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.

Okay, more than eyeing. Yes, after a brief moment of trying to convince myself that I was *stronger* than shove a couple of tacos down when I was already full, and after opening and closing the refrigerator a total of six times, I did it. I ate the Crispy Chicken Tacos. And I have no regrets about it, because had I left them in there for another day I know my housemate would have eaten them. Sometimes you’ve gotta share, but sometimes you’ve gotta fight for what’s yours, you know?

For the Brine:

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

For the Breading:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Oil, for frying

For the Avocado Buttermilk Ranch

  • 1 haas avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

To serve the Tacos:

  • 24 corn tortillas, toasted
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. ................................

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