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KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders Copycat

KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders Copycat

KFC Nashville Hot Chicken Tenders just like Colonel Sanders makes them! After going viral on TikTok, my husband and I went to go try them and they were so good but now that they're sold out, it's time to make them at home and EVEN better.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Dry Brine 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 tenders

Ingredients
  

CHICKEN

  • 2 large chicken breasts about 1.5 pounds
  • sprinkle of salt
  • peanut or vegetable oil for frying

DRY

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

WET

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

SPICY OIL

  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cayenne powder add more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt more to taste
  • 3/4 cup frying oil

Instructions
 

CHICKEN

  • Cut the breasts into thin long strips. Two large breasts should make about 10 to 12 strips.
  • Transfer to a wire rack and sprinkle a little salt on both sides. Do not over-salt. Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to reduce moisture on the skin so the breading sticks really well.

DRY

  • In large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, mustard powder, black pepper, and baking powder. Set aside.

WET

  • In a deep bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, hot sauce, pickle juice, and baking powder.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the wet batter into the dry and mix around to create a flaky texture just like KFC. Set aside.

SPICY OIL

  • In a heat-safe bowl or cup-big enough to dip the fried tenders in-mix together brown sugar, chili powder, cayenne, dry mustard, garlic powder, and salt. After frying the chicken in the next step, take 3/4 cup of the hot oil and pour into the spice mixture. Mix and set aside.

BREADING AND FRYING

  • Dip each strip first in the dry, then into the wet, then back into the dry. Make sure to let any excess wet or dry fall off before dipping into the next. Once all the tenders are breaded, allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat oil to about 365°F in a frying pan, about 1.5 to 2 inches high.
  • Drop tenders in, making sure not to overcrowd them. Fry in 2 batches if needed. Fry until golden brown all around, about 7-8 minutes. Make sure to rotate the tenders around as needed for even browning. Transfer to a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
  • Dunk each tender in the spicy oil and transfer to a plate.
  • Serve with pickles and toast!

Notes

  • The hot sauce I used is Louisiana-style Crystal Hot Sauce but you can also use Frank's Red Hot or any personal favorite.
  • These tenders came out with a spicy level of medium which is how the KFC Hot Tenders would be. It's the perfect spice level as there is a strong kick but it's not too much. If you like hotter than medium, add more cayenne powder to your taste.
Keyword copycat recipe, restaurant remake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    • Mozan
    • May 1, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Loved how this turned out!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • May 4, 2021
      Reply

      Awesome!!

    • Zoya Asad
    • May 3, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    Tried this today and it turned out soooo good!!

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • May 4, 2021
      Reply

      Yay!! Thank you for sharing ?

      • Angelica Rodriguez
      • September 15, 2021
      Reply

      I was wondering if this this be done in an air fryer? Or if it’s better with oil?

        • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
        • September 17, 2021
        Reply

        Hi Zoya! I’ve never tried it with an air-fryer but you can definitely experiment with it. You would still have to dip it in the oil and spices after air-frying though. Let me know if you have any other questions 🙂

    • Renno
    • May 10, 2021
    Reply

    I am making this today, wish me a good luck, and I’ll comment back on how it turned out

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • May 11, 2021
      Reply

      Good luck!! Let me know if you have any questions

    • Selina
    • September 3, 2021
    Reply

    5 stars
    This was so yummy! Super easy recipe to follow. I even substituted almond milk for the buttermilk since I’m dairy free and it still came out delicious.

      • hajarlarbah@gmail.com
      • September 8, 2021
      Reply

      Oooh thanks for sharing Selina! That’s good to know the dairy-free version still turned out amazing.

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