The key to the juiciness and crispy lightness of these panko-coated deep-fried chicken tenders is the long marinade in buttermilk.
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons seasoned salt, divided
- 16 chicken breast tenders
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups vegetable oil for frying, or as needed
- Mix buttermilk and 1 tablespoon seasoned salt together in a bowl. Stir in chicken tenders. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees F (75 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with paper towels; place a cooling rack on sheet and set in oven.
- Mix remaining 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, panko bread crumbs, and pepper together in a large, flat bowl.
- Remove tenders from marinade one at a time and shake to remove excess buttermilk. Roll pieces in panko mixture and place on a large platter.
- Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 370 degrees F (190 degrees C). Fry chicken pieces 3 or 4 at a time in hot oil until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack in oven to keep them warm as you fry.