer
  • 2 Large bowls


  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch strips then cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 quart oil for frying peanut recommended

For the marinade

  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if using salt-free Cajun seasoning)
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning without added salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey

For breading the chicken

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if using salt-free Cajun seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning


  • Marinate the chicken. Combine the buttermilk, Cajun seasoning, salt, and honey in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken and toss until fully submerged. Cover and allow to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Bread. Preheat oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 degrees. While the oil is heating, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning in a large mixing bowl. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk marinade, shaking off any excess. Working in batches, coat the chicken in the seasoned flour.
  • Fry. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with paper towels and laying a wire cooling rack on top. Deep fry the chicken in a single layer for 6 minutes, or until medium golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Allow it to drain on the cooling rack while you finish cooking the remaining chicken.
  • Serve. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a 200-degree oven until serving. Serve with ranch


If your Cajun seasoning contains salt, reduce or eliminate the salt you add to the marinade and to the breading.   I'd recommend leaving it out of the breading entirely.  Taste the tenders after frying and sprinkle with salt while they're still hot it they need it. 
You can also fry these in a skillet with a 1/2 inch of oil, but you'll need to turn them halfway through.


Calories: 542kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 2266mg | Potassium: 1004mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 238IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg