This week is super special because it is Jake’s birthday! If you have been keeping up on Facebook, you can see where I bought him a gift for every day in August up until his birthday. I’ve tried to make him feel very special this year because with the coronavirus changing everyone’s lives, I think it is good to have something to look forward to.

I am making him a special meal on his birthday as well for the grand finally. We are having (or had by the time you read this) fried chicken, twice baked sweet potatoes, zucchini and squash, cheddar biscuits and his favorite red velvet cake. I thought I would share the fried chicken recipe with you today because it is something everyone loves.

My best friend taught me how to do this because her grandmother is the best traditional southern cook I know, so it is sure to be great!

Friend Chicken Tenders

Ingredients: Flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, canola or vegetable oil, chicken tenders, buttermilk and lemon juice (optional).

Instructions: If you notice I don’t have measurements with the ingredients with this week’s recipe. That’s because this is a labor of love and eyeballing to make your desired texture and flavor. A quick helpful hint is to purchase chicken breasts and cut them down to tenders yourself. You will get double the meat for a lower price than if you buy precut tenders.

If you choose to go the buttermilk route, begin by putting your chicken in a large bowl full of buttermilk and the juice of half of a lemon. This will make your chicken extra tender, but it is not necessary to have great fried chicken. Allow it to soak for an hour in the fridge.

If you aren’t using buttermilk, start here. Add the flour (honestly, I have used self-rising and all-purpose and either will work), salt, pepper and garlic powder of your desired amount to a large zip lock bag. Shake the bag to make sure all the ingredients are mixed together.

To a large skillet add the oil of your choice until it sits about 1 inch deep in the bottom. Turn the eye on medium high heat and allow the oil to get hot before putting your chicken in the pan.

While the pan is heating, add the chicken to the bag of flour and spices.  

Shake the bag, coating the chicken with the flour mixture.

When the pan is hot add the chicken to the oil. Allow it to sit until you can see the sides browning. Flip it over and allow the opposite side to brown. You should only have to flip it once, so doing one test chicken tender to make sure you’ve got the hang of it is an excellent idea.

When they are done, place them on a paper towel lined plate and immediately salt them. You can eat them plan, put your favorite bbq or buffalo sauce in a Tupperware and shake them up to coat them with the sauce or make gravy to go on top. I hope you enjoy this amazing meal!

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