Cornflake Semi-Fried Chicken Tenders

February  3, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This dish right here is probably one of the reasons I have been married so long! This is hands down is my husband’s favorite meal ever. I learned this early on in our relationship, his mom makes her own version, and this is what my husband would choose when it was his birthday to eat every year. Mine is similar, but different as I add cornflakes to the mix. My dad used to make cornflake chicken for us when I was little for dinner when my mom was working the grill at our restaurant and it was dad’s turn to watch us. I love cornflakes in general, but they take on a whole new identity when used in chicken breading. A very well-known biscuit shop here in PDX puts cornflakes on their famous chicken breasts that lie between their homemade biscuits. Never underestimate this cold cereal—its uses go far beyond a bowl and milk. I call this “semi-fried” since I shallow fry it and then put it in the oven. This cuts way down on the grease factor, but still has all the flavor of its full-fried friends. —Alexandra V. Jones

Test Kitchen Notes

The chicken tasted good and the cornflakes added a nice crunch. I think it's a solid chicken finger recipe and tasted nice the next day. Didn't find this recipe to be super inventive or exciting, but a great meal for kids. My kids thought they were really good and loved the breading. —Anna Francese Gass

What You'll Need
  • 2 pounds chicken tenders, trimmed (you can use full breasts just remove the tender then cut the rest to a similar size for even cooking)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 dash hot sauce, I use "Frank's"
  • 1/2 cup cornflakes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs, Italian seasoning or herbs d' Provence both work
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil (one with a high smoke point, such as peanut)
  1. First thing first, after your chicken is trimmed and ready, season with all the spices on both sides. Don’t be sting! Next, in a medium bowl, whisk your egg with the milk and hot sauce and set aside. Combine breadcrumbs with cornflakes on a large plate.
  2. Set up a breading station: first the flour, then the egg wash, and finally a good dunk in the breadcrumbs-cornflakes mixture. Repeat until all the pieces of chicken are well-coated.
  3. Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add half of your oil. When the oil is shimmering, add two pieces of chicken at a time and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Then, put on a cookie sheet in the oven set to 300°F.
  4. When your oil starts to look low, add the remaining oil and finish frying the rest of your chicken, placing each batch in the oven while the others cook. While your chicken is in the oven, prepare gravy if you like. I use the oil I fried the chicken in (if there is more than about 2 tablespoons left I drain the excess) and add two tablespoons of the flour used to dredge the chicken. Over medium heat, cook the oil and flour till golden, add two cups of chicken stock, bring to a boil, and you have gravy! My mom always called this “crackling” gravy, as it utilized the cracklins from frying your chicken. I served ours with Yukon gold mashers and fresh, local, steamed green beans. Since the chicken is skinless and semi-fried, it's a healthier option when you have that craving. All things in moderation my friends.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Miles Stone
    Miles Stone
  • Claire Kim
    Claire Kim
  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • anotherfoodieblogger
  • Alexandra V. Jones
    Alexandra V. Jones
Chef de cuisine @Shelburne hotel Seaview, WA

5 Reviews

Miles S. January 7, 2021
Made patties instead of tenders for chicken sandwiches on buns... fantastic!
Claire K. January 22, 2018
How long in the oven?
Alexandra V. January 23, 2018
Give them 15 min at least...I usually just leave them in the oven while I make the gravy. They are parcooked in the oil so it is mainly just to finish them and keep the batches warm while you cook all the pieces.
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 4, 2016
I always question the one dash of Franks. For color or does that dash impart some kind of underlining flavor? These look delicious, I love chicken fingers!
anotherfoodieblogger November 4, 2016
I've made similar cornflake tenders for years! My daughter gobbles them up! I like the addition of Frank's. Saving!