Crispy Buffalo Chicken

by Andie Mitchell on November 5, 2010

crispy buffalo chicken

If I know you as well as I think I do–which is technically speaking not at all–then you can’t live without a crispy chicken finger. The basis of this judgment has been drawn from my conclusion that all living, breathing organisms have innate tendencies to seek three very crucial things: water, air, and buffalo chicken.

I draw all types of scientific conclusions.

Next time I’ll tell you about the theory of relativity as illustrated through cupcakes.

crispy buffalo chicken

 

But today, we turn our bright eyes to the chicken finger. The crisp-crusted, moist and tender-middled, fiery red sauce-slathered, the someone-get-me-a-bib-and-for-cryin’-out-loud-where’s-the-damn-blue-cheese-dip?!?…chicken finger.

Here’s my methodology: Lots of healthy chicken tenders are baked. I get that. I appreciate that. And I love comfort food makeovers. Really I do.

But I’ve never bitten into a baked tender that altogether satisfied my intense cravings for foods that end in cutesy words like stix and dippers, and generally any soul-soothing noshable at a pub.

 

So I don’t want to solely bake these chicken fingers. But I don’t want to fully fry them either. What I’ve discovered is the magic of partially pan-frying. To do this, I cook the chicken a little more than halfway on the stove top in a modest amount of oil because I want a  browned and crisped crust, but don’t necessarily want them to be drenched in oil, as tempting as that may be.  The reason I don’t cook them completely in the pan is because that would require them staying in the hot pan for a lengthy amount of time, and unless I use a lot of oil, the fingers have a tendency to burn.

The beauty is that I’m still developing that golden brown, faintly greasy crust, and the tenders stay on the healthier side of things. Searing the breading on both sides allows me to lock in the moisture of the bird while still developing a crunchy coating. I then finish them in the oven so that they cook through. And then I dunk them in spicy, orange-hued hot sauce and dip them in creamy, cool blue cheese dressing.

Make sense?

Just come over and I’ll make you some. We’ll watch Bill Nye and talk science.

crispy buffalo chicken

 

 

 

Crispy Buffalo Chicken

Serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 egg beaten with 2 TBSP hot sauce

2/3 cup dried bread crumbs

2 TBSP steak seasoning (or any all-purpose blend of pepper and salt)

3-4 TBSP oil ( I used olive)

1/2-3/4 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot or Texas Pete)

 

Preheat your oven to 400° F.  Line up three small bowls and fill them in this order- first with the flour, the second with the egg mixture, and the third with the seasoned bread crumbs.

Dredge each tenderloin first in the flour (you only need a light dusting- shake off excess), then dip into the egg bath, then toss in the bread crumb mixture, pressing so that crumbs adhere to all sides. Put on a large plate and repeat the dredging process with the remaining tenderloins.

In a large frying pan set over medium-high heat, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add half of the coated tenderloins , spacing them evenly. You don’t want to overcrowd your pan. Cook for about 4 minutes, undisturbed, until they develop a nice crispy crust on one side. Flip and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining half of the tenderloins.

Put the chicken on a wire cooling rack set atop a baking sheet that has been coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Fill a shallow bowl with the hot sauce. Dip each tender into the hot sauce, just to quickly coat. Set the pieces back on the wire rack until you have finished coating all the chicken. Serve immediately with blue cheese dressing for dipping and a side of celery sticks.

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan Thomas November 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

We used to get buffalo wings from a local pizzeria every Tuesday night. There’s nothing more satisfying than hot wings with cool bleu cheese sauce. This looks ridiculously comforting.

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Krista November 5, 2010 at 10:15 am

Brilliant!!!

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Janae@hungryrunnergirl.com November 5, 2010 at 11:56 am

You take the most gorgeous pictures!! My husband is going to thank you for this recipe!

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 5, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Thank you!!

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Jessica @ How Sweet November 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Husband would LOVE these. Heck, so would I!

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing November 5, 2010 at 1:14 pm

You… are my hero.

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Toni November 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

These look delish! Yum! I will try them one day! I also pan fry briefly and then pop in the oven! Seems to dry out some of the excess oil!

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Tamar November 5, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Can I just say you are hilarious? I love your blog and I love the commentary that accompanies your fantastic recipes. As a physicist, I would be very happy to hear your cupcake relativity theory! ;)

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Haha thanks Tamar! I’m so glad you’re willing to put up with my shenanigans!!

