CRISPY CHICKEN TACOS WITH AVOCADO BUTTERMILK RANCH

I’m not sure of the technical way to measure the greatness of a meal (if such a thing exists), but I want to say that it’s probably “how likely would it be that I’d happily– maybe even eagerly– eat this on an already painfully full stomach?”
Because you know what? I spent this weekend raiding the buffet tables at two separate events as if the very act of eating was going out of style, and when I got home– despite the fact that I had already unbuttoned my pants because I was so stuffed– I still was eyeing the container of leftover Crispy Chicken Tacos with Avocado Buttermilk Ranch in the fridge.

CRISPY CHICKEN TACOS WITH AVOCADO BUTTERMILK RANCH

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 pounds chicken breast tenderloins
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken breast tenderloins and brine ingredients. Mix well and toss to coat the chicken tenders entirely. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, chili powder, cumin, baking powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and oregano. Drizzle with buttermilk and mix with a fork to create craggy pieces. 
  • Line a baking sheet with foil. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk brine a few at a time and transfer to the breading. Firmly press the chicken tenders into the breading so they get fully covered. Set the breaded tenders on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Allow the breading to set for a few minutes while you make the Avocado Buttermilk Ranch. In a large bowl, mash the avocado. Add in the remaining ranch ingredients and whisk, breaking up any chunks as you go, until the ranch is completely smooth. Set aside.
  • Line another baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Add oil to a large, high-sided pot such as a dutch oven until the oil reaches about 1 inch high. Heat over high heat until oil is shimmering. Using tongs, place several chicken tenders in the hot oil without crowding the pan. Fry until deep golden brown on the bottom side, about 3 minutes, then flip repeat for the opposite side. Using tongs, carefully remove the fried chicken tenders from the oil and set on the paper towel lined baking sheet to cool. Repeat for the remaining chicken tenders.