Recipe by ratherbeswimmin'
Top Review by Shelby Jo
I made this tonight out of my Rachael Ray 2,4,6,8 cookbook. My fiance and I both enjoyed it a lot. The breading held on nicely. Much better than my normal frying attempts. I only made the chipotley mayo dip; not the sweet and spicy one. We both liked it, but I didn't measure the mayo out, and I should have because I think that it was too limey, so I should have added more. Overall it's a wonderful recipe that I will make again for sure!
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 limes, zested, then cut into wedges
- 2 lbs chicken tenders
- black pepper
- 2 -3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, rings separated
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch rings
Chipotle Mayo Dip-In
- 1 1⁄2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 -2 chipotle pepper, finely chopped
- 1 -2 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 lime, juice of
Sweet Spicy and Sour Dip-In
- 3⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Directions See How It's Made
- Make Chipotle Mayo Dip In: in a bowl, mix the mayo, chopped chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and lime juice until well combined; cover and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make Sweet, Spicy, and Sour Dip-In: in a small saucepan, mix the vinegar, sugar, and ¼ cup water; bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add the jalapeno pepper and salt; the residual heat will release the jalapeno’s flavor into the vinegar.
- Cool to room temperature, remove the jalapeno halves, and stir in the scallions and cilantro.
- Make the Tex-Mex Crunchy Fry: Preheat oven to 250°.
- Preheat 1 ½ inches vegetable oil in a high-sided large skillet over medium to med-high heat.
- To test the oil, submerge a wooden spoon handle in the oil and see if bubbles rise out and away from it—you are good to go.
- While the oil is heating, set up for breading right near the stove.
- Combine the flour, cumin, and chili powder in a large wide bowl.
- In a second large, wide bowl, mix the buttermilk and lime zest.
- Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper; toss them with all of the chopped cilantro.
- Working in small batches, run the chicken tenders through the flour, shake off excess, and then coat them in the buttermilk.
- Transfer them back to the flour and coat them thoroughly, then back into the buttermilk.
- Dip them back into the flour for a third and final coating.
- Carefully place the first batch in the hot oil.
- Fry tenders 6-7 minutes, turning when the first side is golden brown.
- Remove them from the oil to a paper-towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with a little salt.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
- Transfer them to a baking sheet and keep them warm in the oven while you fry the veggies.
- Sprinkle the red onion rings and red bell pepper rings with a little bit of water, and toss them around a bit (the water will help the first coating of flour stick).
- Repeat the same flour-butter, flour-buttermilk-flour process with the veggie rings.
- Cook the veggies 4-5 minutes then drain on paper towels.
- As you are frying and draining the veggie rings, transfer the fried items to a 2nd cookie sheet and keep them warm in the oven while you continue to fry.
- Serve the chicken, onions, and peppers with the lime wedges and dips.