Takis Fuego and Smoked Arbol Chicken Tenders

Hi chili heads! The pandemic has been limiting my grocery store trips and at times that actually helps me get creative. You could also just call it lazy cooking, but sometimes more constraints makes for more creativity. For this recipe my wife had bought some Takis™ and left them in the cabinet and I’ve been itching for fried chicken. I went with tenders for my chicken choice and I’m glad I did! I mixed the Takis™ with my smoked chili de arbol powder and some panko for some over the top breading. These will blow your mind and I really hope I don’t get in trouble with the Big Snack for sharing this recipe using their product.

Takis Fuego and Smoked Arbol Chicken Tenders

Prep Time 35 minutes • Total Time 1 hours
Difficulty Level:


Drain the chicken tenders, rinse and lay on paper towels to dry.

Process the Takis™, Panko, and Powerful Pepper Company™ Smoked Chili de Arbol Flakes in a food processor until fine.  Place in a bowl

Prepare your dredging area with two more bowls – beat one egg and 2 tbsp water in one bowl.  The final bowl will be for the flour about 1/2 – 3/4 cups should be enough.

Take a tender, pat dry with a paper towel, and place in the flour.  Coat with flour and shake off the excess.

Move the tender to the egg mixture and coat both sides completely before removing.

It is important to allow the tender to drain off excess egg since this is just the glue for the breading. And nobody wants gluey tenders.  Place the tender in the crust mix and sprinkle the mix over the top of the tender. You can shake, flip, dredge, or sprinkle, however you like, just get an even single coating on the tender.

Coat the tender and move to a grate on a baking pan. Aluminum foil will help with a quick cleanup. Repeat for all tenders, and then let them rest for 20 minutes to allow the mix to bond with the tender.

Heat peanut or other vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat until about 350 deg or until the oil shimmers as your swirl it around the pan. Smoking oil is most likely too hot.  Add the chicken tenders, making sure not to overcrowd the pan / keep some space between neighboring tenders.  Reduce heat to medium after ~1.5 minutes.  Continue cooking and flipping when the bottoms begin to brown.


These are a bit tricky since they are bright red and it’s hard to tell when they are browning but you will see where the panko in the mix is browning and that is a pretty good indicator. Fry for 2-4 minutes on the other side and  begin checking the internal temperature – pull when the tenders reach 165 internal temp, keeping an eye on the thinnest tender for first removal.  If needed, you can flip a few times to avoid the crust becoming too browned.

I served with Ghost Chili Rub baked potato fries and a cilantro, lime, and serrano chili slaw. We had Smoked Mango Habanero Mayo and Serrano Pineapple Plantain Crema for dipping. Those recipes will be coming soon!

Enjoy you Spicy People!


  • -=Breading=-
  • 1.5 cup Takis Fuego Corn Chips
  • 3/4 Cup Panko
  • 1.5 Tbsp Smoked Ancho Chili Flakes
  • -=Everything Else=-
  • 1lb Chicken Tenders (9-12 tenders)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2-3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Peanut (the best) or other veggie oil