Lunchbreak: Fried Chicken Tenders

Midday News
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Joe Fontana, Founder of Fry the Coop

Fry the Coop has four locations:

  • Oak Lawn (5128 W. 95th Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois 60453; 708.576.8645)
  • Elmhurst (623 West North Avenue, Elmhurst, Illinois 60126; 630.359.5223)
  • Chicago-Wells Street Market (205 West Wacker Drive, #100)
  • Chicago-West Town (1529 West Chicago Avenue, 312.600.6198)

-Fry the Coop has stayed open for curbside pickup, cocktail & beer growlers to go throughout the pandemic and has continued to donate meals to local hospitals & first responders multiple times a week for the past three months.

-They’re launching Fry the Coop merchandise available on their website and 100% proceeds will benefit My Block, My Hood, My City.

-Indoor dining remains closed.

-Wells St. Market reopens on Monday 7/6.


Fry the Coop’s Chicken Tenders

4 chicken tenderloins (boneless/skinless washed, patted dry, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)

Base Rub:

3 tablespoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flour dredge:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons of base rub


Cut off skin and tendon from tenderloin. Make the base rub and flour dredge: In a bowl, whisk together the flour and 2 tablespoons of base rub. In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup of buttermilk and the rest of base rub.

Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, then dip in the buttermilk mixture, then in the flour mixture again, shaking off the excess after each step.

Heat the vegetable oil (or animal fat) in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (or in a cast iron pan). Set a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Working in batches, lower the chicken into the fryer and fry until crisp, 5 – 8 mins. If working in cast iron pan, cook for 10 minutes, flipping throughout until brown. Remove the chicken and let it drain on the rack.


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