Tortilla-Crusted Chicken Tenders

Everyone seems to love the crunchy texture and flavor of this simple recipe for tortilla-crusted chicken tenders, from little kids to grandpa.


This simple recipe for tortilla-crusted chicken tenders is based on one from Rick Bayless’ Chicago restaurant Frontera Grill. I added a couple ingredients to his and everyone seems to love the crunchy texture and flavor, from little kids to grandpa. 


  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken tenders or boneless breasts cut into thin strips
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Mexican-style hot sauce such as El Pato or Tapatio
  • 10 oz. or so of tortilla chips (you could even get creative by using spicy Doritos, blue corn chips, etc.)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Oil for deep-frying, preferably peanut oil


  1. Preheat oil for frying to 350 degrees F.
  2. Season the chicken with 1/2 tsp. of the salt and the black pepper. 
  3. Put the flour into a shallow bowl or large plate and mix in 1/2 tsp. salt. 
  4. Break the eggs into another shallow bowl  and add 3 Tbsp. water, chili powder, hot sauce and 1/2 tsp. salt. Beat with a fork until well blended. 
  5. Crush the tortilla chips by hand or use a food processor.  Spread the chips out on a third bowl or plate. 
  6. Dredge the chicken first in the flour, then in the eggs, shaking off any excess. Finally,  dip the tenders into the tortilla chips, pressing with your hands to help them adhere.
  7. Fry the chicken pieces in batches so as not to overcrowd them for 4-5 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels or paper grocery bags. 

Serving suggestion: I like to serve the chicken tenders with Red Chile Crema, a mixture of sour cream, Mexican hot sauce, lime juice and salt. 


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