Can I Cook Raw Chicken In The Air Fryer
Absolutely! This recipe is meant to be used with raw chicken tenderloins. Cooking them at 400 degrees F for 10-12 minutes will sufficiently cook the chicken all the way through.
If you want to make leftover chicken tenders instead of fresh ones, you can follow my guide for Reheating Chicken Tenders in the Air Fryer to make sure theyre warmed through without getting overdone!
Different Breadings On Frozen Chicken Strips Or Tenders
With so many different brands of frozen chicken strips, there comes different breading styles too. Japanese panko, Italian style bread crumbs, gluten free, and keto pork rinds are just a few examples of what you can buy on the market. Timings will be slightly different between brands, so start air frying at the shortest time we suggest. From there, check on the chicken strips and cook for a few more minutes until the chicken tenders are to your preferred crispness and doneness.
More Air Fryer Chicken Recipes
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Favorite Air Fryer Meal
- Frozen and precooked chicken tenders are so easy to make that even the kids can make their own after-school or sleepover party snack!
- Serve them over a bed of greens as a healthy salad or add them to a wrap or sandwich and have a healthy, hearty workday lunch!
- Breaded air fryer chicken tenders come out just as crispy and juicy as if they were deep-fried! Save the fat calories and the messy clean-ups!
Do I Need To Use Plain Frozen Chicken Strips Like Tyson Crispy Chicken Strips
Nope! If you prefer your chicken tenders with a little flavor, this recipe will still work the same way.
I love the honey battered flavor from Tyson, and the parmesan herb is a close second. The only time I prefer to stick to plain is when Im craving a specific sauce and dont want the chicken tender flavor to overpower it.
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Ingredients For This Recipe
- Frozen Chicken Tenders: Tyson frozen chicken tenders are a great chicken tender option that can be found in the freezer section of most grocery stores. There are also a wide variety of grocery store brand chicken tenders to choose from.
- Dipping Sauce : Dipping your chicken tenders in barbeque sauce or honey mustard is always a crowd pleaser. If you want to get creative, you can try out my personal favorite sweet and spicy Chicken Wing Sauce which is great on just about anything!
What To Serve With Unbreaded Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
These naked chicken tenders are super versatile and delicious with just about any side dishes. You can even use them for weekly meal prepping, or making sandwiches or wraps. Turn these tenders into a Honey Mustard Chicken Salad, or make up your own chicken salad varieties.
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Tips For Making The Best Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer
Every air fryer cooks differently. For best results, always check your air fryer instructions and/or the directions on the chicken tender packaging.
Try starting with a small test batch of frozen chicken strips to find the ideal cooking time and temperature for your specific air fryer.
Air fryer chicken strips turn out best when cooked from frozen. Dont allow them to thaw before cooking.
Aim for a single layer of frozen chicken fingers in the air fryer oven. Its okay if they touch or overlap slightly. Just leave plenty of room for the hot air to circulate.
For crispy air fryer chicken tenders, make sure they have enough time to cook. Add an extra minute or two until you reach crunchy perfection.
To help ensure even cooking, you can flip the tenders or shake the basket once about halfway through the cook time.
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. The great thing is that you can reheat them in the air fryer and theyll still taste as good as the first time around.
How To Make Perfectly Crispy Frozen Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer Way Better Than In The Oven This Is How To Make Them Taste Like Theyre From A Restaurant
Frozen chicken tenders in air fryer are seriously the best! NO more need for the oven anymore because crisping them in this way is way better. Best kitchen hack right here. Find this and more easy air fryer recipes here on The Typical Mom blog.
These are probably by girls favorite snacks, or lunch. Now that theyre older they can make them by themselves.
Its so nice when they reach that age.
If you love air fryer recipes too, here are some resources to start with:
We started with air fryer chicken nuggets and I couldnt believe the difference.
A quick cook time plus how crunchy the outsides got. I even ate them for lunch that day!
If you like everything crispy, including tofu bites in the afternoonthis is the way to cook all the things!
