I’m from the South, and one thing that we love to eat is fried chicken, but I hate to cook fried chicken because it’s a mess to fry foods. Messes and me aren’t friends. In an effort to have fried chicken that is homemade, takes less time, and doesn’t require me to repaint the kitchen ceiling and walls to cover up the grease stains, I have started making Air Fried Chicken Tenders. The air fryer is an awesome kitchen friend and worth the investment if you want healthier “fried” foods.
This recipe is now a regular to our monthly meal rotations. The chicken is so juicy, and the crunchy exterior is all thanks to the Corn Flake crumb crust. I bought my Corn Flake crumbs in a box in the breading section. They were already crushed for me which was a win in my book. We don’t generally buy unsweetened Corn Flakes cereal, but if your family will eat them for breakfast then buy a box and crush up the cereal for your breading.
My air fryer only goes as high as 390 degrees Fahrenheit. All models are different and cook at different high temperatures. To test out how long I would need to fry the chicken tenders, I breaded one and put it in the air fryer for 3 minutes and then flipped it and cooked it for 3 more minutes. It was perfect, but I had cut my chicken breasts in half so the tenders weren’t super thick (around 1/2 inch thickness is my recommendation).
I suggest cooking the chicken tenders anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes, but I would follow my method for cooking one and testing the inside of the chicken tender to see what’s best for your air fryer and particular chicken tenders. My suggested cooking time is just a suggestion and remember to use a meat thermometer if you’re unsure if the chicken is cooked through. The website www.foodsafety.gov recommends chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Helpful hints for successful air frying, don’t overcrowd your basket, pat your crumbs onto the chicken tenders with your fork or spoon, spray them lightly with cooking spray on both sides, and sprinkle salt over the freshly cooked tenders. I had to cook my chicken tenders in batches since my basket held about 4 chicken tenders so the time of 6-8 minutes is for one batch.
I hope that you’ll try this recipe today and that if you do that you’ll leave a comment below. Also please follow us on Instagram @lifeabovethecafe.
This recipe is for each person to have 3-4 chicken tenders with sides. I used large chicken breasts to cut the chicken tenders and was able to get 4 chicken tenders from each chicken breast. Adjust the recipe according to your family’s needs and purchase a pack of chicken tenders if you find it better for your needs.
In a small bowl mix together all of the seasonings.
In a pie dish or equivalent dish, mix the egg and milk together.
In a separate shallow dish or on a plate, pour 1 to 2 cups of Corn Flake crumbs. (I start out with a lesser amount and add more as they run out since the leftovers need to be trashed. By waiting to see how many crumbs I will need I waste less breading).
Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally to form two thin chicken breasts, then cut the chicken breasts in half longways (vertically) to form the chicken tenders. You should now have 4 chicken tenders.
Once you have cut the desired number of chicken breasts, preheat your air fryer to 390-400 degrees F.
Dredge the chicken tenders one by one in the egg/milk mixture, then sprinkle on the seasonings (or mix them into the egg mixture to save a step) and then place it into the Corn Flake crumbs and set aside on a plate or pan.
Spray the top of the chicken tenders with cooking oil and place 3-4 or however many your basket will hold, without overcrowding. I flipped my chicken tenders at 3 minutes and sprayed the other side.
Cook for a total of 6-8 minutes or until your chicken reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit (find more information at foodsafety.gov). Remove from the air fryer and immediately sprinkle the chicken tender with a tiny bit of salt.
To serve, I like honey on fried chicken, or honey mustard dipping sauce. Other options are buffalo sauce and ranch dressing.
Optional – I sometimes soak my chicken for 30 minutes to an hour in the egg/milk mixture, 2-3 Tbsp. of pickle juice, and 1-2 Tbsp. of powdered sugar along with all of the seasonings.