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Savory Cajun Blackened Chicken Tenders - Spicy, Crispy, Delicious!

Blackened Chicken Tenders

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


I wonder why Popeyes stopped calling them Naked Tenders…


  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken tenderloins, tendons removed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp seasoned salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp dark red chili powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp granulated sugar
  • vegetable oil, for frying


  1. At least 4 hours – preferably 8  – before you start making dinner make the spice mix by whisking all of the listed seasonings together in a small bowl. Add this mix to a large mixing bowl or Ziploc bag along with the chicken tenderloins and work them together. You want each tender heavily seasoned and thoroughly coated. No bare spots! Cover them tightly and place them in the refrigerator until about 30 minutes prior to frying. 
  2. Fill a large pot up about halfway with vegetable oil – make sure it’s a pot with high sides, we’re deep-frying! – and heat it to 360°F. Check out the post above the recipe if you don’t have a thermometer
  3. Gently drop the tenders into the oil, as many as will fit without crowding them. We want them to have room to dance around. Let them cook for about 7 minutes: when the tenders are deeply brown and floating on the surface of the oil, they’re ready (160-165°F is the right internal temp for chicken). Drain them on a wire rack over a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200°F while you fry the rest of the chicken. Dassit! 


  • Don’t want to fry them? Oven and stovetop instructions are included in the post above the recipe! 
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
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