I Tried the Popular “Double-Dredged” Chicken Tenders, and I’ll Never Make Them Any Other Way
If a video of a crispy chicken tender pops up on my TikTok feed, I have no other choice but to attentively watch the entire thing. There’s something about a buttermilk fried chicken tender that really gets me going. Clearly, the TikTok algorithm knows this about my personal preferences, so it recently served me this life-changing video by @moribyan about how to make McDonald’s Snack Wrap-inspired crispy chicken tenders. The video hadn’t even ended before I had decided I was going to make them ASAP.
I probably only had a McDonald’s Snack Wrap once or twice as a kid, so whipping up this recipe was less about the nostalgia and more about trying out the double-breading technique she uses for the tenders. But if you’re dying to remake a classic that’s since been discontinued, this is certainly up your alley as well. Here’s how it all went down.
How to Make McDonald’s-Inspired Crispy Chicken Tenders
To start, you’ll need to set up two large bowls: one for your wet ingredients (a spiced buttermilk mixture) and one for your dry (a spiced flour and cornstarch mixture). The spices used for both are paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. She actually uses a technique I first learned from Serious Eats, in which you add a few tablespoons of the wet mixture to the dry before dredging the chicken. Supposedly this additional step helps create extra-crunchy, craggy bits around the chicken.
When you’re done, you’ll dredge the chicken (tenders or sliced breasts) in the buttermilk mixture, followed by the flour mixture, and then back into both a second time. A double dredge with added nooks and crannies. Now that is a tender of epic proportions.
Your next step is to cook the chicken in 1 1/2 to 2 inches of neutral oil at 365°F until golden-brown on both sides. Transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil. While the chicken is cooking, you can also mix up a quick ranch sauce with mayo, mustard, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The tenders are served in a soft flour tortilla with shredded cheese, lettuce, and the prepared ranch sauce.
My Honest Review of These Crispy Chicken Tenders
I will never go back to single-dredged fried chicken. The Double Dredge™ is where (clap) it’s (clap) at (clap). Incorporating a few tablespoons of the wet mixture into the dry did what it promised, adding tons of craggly nooks and crunchy bits to the chicken. It tasted exactly like a chicken tender you’d get from any fast food joint (and I mean that in the very best way).
Seriously, I have never bit into a crispier, crunchier chicken tender than this one right here. Since both the wet and dry ingredients are well-seasoned, the final product is packed with flavor and perfectly salted. Next time I’m craving a fast food-style chicken tender, this is exactly how I’ll make them. I’ll admit that I didn’t love the heavy, mayo-based ranch, so in the future I’ll probably make an herby buttermilk instead.
My #1 Tip for Making These Chicken Tenders
Deep-frying at home can seem intimidating, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be a natural in no time. If you’re nervous about the temperature of your oil, using a thermometer is an easy way to monitor it and make sure it stays in the proper temperature range. Happy frying!