The Snack Food That's Key To Super Crispy Chicken Tenders

Who doesn't love a big ole platter of chicken tenders? Let's face it, they're a kid's dream and an adult's guilty pleasure. The crunch from the breading is oh so satisfying, with crispy fries on the side for the perfect accompaniment, and you can't resist your go-to dipping sauce for serving. From honey mustard and barbecue sauce to ketchup and ranch dressing, these delicious sauces add an extra dimension to your crispy strips. However, believe it or not, the crunch we desire from a chicken tender can be elevated even further thanks to one very common snack ingredient: potato chips.

Food Network's "The Kitchen" co-host Geoffrey Zakarian revolutionizes theĀ chicken tender recipe by swapping out the panko breadcrumbs for crushed-up potato chips. He starts by dredging chicken tenders into a seasoned flour mix, coating them in beaten eggs, tossing in potato chip crumbs, and frying in a heavy-bottom skillet. The end result is golden brown, thick-crusted tenders that look and inevitably taste irresistible.

Enjoy better baked chicken tenders

While the crispiness from chicken tenders is what makes them so irresistible, it's nearly impossible to achieve that same texture without a deep fryer. However, potato chip crumbs could be the secret to ditching all the extra oil. According to Kitchn's recipe for potato chip chicken tenders, the saltiness from this innovative breading makes up for the extra fat that's missing when baking the strips instead.

Some tips Kitchn provides in order to achieve fried chicken from the oven includes baking the chicken on a wire rack, choosing the right type of chips, and seasoning the flour mixture correctly. First, baking the strips on a wire rack yields a crispier texture due to the heat and air surrounding the chicken completely, compared to a flat surface where excess oil and moisture can collect and result in soggy bottoms. Next, Lay's original potato chips are the best choice if you want your chicken to resemble fried chicken as closely as possible, due to their perfect balance of lightness, crispiness, saltiness, and fattiness. Lastly, it's best to season the flour mixture with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper, if you're trying to achieve the same flavor profile as fried chicken.