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thecompletecookbook November 6, 2010 at 4:56 am

Fantastic recipe – seems you are making all our husbands happy ;-) :-) Mandy

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Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) November 6, 2010 at 5:29 am

These look rediculously perfect! I can’t wait to try them. :D

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Reeni November 6, 2010 at 5:33 am

How insanely delicious! I love that you pan fried them. I see these in my near future!

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 6, 2010 at 7:24 am

Thanks Reeni!

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biz319 November 6, 2010 at 8:18 am

My daughter, the queen of chicken fingers, would love this!! Love your technique – I am definitely going to make these for her!

Have a great weekend!

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Kim November 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

These look amazing! I never thought to toss them in hot sauce after cooking them like that. Great idea!

Ok I have a question – with all the mouth watering scrumptious food you make – how do you stop from eating it all? Do you give it away? Have roommates/spouse that eats most of it? Freeze it? I think that is my biggest problem – portions – I would want to eat more and more of it :)

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Can You Stay for Dinner November 8, 2010 at 7:16 am

Hi Kim! Great question. I almost always make a four-serving meal, and I portion each serving out into tupperware containers to eat during the week. Daniel, my boyfriend who I live with, loves to reheat them, as do I, for a lunch or a quick weeknight dinner. Each of us eats about 5 to 6 meals per day, so having extra meals ready is perfect. Things like lasagna and enchiladas- lots of casserole type things- will freeze beautifully. Other times, I’ll just make two servings of something and then write the recipe for four, since I know that most people are making meals for a family. Four servings seems to be the standard in recipe writing. Hope that helps!

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ann steinbach November 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

we love buffalo chicken in this house. I can’t wait to make it. My family will be so happy.

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Nicole November 7, 2010 at 3:27 pm

My husband is going to LOVE this recipe! :)

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joannatv January 27, 2011 at 8:12 pm

drool drool…looks absolutely delicious!

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Shay pohlmann January 29, 2011 at 8:42 am

Love the simplicity and ease of the recipes here!! High quality food with low quality clean up! Take that Rachel ray!

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Sarah July 1, 2011 at 12:54 pm

My boyfriend made these last night and they were really good! I dipped mine in a little combo of some non-fat plain Greek yogurt, some chopped up fresh dill from my patio garden, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a squirt of whole-grain mustard. It worked really nicely to cool off the buffalo chicken. Thanks for the great idea!

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Hannah August 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Bill Nye! You totally made my day. My brother and I used to watch Bill religiously! :) I recently stumbled across your blog and am in love. I have bookmarked several recipes and can’t wait to make them. Thank you for the laughs, inspiration to better myself and yummy recipes!
Hannah

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Melinda September 24, 2011 at 7:38 am

This recipe was awesome! We made them last night and they were a thumbs up from my entire clan, which is rare! And we know good wings, my husband is from Buffalo.

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Kayla O April 13, 2012 at 5:57 pm

I made these for my boyfriend tonight–he loved them. We are such a fan of Buffalo Wild Wings, and he said they tasted just like them! I was a little hesitant on the Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, but next time I won’t be. Bring on the heat!

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Kim June 28, 2012 at 9:19 am

This is the first time I’ve had chicken turn out so perfectly moist and delicious! I’m making my own tenders to satisfy junk food cravings from now on :)

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Christina July 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

Hi, I was wondering if you knew how many calories this recipe consisted of. It look delicious!

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teri ciccarelli July 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I have been doing this forever, my only change is that I marinade the chicken in hot wing sauce then dredge in just the bread crumbs! AMAZING!!!!

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Kaid July 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

Made this last night! My fiancé LOVES wings & kept saying how great this chicken was:)) Will be making these again!!

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Caitlyn D July 19, 2012 at 7:20 pm

My husband loved this recipe! And I did also. This one is definitely going in my recipe box.

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denali September 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm

YUM! Made these for lunch today – and leftovers are topping my lunch salads this week, yay. I used BWW Desert Heat seasoning in Panko breadcrumbs instead of steak seasoning. Fabulously, but not overly, spicy along with the Frank’s. And PERFECTLY moist with a crunchy surface. Perfect, thank you.

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Danielle Canerday September 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I made these tonight and the taste was great but my breading did not stick at all.. Any suggestions?

