Directions 7 steps | 45 Minutes
Measure and prep all ingredients.
Place the chicken, buttermilk, and salt in a plastic zip-top bag or another airtight container. Mix to thoroughly combine. Transfer the chicken into the refrigerator to marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
When ready to fry, preheat the oven to 375°F. Heat the peanut oil in a Dutch oven, wok or other large pot to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with cooling racks. In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the flour and paprika.
Remove one piece of chicken at a time and dredge it in the flour. Transfer the dredged chicken to one of the prepared baking sheets. As buttermilk drips into the flour mixture, mix it in with your fingertips and allow to flour to form clumps. If the mixture becomes too wet and won't adhere to the chicken, mix in more flour. After you've coated all the chicken, repeat the dredging with the first couple of tenders you coated, to make sure they have as much breading as the rest.
Place a few breaded chicken pieces in the hot oil, keeping an eye on the temperature to ensure it does not drop below 300°F. Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a temperature around 350°F.
Fry the tenders for about 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until the breading is crisped and browned. Using a strainer, spider, or slotted spoon, remove them to the second prepared baking sheet. If they are not cooked all the way through (165°F on an instant-read thermometer), transfer them to the hot oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. Once the oil temperature returns to 375°F, fry the next batch of chicken. Continue until all the chicken is cooked.
Serve the buttermilk chicken tenders with ketchup or your favorite barbecue sauce. Enjoy!