Spicy Buttermilk Chicken Tenders with Molasses Dipping Gravy
- 2 pounds chicken tenders
- 3 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups olive, canola or peanut oil, as needed to shallow fry
- 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour, divided
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons grill seasoning
- 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning or dried ground thyme
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup molasses
- Salt and ground black pepper
Place the chicken tenders in the buttermilk and marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 250ºF.
Place a large, high-sided skillet over medium heat with the oil (it should come about an inch up the side of the pan).
While the oil heats up, combine 2 cups flour and spices in a large dish. Working in batches, coat the chicken tenders in the spiced flour mixture, pressing on them lightly to make the flour stick (for a really good breading, double dip the tenders by running them through the buttermilk and flour a second time).
Once the oil has heated up, fry the chicken in batches until deep golden brown and cooked through, 5-6 minutes. (As you finish each batch, transfer them to a sheet pan and keep them warm in the low oven).
When the chicken tenders are almost ready, place a medium saucepot over medium heat and melt the butter. Sprinkle remaining 3 tablespoons flour over the butter and cook for about a minute. Whisk the chicken stock, Worcestershire and molasses into the butter-flour mixture and simmer until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and reserve warm.
Serve the chicken tenders with the molasses dipping gravy and some Sweet Potato Oven Fries alongside.