Get dinner on the table in just 20 minutes with this super simple and delicious Pan Fried Chicken Tenders recipe. No need to hit the drive-through, you can whip up these homemade chicken tenders with simple pantry ingredients in a flash! Comes with an optional gravy recipe for an extra-special touch. You'll want to work this into your regular dinner routine!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
Dinner in 20 minutes? It can be done, with this super-simple but delicious chicken recipe. For the side dishes, cook some pasta on the stove top and steam some veggies in the microwave while you are cooking the chicken, and BINGO! You have a whole meal the family can sit down and enjoy (before you all dash out of the house for the evening activities!). Quick and easy!
These homemade chicken tenders go great with Lemon Artichoke Pasta, which gives you your starch and veggies all in one side dish!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- flour - makes for a crispy and delicious chicken tender.
- salt and pepper - use as much or little seasoning as you want here.
- chicken - chicken breast works best for these tenders; many stores will sell it already cut into tenders.
- butter - makes for hearty and decadent chicken, as well as a delicious gravy.
- chicken broth - forms the base of the gravy.
- Marsala wine - you'll use this to deglaze the pan and take advantage of all the crispy bits of chicken left behind.
- Mix together the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Coat each piece of chicken with the dry mixture.
- Heat the butter over medium-high heat in a skillet.
- Add the chicken tenders.
- Cook about 5 minutes on each side, then remove from the pan.
- Use the chicken broth and Marsala wine to deglaze the pan and serve your homemade chicken tenders with the gravy.
A medium-high temperature is the key to crispy chicken. If the heat is too low it will take the chicken too long to fry, which will lead to a soggier and less crispy chicken tender. On the other hand, if the heat is too high, you'll brown or burn the exterior but the interior will still be undercooked.
A good marker of done-ness with chicken is to pierce the tender and see if the juice runs clear. If you don't mind cutting one open, you can also check to make sure there's no pink meat left.
For something like chicken tenders, olive oil will get the job done and is a slightly healthier option, but you'll be missing the signature buttery taste of this dish.
Marsala wine is great for creating rich-tasting sauces. (Bonus: You can also use it for sipping while cooking! LOL)
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- If you can't find chicken tenders, you can also buy chicken breast and slice it into strips yourself.
- For a thicker gravy, dissolve some flour in water and slowly add it to the liquid while it cooks, stirring frequently.
- Make large batches of these chicken tenders to keep around and reheat for even quicker meals throughout the week.
These pan fried chicken tenders are the perfect weeknight meal, especially if you have to stop at home, whip something up, and disperse again for your evening activities. With a quick side or two, you can have a full and healthy meal in just 20 minutes!
- Add various spices and seasonings to the flour mixture for even more flavor. Paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, oregano, and thyme would all be delicious options, but feel free to experiment with anything you have on hand!
- Chicken thighs can also be substituted if you prefer darker meat. Just be aware these tenders will be on the shorter side.
- These homemade chicken tenders are great to use as a topping for a salad or inside a wrap.
- Serve with whatever kind of dipping sauce you like!
🥗 Suggested Side Dishes
These homemade chicken tenders are so easy to make, which means putting together a side or two is no problem! Serve them with these Crispy Sauteed Potatoes instead of fries, or go for quick Air Fryer Green Beans. For more of a BBQ-inspired meal, use leftover tenders to make this Chicken Macaroni Salad.
🍗 More Chicken Recipes
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings - Another quick fried chicken dish.
- Slow Cooker Cranberry Chicken - A great option for busy nights; get everything together in the morning and when it comes time for dinner, just serve!
- Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli - All of the makings of a great meal in one recipe.
Homemade Chicken Tenders
Love this recipe? Awesome! Please give it a 5 star ⭐ rating below! And if you make this, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. You can find me at DizzyBusyandHungry or #dizzybusyandhungry!
📋 Recipe Card
Pan Fried Chicken Tenders
Optional ingredients if you want to make the gravy:
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup Marsala wine
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper, then coat the chicken with the flour mixture.1/3 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, 1 pound chicken tenders
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the chicken tenders.3 tablespoons butter
- Cook until done, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
Optional steps if you want to make the gravy:
- Deglaze the pan with the chicken broth and wine (that is, pour them into the skillet, and boil while scraping the bottom of the pan). Be careful of the steam!1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/4 cup Marsala wine
- Once the liquid in the skillet has thickened, pour into a bowl or gravy boat to use on the chicken when you serve.
- If you don't have chicken tenders, you can slice some boneless, skinless chicken breasts into thin strips (about 3/4 inch thick).
- You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well, the strips will probably just be a little shorter.
- If you prefer a thicker sauce, dissolve some flour in water and then slowly add a little at a time to the liquid in the pan while cooking, until it reaches the desired thickness.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in May 2013, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in September 2021.
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