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If They Were Stored In The Freezer
The time frame for frozen chicken that has been fully cooked is about two to three months for the best taste, but they can last for up to a year before they should be thrown out. You can eat chicken well past the use by date if it has been consistently frozen, and it has not thawed at any point during the time that it was frozen.
How To Make Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
The key to making the chicken tenders crispy is a combination of regular and panko breadcrumbs.
- The regular breadcrumbs adhere easily to the chicken, so you get a complete coating. Some recipes call for air fryer chicken tenders with flour instead, but I find breadcrumbs yield a better breading that is more reminiscent of the frozen variety .
- The larger panko breadcrumbs add essential texture and crunch.
Ive suggested some light seasoning that gives the chicken tenders flavor without losing the simplicity of their appeal. Feel free to switch them up to suit your and your familys preferences.
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How To Make Chicken Tenders In The Air Fryer With No Breading
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.
STEP TWO: Pat the chicken tenders dry with paper towels, then place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat completely.
STEP THREE: Mix the seasonings together in a small bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the chicken tenders.
STEP FOUR: Air fry the chicken tenders for 10-12 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time, until they are cooked through and golden on the outside and hit an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
I recommend using an Instant-Read Thermometer so you can pull the chicken tenders out as soon as they reach the right temperature so they stay juicy and tender.
STEP FIVE: Serve with lemon wedges and your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Breaded chicken tenders cooked in an air fryer are The Best! You get that perfectly crunchy texture on the outside while the chicken meat stays nice and juicy. Plus these chicken strips take no time at all. Quicker, easier and healthier than going to the fast food drive-thru for dinner.
Keep a bag of frozen chicken tenders in your freezer for those busy weeknights that you just dont want to make dinner.
Which Brand Of Frozen Chicken Tenders Are Best For The Air Fryer
I use and prefer Rocky From The Range Chicken Tenders. They come in a yellow and green bag and can be found at Costco as well as other grocery stores.
If you have a preferred chicken tender brand, use those. The cook time may vary depending on the size of the chicken tenders. Each brand tends to have different size chicken strips so adjust the cook time accordingly.
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How Long To Air Fry Frozen Chicken Tenders
The brand of frozen chicken tenders I used took a total of 15 minutes of air frying time. Each batch may take a little less time in smaller air fryers. This is because in smaller fryers, the food spends more time in the closest position to the air fryers heating element.
To begin, air fry the frozen tenders for 8 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, flip the strips over and switch the position of the air fryer trays in the oven.
Air fry your strips for an additional 7 minutes at 400F. They will reach a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit when theyre done cooking. The chicken breading should be nice and crispy.
Thats seriously it for this one. Plate those tenders up with some veggies and your favorite sauce for dipping. Enjoy this easy meal that even picky eaters tend to love!
What Makes These So Good
- Cooking these in the air fryer produce delicious, crispy chicken without all the grease. You wont want to cook them any other way after using this cooking method.
- All you need is the frozen chicken. No need to thaw or preheat and so much faster than cooking in the oven.
- Keep a bag in your freezer to use for a variety of different meals.
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What Are Chicken Fingers Tenders & Strips
Chicken fingers, also known as chicken tenders, chicken goujons, chicken strips, tendies or chicken fillets, are chicken meat prepared from the pectoralis minor muscles of the animal. These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat.
They may also be made with similarly shaped pieces cut from chicken meat, usually the breast, or sometimes just pulverized chicken flesh.
Chicken fingers are prepared by coating chicken meat in a breading mixture and then deep frying them, in a manner similar to the preparation of schnitzel. Chicken fingers are a popular fast-food snack in America and Canada.
Chicken fingers were first made and named by the owners/operators of Spankys in Savannah, Georgia. One of the original owners, Ansley Williams, continues to operate Spankys today and it is known as the Home of the Original Chicken Finger.
Chicken fingers are now a mass-produced product. Production can involve coating chicken meat with spices, polyphosphate and breading or crumbs, flash-frying the product to hold the breading in place, and then freezing it prior to shipment for consumer, retail and commercial use. Some are manufactured with a specific flavor profile, such as with a Buffalo-style hot sauce flavour.
