Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Tenders

by Della H. Harris

Buffalo Chicken TendersOur family looks forward to buffalo chicken tenders at least once a year, but I cringe at the calories.

Why not make a recipe that isn't cringeworthy?

Opt out of the traditional, skin-on buffalo wings, and cut the saturated fat and calories in this Super Bowl party favorite. Serve with a generous serving of colorful vegetables.

Don't be afraid to sink your teeth into our spicy chicken morsels! They're crunchy, tasty and more or less mess-free!

Buffalo Chicken Tenders

Prep time: 15 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes | Yield: 8 large servings


• 3 tablespoons nonfat buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
• 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, divided
• 1 small clove garlic, finely minced or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
• 2 pounds chicken tenders
• 6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
• 6 tablespoons cornmeal
• 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
• 2 tablespoons oil, divided
• 2 cups peeled carrot sticks
• 2 cup(s) celery sticks


Place the chicken tenders in a zip closure bag. Whisk buttermilk, 2 tablespoons hot pepper sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar and garlic in a small bowl until combined. Add the chicken and shake gently to coat. Refrigerate and let marinate for 10 minutes to one hour, shaking occasionally.

Meanwhile, combine the flour and cornmeal in a shallow dish. Whisk the remaining 1 tablespoon hot sauce and 1 tablespoon vinegar in a small bowl.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and roll in the flour mixture until evenly coated. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with cayenne pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter. Reduce heat to medium. Repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.

Drizzle the reserved hot sauce over the chicken. Serve with carrots and celery sticks and a dip of your choice.

Do you have a favorite chicken tender/wing recipe? Share it with us in comments.

Cook's Note

Not all oils are created equal. Some start smoking at low temperatures; other can tolerate more heat. Why should you avoid the smoke? Besides hurting your eyes, smoking oil produces toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.

Her's a list of heart-healthy plant oils good for searing and frying:

  • Light olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Organic canola oil
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Sesame oil (strong flavor; a little goes a long way)
  • Other nut oils like walnut, macadamia, almond and hazelnut (these can add unique flavors)

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