Fried Chicken Fingers with Sour Cream & Horseradish Dipping Sauce

If there is one thing my childhood friends go “gaga” for at my parent’s house, it is my Mom and Dad’s fried chicken. My Mom actually has to promise my good friend Michael that she will make him fried chicken and mashed potatoes when he returns to Gainesville for the holidays (it is really her plea to see him once a year).

One of the best things about fried chicken at my parents house is that they make so much of it that we eat it for picnics the next couple days. It is good after a long day of shopping (me and Mom) or a  fishing trip (my sister and dad). And, it is almost as good cold as it is hot.

If it couldn’t get any better – just wait. I can’t have this chicken without my parent’s good friend Judy’s Sour Cream and Horseradish Dipping Sauce. It is unexpectedly delightful and simple to assemble.  I like mine extra spicy but you can make it to your liking.

Since people go ‘gaga’ for this chicken – I thought it would be the perfect treat for our train ride on the Carolinian to Charlotte for the Lady Gaga concert. I made the chicken and dipping sauce the night before and packed it right before our trip. disposable paper boxes, a little tissue paper and recycled mustard jar for the dipping sauce made the perfect container. The last thing I wanted to do was bring dirty dishes back on the train.

Tommy T’s Fried Chicken Fingers with Judy B’s Sour Cream and Horseradish Dipping Sauce


  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • 3 to 4 splashes tabasco sauce
  • 2 or 3 pounds chicken tenderloin
  • 2 or 3 cups flour
  • salt and pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • half pint sour cream
  • hot fresh horseradish

Assembly: Soak chicken in buttermilk and tabasco for 24 hours. When ready to fry, coat the chicken with a mix of plain flour with some salt, pepper and cayenne (to taste). Fry in a in a deep cast iron pan with hot canola oil (about 350 to 375 degrees).  Don’t crowd the pieces.  Once the first side looks good, turn the heat down to low and simmer the chicken for about 5 minutes , then turn the heat back up to crisp the other side.  If cooking chicken with bones, you will need to increase the cooking time.  The slow cooking is really what makes it good, but you’ve got to have the grease hot when you finish and take out the pieces, or they won’t be crispy.  Lightly salt when they come out of the oil. Use a deep cast iron pan if you have one—it holds the heat better. Cool completely before you refrigerate.

Mix sour cream and horseradish together to your taste. Serve on the side for finger licking good chicken.


  1. I’ve always wanted to try/fry chicken fingers using the method your great-grandmother, Maggie Mizell Tarapani, used. Back then, before the 70’s, there was no such thing as canola oil, so she used Crisco and just before she put the chicken in the pan, she’d add TWO STICKS OF BUTTER! Tasty–Yes! Healthy–Maybe, as she lived until she was almost 90!!!

  2. Were these ever perfect for the train ride to Gaga! They were just the perfect treat along with the tomato-basil sandwiches and cheese sticks! Food is always at least half of the experience. I would have to say that we all enjoyed the train ride down the most!! Food or friends……….which was it? They both go together so well!! I am going to try these for sure! I have to say that the presentation was awesome as well!! I am such the new fan of your blog!!!

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