Recipe prepared by Ken Toong, University of Massachusetts & Thema Charpentier, Brill a CSM Bakery Solutions Company

Make a childhood favorite chicken strips with a twist at home in eight easy steps. This recipe features pecan meal as the batter for the chicken with a quick and easy three-step peach pepper jelly dipping sauce.

Pecan Fried Chicken Tenders

Serves: 16 Strips- 8 Servings

  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenders
  • 2-3 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup pecan meal
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable shortening for frying
  • Peach pepper jelly for dipping, recipe follows
  1. Place the chicken tenders in a large bowl or shallow baking dish. Pour the buttermilk over the chicken to cover, saving ½ cup for the flour mixture. Let chicken marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. In another large bowl or shallow baking dish, combine the flour, pecan meal, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Stir together well. Drizzle ¼ to ½ cup buttermilk into the flour while stirring with a fork until the mixture looks shaggy and a little clumpy.....not a batter. This is what makes an extra crispy coating.
  3. Heat 1 inch of vegetable shortening in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Working with a few chicken strips at a time, remove from the buttermilk letting the excess drain away, then roll in flour, pressing the clumps into the chicken. Place on a sheet tray or plate. Continue until all the chicken strips are coated.
  5. Fry chicken a few strips at a time so as not to crowd the skillet. Fry for about 4 minutes, until crispy and golden, turning once or twice.
  6. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and fry remaining chicken. Keep warm in a 200° F. oven if needed.
  7. Serve with Peach Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce
  8. Makes 16 strips- 8 servings


Peach Pepper Jelly Dipping Sauce

Serves: 1½ Cups

  • 1 cup peach preserves
  • 1 orange, red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  1. In a blender, combine the peach preserves, bell pepper, red pepper flakes, vinegar and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour the jelly into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. jelly will thicken as it cools.
  3. Makes about 1½ cups