Crispy, tender lemon pepper fried chicken with real lemon zest! This simple fried chicken recipe has a crispy double breaded coating that makes a fantastic family-friendly meal or game day appetizer.
Fried chicken is a staple in pretty much every restaurant throughout the US. Every kid and most every adult loves fried chicken which is why in every restaurant, across every cuisine, you’ll find fried chicken as an option, at least on the kids’ menu.
This easy lemon pepper fried chicken recipe is so easy to make using simple ingredients for a tasty weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy!
How to fry chicken in a dutch oven
Dutch oven fried chicken is a simple stovetop recipe. Having made southern-style fried buttermilk chicken in a cast iron skillet, I figured how much harder could it be to make chicken strips in a dutch oven?
How to make dutch oven fried chicken
Step 1: Heat cooking oil in the dutch oven on medium heat. Lay out your defrosted chicken tenders and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 2: The chicken should be defrosted before cooking, or you chance burning the outside before it has an opportunity to cook through.
Step 3: For the breading, set out two small bowls or ramekins. In one, whisk in eggs. Next, add flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and fresh lemon zest in the other bowl.
Step 4: Run each chicken strip through the flour mixture, then through the whisked eggs and back through the flour mixture again.
Step 5: Lay strips flat in the dutch oven just enough where they are not overcrowded. Fry for 3 minutes per side and cooked through.
Double breaded lemon chicken tenders
The double breading gives these chicken tenders a crispy coating without adding a lot of extra ingredients. I love double breading as you can see in my fried meatball recipe.
Tips for crispy breading: To make extra crispy, thick breading, add a third bowl filled with either crushed corn flakes, bread crumbs, corn starch, or even crushed cheez-its. Use this mixture to replace the second breading.
What temp should chicken tenders be cooked to
All chicken must be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F as measured with an instant thermometer.
What to serve with game-day chicken tenders
Helpful cooking tools
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Frying Chicken Strips
I like to use a dutch oven for deep frying. It has tall sides to keep oil from splattering out, and they are so easy to clean! But, of course, a large saucepan or fry daddy will work just fine as well.
Cast iron skillets work well too for making pork chops, fried pork liver and steaks, but to reduce the inevitable oil splattering from making tenders in small batches, the dutch oven is the way to go with this recipe.
Best Chicken for tenders
Chicken tenderloin, strips, or breasts make an excellent crispy fried chicken tender. Tenderloins, in my opinion, are the most tender, while chicken strips are usually strips of chicken breast anyway.
Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with fried chicken!
Best oil for frying
I fry nearly exclusively with coconut oil. Other high temp oil frying options include avocado oil, peanut oil, or canola oil.
Or if you are not a fan of frying, you can always try boiling chicken tenders.
More dutch oven recipes you might like
- Dutch oven Goulash
- Round steak
- St. Louis spare ribs
- Polish sauerkraut soup
- Pork belly burnt ends
- Cajun roast chicken
Dutch Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
- 2 lbs of chicken tenderloins or thin-sliced chicken breasts
- ½ cup of coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup of flour
- zest from 1 large lemon
- ½ tsp of salt plus some for the chicken
- ½ tsp of ground black pepper plus some for chicken
- ½ tsp each of garlic and onion powder
- Heat cooking oil in the dutch oven on medium heat. Lightly sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.
- Set out two bowls for the breading. In one, whisk in eggs. In the second bowl, add flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and the fresh lemon zest.
- Run each chicken strip through the flour mixture, then through the whisked eggs and back through the flour mixture again.
- Lay strips flat in the dutch oven just enough where they are not overcrowded. Fry for 3 minutes per side and cooked through.