Crispy Ranch Chicken Tenders
These Ranch-dressing infused fried chicken tenders are as easy to love as they are to make at home. With the help of dried spices and mainstay pantry ingredients, you’ll have a creamy homemade Ranch dressing, a caramelized onion dip, and roasted sweet potato fries to round out a perfect snack-attack spread.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
*Your Chef will lead you through all the techniques, so prepping ahead of class is optional
For the Ranch Dressing Spice Blend
- 1/2 cup dry milk powder or buttermilk powder
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon dried chives
- 1 tablespoon dried dill
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of Ranch Dressing Spice Blend, or another spice blend like Cajun, garam masala, Chinese5-spice
- Kosher salt
For the Caramelized Onion Dip
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 Walla Walla sweet yellow onions, chopped
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or smoked paprika
For the Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
For the Chicken Tenders
- 1 to 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon Ranch Spice Blend
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 12-14 chicken breast tenderloins
- For the Ranch Dressing Spice Blend: Combine all ingredients in a jar with a lid (for easy storage), shake to combine, then set aside.
- For the Sweet Potato Fries: Slice the potato lengthwise into longer planks, about 1/4 to 1/3-inch planks. Lay out the planks on your cutting board, then working across, cut into long uniform strips about 1/4 to 1/3-inch wide. At this point, you should have fry-shaped sweet potato pieces. Add the fries to a large bowl of cold water and soak for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- Drain the fries from the bowl of water, then pat the fries with a dry towel to absorb excess water. Then wipe out the bowl with another dry towel and add the fries back to the bowl. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and spices. Drizzle the olive oil over the fries and toss. Then, add the spice mixture and mix well until the cornstarch absorbs into the oil.
- Add the fries in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the fries over so they cook on the other sides evenly. Put the baking sheet back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the fries are crispy. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt while the oils are still hot, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- For the Caramelized Onion Dip: Warm the butter in a pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted and starting to gently bubble, add the onions along with a generous pinch of both salt and black pepper. Cook the onions for 5 minutes, until they just start to soften and become translucent. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the onions are dark brown, about 30 to 45 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onions by adjusting the heat as needed and stirring often. If the onions look too dry before they’re fully cooked, add a splash of water to keep the onions from burning. Let the onions cool slightly before adding to remaining ingredients.
- While the onions are cooking, whisk together the sour cream, mayo, garlic powder, chile powder, and another generous pinch of salt and pepper. Once the onions are caramelized, add those to the mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.
- For the Ranch Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a lid (for easy storage) and whisk together. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- For the Chicken Tenders: Add the oil to a large saucepan and warm the oil over medium heat. The oil should pool up at least ½-inch up the sides of the pan, add more oil if needed.
- Set up the breading station by gathering three plates or bowls. In the first bowl, add the flour. To the second bowl, crack the two eggs and add a tablespoon of water, then whisk together. To the third bowl, add the panko breadcrumbs, paprika, and Ranch Dressing Spice Blend and whisk together. Working in batches, coat the chicken breast tenderloins in the flour. Shake off any excess flour back onto the plate, then transfer the chicken to the egg and coat evenly. Transfer the chicken to the panko breadcrumbs and cover the chicken with breadcrumbs, pressing them onto all sides of the chicken with your fingers.
- Add the chicken to the hot oil, making sure you carefully add the chicken pieces away from you to avoid oil splattering on you. The chicken should immediately bubble around the edges – if it doesn’t, then the oil is not hot enough. Remove the chicken from the oil and wait another couple minutes for the oil to heat up. Cook the chicken on all sides until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes, turning the chicken halfway. When finished, transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- Alternatively, to use an air-fryer, preheat the air-fryer to 400F. Place 4 to 6 chicken pieces into a basket and fry for 12 to15 minutes, turning halfway to cook evenly.
- To serve: Enjoy the Chicken Tenders and Sweet Potato Fries while still warm, along with the Ranch Dressing and Caramelized Onion Dip.