Chicken fingers are one of the most common dishes served on kids menus, often served with a side of fries. We love eating them as adults, chopping them up onto fresh salads.
A Few Tips For Cooking In An Air Fryer
First, dont crowd the meat inside the cooking basket. Air fryers work by circulating hot air around the food to create an even crispness. If the chicken is crowded and overlapping, then the air cannot circulate evenly, resulting in uneven cooking. Of course, we have a smaller 3 qt air fryer, if you have a larger air fryer that has trays you can slide in and out, it may not be a problem for you.
The second tip for cooking chicken tenderloins or other meat in an air fryer is to make sure to use a liquid or oil to keep the seasonings in place. Like I mentioned before, hot air will be circulating around the meat, which could result in the seasonings blowing around and not sticking to the chicken. This could cause problems with your air fryer working properly.
Giving the chicken a soak in some liquid first not only helps keep the chicken fingers moist and tender, but it gives the seasonings something to stick to. This will give you that nice crispy, but juicy and flavorful, naked chicken tender youre searching for.
The last tip for cooking in an air fryer doesnt only apply to chicken or meat, but applies to everything. Buy an oil mister, dont use regular cooking spray. Generally those spray oils have a preservative in them that can cause the non-stick surface of the air fryer to start peeling over time. You dont want that happening believe me! I use a Misto Oil Sprayer that you just put plain oil in and pump air into to create a spray.
Air Fryer Chicken Tenderloins
Chicken tenders are seriously versatile food that doesnt really get enough credit for all that they can do. In our home, we love them because they are quick and easy to cook up plus we can add as much flavor as we want.
For these air fryer chicken tenders no breading, we are ditching the typically breading option to make a light yet super flavorful option. Often we are eating them right out of the air fryer, but when we can restrain ourselves, you will find us chopping them up for a salad, adding them to a wrap, and even serving them alongside our favorite appetizers.
Why Make Frozen Chicken Tenders In The Air Fryer
Air fryer frozen chicken tenders are a great alternative to fast food. The air fryer cooks by circulating very hot air instead of deep-frying. Less oil makes air frying a healthier option.
The best part is that air fried chicken strips have a cook time of less than 15 minutes and require basically no prep time. Toss in some french fries or onion rings and youll have a quick weeknight dinner.
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How To Cook Frozen Chicken Tenders In Air Fryer
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions for frozen chicken strips in air fryer, please see the recipe below.
Cook The Chicken Tenders In Batches If You Have A Small Air Fryer
You may need to adjust cooking times. Smaller air fryers may cook quicker, but it depends on your make and model. Check for clear juices when cut open or an internal temperature of 160°F to 165°F. Since there isnt any breading on these chicken tenders, you will have no worries about them sticking together in your air fryer, but you should still space them out so they can cook evenly.
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Kidfresh Frozen Chicken Strips Nutrition
I wanted to find a product for this recipe that aligned with my healthier chicken tender criteria above. I ended up using the Kidfresh White Meat Chicken Sticks. This product might make a good bridge to fish sticks for the kids who are resistant to eating seafood.
The labeling on this product seems to be suffering a bit of an identity crisis. These are chicken sticks but also chicken pattie fritters. I think describing them as chicken sticks or strips is right on theyre a bit thinner than most chicken tenders.
Similar to the Kidfresh nuggets, we thought these tasted great. They had no weird aftertaste from the hidden cauliflower and onions. I dont think most would suspect that this is a healthier option.
What follows is the nutrition information for Kidfresh chicken sticks. The information given is for 7 sticks, or ¼ of a 13.4-ounce package.
How Spicy Is The Dry Rub Seasoning
The dry rub seasoning is not especially spicy, but it depends on the spices you choose to use. For most people and kids, it will not be hot at all.
Most smoked paprika in the US provides a mild smoky flavor with a slightly earthy, peppery taste when cooked. Cumin is similar to paprika as it has a mild spice flavor and is objectively low on the heat index. In epicenter ratings, it is ranked as a 3, and cayenne peppers are rated at a 9. So, unless you are especially sensitive, the dry rub seasoning is a good crowd-pleaser.
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