If you are using chicken breasts, slice the meat into thin strips.
Add salt, pepper cayenne pepper, and paprika to buttermilk (add hot sauce if you want extra spice). and whisk to combine. Put chicken strips in a zip-top bag or bowl with a lid. Pour buttermilk marinade over the chicken and store in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
Make seasoned flour by combining flour with all of the spices, salt, and pepper in a bowl or pan.
Remove one strip of chicken at a time from the marinade and dredge in the seasoned flour mixture until thoroughly coated on all sides. Place the fully coated chicken strip onto a piece of parchment or a sheet pan rack to rest.
Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Fry each strip of chicken for 6 to 7 minutes or until it reaches 165 degrees internal temperature. You'll probably want to fry for 3 minutes on the first side and then flip it to make sure you're getting the level of browning that you want. Continue cooking on the other side.
After frying, place the finished chicken tenders on a cooling rack over paper towels to drain some of the oil away.
Grab your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy.