A total comfort food, these Paleo Chicken Tenders are a quick and filling meal on a weeknight. They’re fantastic eaten cold as leftovers the next day, too. These Paleo Chicken Tenders are completely Paleo and made with only almond flour. No carbs or starches at all.
These Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders are one of our favorite meals in our family. They’re a total crowd pleaser, because adults and kids both love them.
Funny enough, Fried Chicken Tenders are one of the few foods that is nostalgic for both me and my husband. Growing up in the Southern U.S., I ate chicken fingers any time we ate out. I remember always dipping them heavily in sweet honey mustard dressing and ketchup. Sure, there was protein, but it was really chicken coated in sugar. Yummy but not so healthy.
My husband grew up eating a similar variation in Argentina called “Pollo Milanesa”. It’s chicken that has been pounded out flat and fried. He loves to eat them with fresh squeezed lemon on top and sliced tomatoes… and mayonnaise. And that’s how we eat them now, too.
I know it’s not typical to eat Fried Chicken Tenders with lemon and tomatoes in many parts of the world, but I implore you – please give it a try. It’s so delicious, and using lemon and tomatoes makes the dish extra tasty without sacrificing any of the healthiness.
I love serving these amazing Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders with a really fresh, crisp salad with a very simple dressing. My favorite is to chop up some iceberg lettuce and toss it with Romaine lettuce. Then I put a little lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper on it to dress it. I usually will serve some pasta on the side, too, for my daughter and me. A simple but wonderful dinner.
In our home, we have a variety of highly restrictive diets. We don’t eat out much because of this, and we don’t usually get to enjoy some of the usual American comfort foods like hamburgers with buns or fried foods. We always have to ask about cross-contamination even if a restaurant offers gluten-free friend items, and even then, my husband can’t eat any starches.
After ogling fryers for years, we finally spoiled ourselves and bought one last year. And oh my goodness, it was TOTALLY worth it!!!! No more smoking oil and the stove vent going at full blast. No more standing over the stove trying to keep the oil at just the right temperature. No more dry chicken!
The first thing we noticed when we started making Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders in a fryer as opposed to on the stove was how juicy the chicken was. On the stove, it was really tricky not to overcook it and have it turn out dry. With the fryer, it’s juicy and perfectly crisp on the outside.
I highly recommend purchasing this countertop fryer if you’re thinking about frying on a regular basis. Ever since we bought the fryer, we make Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders about once a week, and they always feel like a treat. Plus, our daughter loves them, so it’s one meal where we all eat the same thing and I don’t feel like a short-order cook making a different plate for each person.
With the fryer, you don’t need to empty the oil out frequently at all. We use grapeseed oil, and we clean out the oil completely about every 3-4 months. We don’t fry fish in it, just chicken and maybe potatoes. We only use almond flour in it, so it has no cross-contamination. That way, it lasts a long time.
It does take some time to heat up the fryer, so start preheating it about 30 minutes before you plan to start frying. You want to fry at 375 F. The present functions on our fryer say to fry chicken for 4 minutes. I prefer it crispier, so I usually leave it in for 6 minutes.
If you don’t have a fryer, you can still make these on the stovetop. Just temp your oil with a cooking thermometer like this one, and make sure your oil stays at 375 F. Don’t overcrowd the pan, because too much food in the frying oil will make the temperature drop. When the oil temperature drops, you end up boiling your food in oil rather than frying it.
As always, when frying with hot oil regardless of whether you’re using a fryer or a pan on the stove, please be EXTREMELY cautious. Keep kids and pets away. Be extra cautious about everything. Hot oil is no joke.
Warnings aside, though, I hope that you’ll treat yourself to this wonderful dish soon. It’s the perfect healthy comfort food for everyone in the family.
Why You’ll LOVE this Recipe:
- Completely Paleo
- Awesome variation on chicken for dinner
- Easy to make
- Only 5 ingredients (including salt and pepper!)
- Low Carb
- Gluten Free
Ingredients for Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders:
- chicken breasts or tenders
- almond flour
- black pepper
Notes on Ingredients:
Chicken breasts or tenders – You can use already cut tenders which makes everything super fast. If you’re using breasts, just cut then thin before slicing them into fingers. Don’t worry about making the chicken tenders shaped uniformly. This is comfort food – they’re meant to be homely in the best way possible.
Almond flour – Almond flour is the only breading used here. It works beautifully and makes a perfect golden crust with plenty of flavor (and fiber and protein, too!).
Salt – For flavor. Make sure you put salt in both the almond flour mixture and the egg mixture. Don’t skimp on the salt. If you don’t put enough salt on fried foods, they taste bland.
Black pepper – For flavor.
Eggs – For making the breading (the almond flour) stick to the chicken.
How to Make Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders From Scratch
Preheat the fryer to 375 F. Make sure you allow enough time for this. Our fryer takes a good 20-30 minutes to preheat.
If you’re using chicken breasts, cut them into chicken tenders about 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This helps to make the egg easier to stick to the chicken and thus the breading easier to stick to the egg.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. black pepper.
In another large bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ tsp. salt.
Coat each chicken tender with egg first, then coat the chicken tender completely with the almond flour. I use one hand for putting the chicken in the egg and the other hand for putting the chicken in the almond flour. You don’t want to mix almond flour in your egg mixture or vice versa.
Fry the chicken tenders for 4-6 minutes. Be careful not to crowd the fryer.
Remove the chicken tenders from the fryer and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
Serve with lemon halves and sliced tomatoes. Eat and enjoy!
Paleo Fried Chicken Tenders – Low Carb, Gluten Free
- 1 pound chicken breasts or tenders
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat the fryer to 375 F.
- If you’re using chicken breasts, cut them into chicken tenders about 2 inches wide and ½ inch thick.
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
- In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. black pepper.
- In another large bowl, whisk the eggs with ½ tsp. salt.
- Coat each chicken tender with egg first, then coat the chicken tender completely with the almond flour.
- Fry the chicken tenders for 4-6 minutes. Be careful not to crowd the fryer.
- Remove the chicken tenders from the fryer and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Serve with lemon halves and sliced tomatoes.
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