Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

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Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders have a burst of flavor from pickle juice and are so juicy and tender. I love them dipped in honey mustard or BBQ sauce. Chicken tenders never tasted so good!

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders


But don’t worry. The taste of pickle juice is not overwhelming. These chicken tenders taste very similar to Chick-fil-a chicken. The pickle juice just gives them a little extra flavor. There’s no reason to let pickle juice go to waste when it can add such great flavor to foods. It also helps amp up the flavor of meatloaf.

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders



  • First you’ll soak the chicken tenders in pickle juice for 4 to 6 hours. You can use chicken tenderloins, or cut 3 boneless chicken breasts into strips.
  • Next you’ll put the chicken in a mixture of buttermilk and hot sauce for 1 hour. It’s enough hot sauce to give them a little zip, but I wouldn’t say they are spicy.
  • Drain off the buttermilk and coat the chicken well in a mixture of all-purpose flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Let sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes. This serves two purposes. It brings the temperature of the chicken up a little so that it cooks more quickly and evenly and it lets some of the flour mixture soak in so that it really clings to the chicken.
  • Working in batches, you’ll fry the chicken tenders for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. It’s important to keep the oil temperature around 350 degrees. Unless you have lots of experience frying, use a thermometer for best results.
  • Drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve with your favorite sauce.

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

Sides that go great with Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders:

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: chicken
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Marinate: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 18 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 322kcal
Pickle-Brined Chicken tenders have a burst of flavor from pickle juice and are so juicy and tender. I love them dipped in honey mustard or BBQ sauce. Chicken tenders never tasted so good!
Print Recipe


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetable oil


  • Cut chicken into strips. Place in a large ziptop bag with pickle juice. Refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
  • Remove chicken from pickle juice and place in a medium bowl. Add buttermilk and hot sauce. Stir to coat chicken well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • In a pie plate or shallow bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Remove chicken from buttermilk and coat well in flour mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment paper. Let sit 20 to 30 minutes. 
  • Pour 2 inches of oil into a Dutch oven. Heat oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches of about 4 to 5 chicken tenders, fry chicken tenders for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place on a paper towel-lined plate.


Calories: 322kcal

Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

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6 thoughts on “Pickle-Brined Chicken Tenders

  1. I make this recipe regularly with whole breast pieces, tenders, or cut up breast-nuggets. I add a bit more salt and pepper to the dry mixture, and instead of 2 tablespoons of corn starch, I do1 tbsp corn starch and 1 tbsp of powdered sugar. It adds a little sweetness to it, making it more of a Ch*k-fil-* dupe. Comes out tender and juicy inside, crispy and browned on the outside.

  2. Seems like a good recipe i wonder if adding a few drops of wing sauce into the buttermilk like you suggest would make a difference i usaully dip them in hot sauce after

  3. I like the recipe! I’ve made chicken tenders before using panko bread crumbs and immersion frying in peanut oil. Do you think I could pickle juice brine the chicken and then do what I’ve done in the past? Thanks!

    1. Then go look for healthy recipes? Were you expecting to find anything remotely healthy on “spicy southern kitchen”?

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