Mango Orange Habanero Chicken Tenders
These aren’t your average chicken tenders – made with fruit, spice & everything nice.
Ready to turn up the heat? Say no more. Our mango-orange habanero chicken tenders were made for picante enthusiasts but can be enjoyed by all.
We’ve put a new spin on classic, deep fried chicken tenders by tossing them in a fresh and tropical sauce. It starts with a base of pureed mango and freshly squeezed orange juice, just like our Spindrift Mango-Orange Sparkling Water.
To add delectable savory notes, we layer in warm spices, heat as well as a few surprises – including cinnamon, chipotle chili powder and Aleppo pepper.
Not in the mood for tenders? Lather this sauce on your favorite poultry or seafood for a match made in heaven.
Yields 4 servings
45 minutes, prep
15 minutes, cook time
60 minutes, total time
For chicken tenders:
- 2 lb chicken tenders
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 cup orange juice
- ¼ cup sriracha
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- pinch of salt + pepper
- 2 eggs
- neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
- 2 ½ cup fresh mango
- 1 shallot
- 1 fresh habanero peppers, stems and seeds removed carefully
- ¼ cup pureed garlic
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 ½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- pinch salt
- 3 ½ tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup sriracha
- Pat the chicken tenders very dry with paper towels.
- Whisk the buttermilk, orange juice and sriracha together in a large bowl. Add the chicken tenders and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Whisk the flour and spices together in a large shallow bowl.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate large shallow bowl.
- Working one at a time, remove the chicken tenders from the buttermilk marinade, shaking off any excess and pat the tenders dry with paper towels.
- Coat each chicken strip in the flour mixture, then egg and then flour mixture again. Shake off any excess in between each addition.
- Fill a dutch oven with 2” of neutral oil and bring to 350°F. Working in batches, fry tenders for 4-6 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165°F, flipping halfway through frying to ensure even crispiness.
- Transfer fried tenders to a wire rack and sprinkle with salt. Cool for a few minutes, toss with mango-orange habanero sauce.
- Sprinkle with additional Aleppo pepper, serve with mango habanero sauce for dipping or ranch to cool off the heat, if desired.
- Pro tip: drying the chicken tenders before tossing them in the flour mixture helps the flour stick to the tender, which helps the crunchy breading stick to the tender once they’re fried!
- Add mango, orange juice, shallot, habanero and garlic to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the mango mixture to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in brown sugar and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in ginger powder, aleppo pepper, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in sriracha. Add ½ to ¾ cup water and whisk until you reach your desired consistency.
For our die-hard lovers of spice, we recommend adding an additional habanero pepper to the sauce. If you still are craving more heat, add additional sriracha to sauce before adding chicken to coat.
“This lemon Spindrift isn’t horrible.”
— Briana D.
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