3 pounds chicken tenders or boneless skinless breast cut into 1 1/2-inch strips
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons dried basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cup smoked almonds
12 large sourdough hard pretzels
Canola oil, for frying
Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce, recipe follows
large resealable plastic bag
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (optional)
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
In a small bowl, combine basil, oregano, granulated garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Place buttermilk and half the spice mix into a double-lined resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and massage bag until well coated. Refrigerate 6 to 12 hours. Reserve remaining spice mix.
Place almonds in plastic bag. Break up with rolling pin or mallet (flat side) until mixture looks part rough chopped part crumbs. Remove almonds and place into shallow bowl. Put pretzels in same bag and mash with mallet or rolling pin until it looks like a mixture of large breadcrumbs and powder. Add to almonds mix to combine.
In a large fry pan, pour canola oil until it measures about 1 1/2 -inches high in pan. Heat over high, until oil is hot, but not smoking, temperature, 350 degrees.
Remove tenders from buttermilk and dredge in almond-pretzel mixture, pressing mixture into the tenders. Gently add tenders, in batches, to the oil. Be sure not to over crowd the pan. Fry tenders until they are dark golden brown, being careful not to burn, about 5 minutes or until cooked through. Remove and drain on a cookie sheet lined with a wire rack. Serve immediately with Spicy Honey Dijon Sauce or keep warm in a 200 degree F oven.
In a small food processor, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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