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The 2 Dollar Chicken Tender Meal | But Cheaper

A homemade chicken tender meal should be just as cheap as it is delicious.

A homemade chicken tender meal should be just as cheap as it is delicious.



  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 6 strips

  • 2 cups (473ml) buttermilk

  • 2 tablespoons (22g) basic chicken spice


  • 3 cups (450g) all-purpose flour

  • 3.5 tablespoons (40g) basic cooking spice

  • 2 quarts (2L) vegetable oil for frying

  • Salt


  • 1/4 cup (52g) Mayo

  • 2 green onions, very thinly sliced

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, mandoline thin

Curly Fries:

  • 5 medium russet potatoes

  • Oil from frying chicken

  • 1 cup dredge from above

  • 1 tablespoon (7g) paprika

  • 1.5 cups (355ml) water

  • Salt to taste and Fresh cracked black pepper

Chicken Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (104g) Mayo

  • 1/3 cup (90g) ketchup

  • 3 tablespoons (43g) hot sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Worcestershire sauce

  • Salt & Pepper to taste



  1. In a medium-size bowl, mix buttermilk and chicken spice (add salt if the “chicken seasoning does not contain any). Add your tenders to the marinade, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes but ideally overnight.


  1. Pre-heat a seven-quart pot filled with about three quarts of vegetable oil to 350F.

  2. Whisk to combine all-purpose flour, cooking spice, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. (add salt only if the “cooking spice” does not contain any)

  3. In batches, pull your chicken from the marinade, toss it in your remaining dredge, shake off the excess, dip back into the marinade and dredge one last time; shake off the excess and repeat with the rest of the chicken.

  4. In two or three batches, fry your chicken for two to three minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165F.

  5. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool and lightly season with salt immediately


  1. Mix mayo, green onion, garlic, lemon zest, and juice in a medium-size bowl, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  2. Add the cabbage to your bowl, toss it together, and season with salt if needed.

Curly Fries:

  1. Process your potatoes by using a spiralizer with the curly attachment, or you can cut them into matchsticks.

  2. Place all your processed potatoes in a bowl, cover them with warm water and season the water generously with salt; let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Drain your potatoes dry them out as much as possible using paper towels. Then, lightly toss the fries with a pinch of flour.

  4. In a separate bowl, add in one cup of your dredge plus paprika and black pepper; whisk together, and then whisk in water.

  5. Dip your lightly starch coated fries into your batter in two to three batches, shake off the excess, and gently lay them into the oil—fry for three to four minutes or until crispy and golden brown.

  6. Remove, drain on a wire rack and lightly season with salt while hot—repeat with the rest of your fries.

Chicken Sauce:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a small-size bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let's Get Cooking

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