DJ Foodielow-carb, low carb, sugar free, sugar-free, gluten-free, gluten free, primal, paleo

Blackened Chicken Tenders

Prep: 10 min | Cook: 15 min | Total: 25 min | Servings:6


Blackened Chicken Tenders
Blackened Chicken Tenders
Blackened Chicken Tenders
I remember when I was young and learned about blackened food, for the first time. Something about intentionally burning the surface of the food, in a really really searing hot pan ... to enhance the flavor ... really stuck with me. I think this is one of those foundational concepts that made me think about 'flavor' as a something bigger than the goodness that teases my nose and tongue. You can manipulate it. You can use techniques, interesting blends of spices and herbs, use of fats and temperatures all change the way the final dish looks, tastes and feels in the mouth. A lot to think about for an 8 year old boy! But ... I did!

These are spicy and cozy. Hot, but familiar. Really, just flat out delicious and the kind of thing I could eat a basket of.

In this case, I served them with a cool ranch dressing, but you could really eat them plain, on a salad with some blue cheese or even stacked up in a po' boy!

Serve and eat when delicious.

Note: I added a small amount of erythritol to this. The miniscule little boost of "sweet" helps round this out, but if you can't get your hands on some ... don't worry about it. It's not crucial to the dish ... it's just a personal preference.

. .
IngredientsCaloriesFatProteinCarbsFiberSA'sNet Carbs
2 tbsp (14g)  paprika40.461.822.107.845.1802.66
1 tbsp (6g)  fresh cracked black pepper16014202
1 tbsp (5g)  cayenne pepper17113102
4 each (12g)  garlic cloves, minced16004004
2 tsp (2g)  fresh thyme, chopped2.
1 tsp (1g)  fresh oregano, chopped1.
1 tbsp (18g)  salt0000000
2 tsp (8g)  erythritol, powdered (optional) (Buy Now) 0008080
1 1/2 lbs (681g)  chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, and cut into strips809.3320.7144.890000
1/2 cup (112g)  fresh whole butter (one stick), melted8008800000
Totals (of 6 Servings):1701.82111.58g149.17g27.56g8.6g8g10.96g
Per Serving:283.6418.6g24.86g4.59g1.43g1.33g1.83g *


  1. Pre-heat a large iron skillet (or a big sauté pan, if you don't have a large iron skillet).
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients.
  3. Add your chicken to the hot pan, leaving space between each slice. Do not add too many to the pan at once, or else they will not blacken. They will just simmer and steam. If you need to do this in a few batches, that's fine. Wipe out the pan between each batch, but also always make sure the pan is very hot before you add the chicken. This will help it blacken and also help prevent the chicken from sticking to the pan.
  4. When one side is nice and black, turn it over and blacken the other side. Adding a small amount of flavorless oil (light olive, for example) to the pan may help cook the chicken more evenly, even if it's slightly less authentic.
  5. Once the chicken fingers are cooked through ... serve!

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* Learn More: More about this recipe and nutrition ...


The blackened chicken looks tasty but I have heard it is unhealthy to char anything especially meat as per cancerous warnings? Is this not a health issue maybe? I am enjoying your recipes so much and very grateful for your page. Have tried a few already and so tasty. Keep up the good work.  Linda Page

 linda  1/24/2015


---Reply posted by DJ on 1/24/2015
Hi Linda, I've read this, as well. Ultimately, this is a choice you need to make. My stance is ... while it's probably true on some level, all heat degrades food and breaks down many of the nutrients. The human race has been cooking food over fire ... since the invention of fire. I'm sure a lot of "char" has occurred in those 10's of thousands of years. So, while I'm sure it doesn't help, I think that there are FAR greater things to worry about, such as a good diet, a happy face, good friends, some regular movement, a loving family, etc. My stake in the ground is ... "Don't sweat the small stuff." However, that's just me. in any event, I hope my little philosophical ramble helps in some way!

Kat, Unknown is correct. The melted butter and the spices will all mix. Chances are the chicken is cold, so the butter will thicken and maybe even somewhat solidify, so do it quickly. Then, when the chicken hits the pan, the butter will immediately melt, frying and somewhat scorching the seasonings. There are more eloquent ways to do this, to be sure, but this is quite common and definitely results in a tasty chicken finger!

 DJ  3/24/2014


I'm pretty sure that when it says "Add all ingredients" to your mixing bowl, that includes the chicken ingredient.

 unknown  3/24/2014


I am confused . Do you mix the ingredients with the chicken before you cook it?

 Kat  3/24/2014