Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders

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I crave spicy food. Listen, when I was pregnant with my second daughter, I ate an ENTIRE JAR of pickled green chile peppers. In one sitting. (Maybe that’s where she got her smart-mouth? Hmmm…) But back to my point. Spicy food. These Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders are buttermilk marinated overnight for extra zing, breaded and fried, baked.  Finally, drizzled with more spicy-smoky buttered hot sauce.

Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders

Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders

If you are ready to lick your computer screen, then my job here is done. These chicken tenders aren’t for the faint of heart. But if you love food on the spicy side, you’ve got to try this recipe.

First, we marinated our chicken tenders overnight in a mixture of buttermilk and Don Victor® Extra Hot Piquin Hot Sauce. Don Victor® has been successfully combining Mexican heritage and culture with unsurpassed flavor.

Have you ever tried piquin pepper sauce? Piquin peppers are small peppers that are huge on hot. They a very small pepper from northern Mexico, and Don Victor®’s sauces are the only ones you will find on the market that are made entirely from his pepper. Move over jalapenos!


Don Victor Piquin Hot Sauce


Don Victor® has three new flavors of hot Piquin Pepper Sauce. If you are a hot sauce aficionado, add these sauces to your collection.

  • Don Victor® Red Piquin Hot Sauce
  • Don Victor® Extra Hot Piquin Hot Sauce  (This is the flavor we used for our Firecracker Chicken Tenders.)
  • Don Victor® Green Piquin Hot Sauce

Click below to Buy Don Victor® sauces at

Buy Don Victor Hot Piquin Pepper Sauce Online

You can also be on the lookout for Don Victor® sauces at your favorite grocery store. They can be found in the main condiments aisle.


Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders on a metal plate


Marinating the chicken tenders overnight in buttermilk + hot sauce makes the chicken so moist and tender. Plus you get that extra tang of flavor. And it helps create that Southern-style chicken-fried breading that I love.

The Firecracker Chicken Tenders are first flash-fried to get a nice brown coating. Then, we toss the chicken tenders in a buttery hot sauce. The chicken tenders are finished off in the oven for the flavor to really soak into the breading.

Get the complete step-by-step recipe at the bottom of this post.

If you love this spicy recipe, you might like these:

Chili Cranberry Meatballs

Zesty Marinated Steak Nachos

Bacon Wrapped Pimento Cheese Jalapenos


close up of fried chicken tenders in hot sauce


Just before serving, drizzle the rest of the piquin pepper + butter sauce over the chicken tenders. Oh. My. Hot. But you can’t stop eating them. Listen, the little beads of sweat were popping out on my forehead, and I was still mopping up the Don Victor® + butter sauce up with my chicken.

Don Victor®’s Extra Hot Piquin Hot Sauce is made from roasted piquin peppers, olive oil, garlic, apple cider vinegar and salt. The bold flavor is perfect for people who live life to the hotteset. There is a smoky-flavor to the piquin sauce that is unique and unlike any hot sauce I’ve tried before.

Can’t wait to try this in our Country Girl Bloody Mary’s! And Don Victor®’s Green Piquin Pepper Wings are next on my to-do list.

For more information and inspiration from Don Victor® Piquin Hot Sauce, follow them on Facebook.


Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders


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5 from 2 votes

Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders

Tender + spicy, you'll crave Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders. Firey + smoky butter sauce drizzled on fried chicken strips.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken tenders
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating Time Minimum 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 724 kcal
Author Buy This Cook That

Buy This

  • 2 pounds chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup Don Victor® Extra Hot Piquin Hot Sauce divided
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup butter 2 sticks
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Cook That

  1. Pour the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the Don Victor® sauce over the chicken. Stir to coat well, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour to overnight.
  2. Combine the flour, salt, and garlic powder in a shallow dish.
  3. Heat oil in a deep fryer or cast iron skillet to 355 degrees. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Drain the chicken and shake the excess liquid. Coat both sides of the marinated chicken tenders in the flour mixture. Shake excess. Carefully place in the hot oil.
  5. Cook until both sides are browned.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, combine the butter, remaining hot sauce, and honey in a small saucepan. Melt butter and stir to combine well.
  7. Transfer cooked chicken to brown paper bags or newspaper to drain. Place them in a bowl and pour half of the butter + hot sauce mixture over the browned chicken. Carefully toss to coat.
  8. Place chicken onto a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  9. Serve by pouring the remaining sauce on top or serving on the side.

Recipe Notes

The calorie count on this is not accurate, as it is adding all of the calories in from the oil. The chicken is only cooked in the oil. 

Nutrition Facts
Southern Fried Firecracker Chicken Tenders
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 724 Calories from Fat 486
% Daily Value*
Fat 54g83%
Saturated Fat 35g219%
Cholesterol 182mg61%
Sodium 1113mg48%
Potassium 673mg19%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 1090IU22%
Vitamin C 16.7mg20%
Calcium 66mg7%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.




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