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Jaimie September 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

Just finished these and LOVED THEM! Love the idea of putting hot sauce in the egg wash – nice suttle flavor so I left some plain after they were finished and they tasted great! Hubby liked them so we’ve confirmed that they will be added to our make soon again list…i cubed the chicken to make them into boneless wings as opposed to cutlets and they were perfect for Sunday football!

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Jamie September 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Follow up – used the leftover chicken and madenbuffalomchicken pizza…it was great!

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Jamie January 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm

I just made these and they were AWESOME! I love buffalo wings and this was a flavorful and delicious alternative. Chili’s wings used to be my favorite before I realized how terrible there were for you and these are just as good – probably even better! I will be making these often!

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Emily @MeLess50 January 22, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Delicious! I only had full chicken breasts so I cut them in strips. Because they are thicker than tenderloins I just had to cook a little longer. I also didn’t have steak seasoning so I used a Cajun blend instead. I am definitely putting these on regular rotation!

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Kathie January 29, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I have a Question about the steak seasoning. Not sure what to use and where in the recipe is it used?

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admin January 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Kathie,
I used the steak seasoning to flavor the breadcrumbs (simply whisk the two together). Steak seasoning is just a blend of salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, and other spices. It’s not necessary that you use it; you can feel free to just season your own breadcrumbs liberally with those spices before coating your chicken.

Hope this helps,
Andie

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bridget January 30, 2013 at 8:31 pm
Leticia January 31, 2013 at 11:45 pm

I don’t know what I did wrong. My chicken came out still uncooked and I had it in the oven for almost 15 min. Still watery.

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admin February 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

Oh no! I’m sorry to hear it, Leticia. I wonder–did you cut the chicken into thin enough strips? Not sure if that might have been the problem?

Andie

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Leticia February 2, 2013 at 9:49 pm

I used chicken tenders. Does the roaster make a difference?

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Leticia February 2, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I meant roasting pan

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Tim February 5, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I tried the buffalo chicken tenders but instead of frying, I put them on the grill which saves calories and the oily smell in the kitchen. Five minutes on each side then coat them in the sauce then back on the grill to finish them off and dry the sauce. Came out great. Great personal story by the way.

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Katy C. February 7, 2013 at 5:59 pm

We’re currently having these for dinner (for the 4th time since I pinned the recipe six weeks ago…) and they are a.ma.zing. every time! My husband said we should send you a dollar in the mail for the fantastic recipe. My 2 year old and 4 year old both love them (I make them without sauce for them). My only complaint: there never seem to be enough! ;)

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Wendy February 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

I made these today and what an incredible tender! This is the best buffalo chicken anything I’ve ever had and I consider myself quite the authority on buffalo chicken things. I used Lousiana Supreme Garlic Wing Sauce, McCormick Montreal Steak Seasoning and Kikkoman Panko Bread Crumbs.. fried it up in a bit of EVOO. Each bite I took I was more and more impressed and mindblown by the flavor! This recipe is a very upscale version of the usual pub wing. So thrilled to have it in my collection. Thanks for sharing!!

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Leia March 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

These were awesome!

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Jenn March 3, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hi,
Just found your website through pinterest – amazing!!!! Do you have any idea what the calorie count of these suckers would be? Just add the value of the oil to the recipe? Thanks a mil!

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Debbie March 16, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Just found your blog! Your recipes look wonderful, your story amazing, and I LOVE your sense of humor. Thank you!

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Shelbey March 21, 2013 at 2:57 am

My Australian hubby (australians don’t like spicy food… but mine does… WIN!!!) will be THRILLED when he comes home from work tonight. I’ll be lucky if I even get a bite!! So excited to try this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration!

xx.

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steve April 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

Looks delicious. I gonna try this with shrimp !

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Katie_college April 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

These are so good! Eating them a we speak! Only comment I would say is that the title is a little misleading. Don’t say they are baked when they are really fried. Baked chicken indicates that it is a healthier alternative, but when you fry them in oil it’s not all that healthy. You should change the title. Just my opinion.

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Laurie C May 26, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Making these for a second time! Thanks!!

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Ann L August 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

I just made these, they were easy and fantastic! Will be a favorite during football season!

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Christy C December 30, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I made these tonight– my boyfriend said it was exactly what you would get in a restaurant! I used panko bread crumbs seasoned with Lawry’s seasoned salt. Used Kroger brand mild wing sauce–Frank’s is too spicy for me. Best thing I’ve ever made thank you!

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Cortney February 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm

What side can I make with these???

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