What Part of the Chicken Is the Tender?

Last Updated on October 5, 2022 by Lauren Beck

The tender is the most prized part of the chicken, and it’s no wonder why. This juicy, flavorful cut is beloved by both home cooks and professional chefs alike. But what exactly is the tender?

Simply put, the tender is the chicken’s breast meat. This lean, white meat is located on either side of the chicken’s breastbone, and it’s attached to the chicken’s ribs. The tender is a relatively small cut of meat, but it packs a big flavor punch.

When cooked properly, the tender is juicy and succulent. It’s also versatile – it can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or even breaded and fried. No matter how you cook it, the tender is sure to be a hit.

Where Chicken Tenders Come From

If you’re wondering where chicken tenders come from, the answer is simple: they come from the chicken’s breast [1]. However, not all chicken breast meat is considered a tender. In order for a piece of meat to be classified as a tender, it must meet certain criteria.

First and foremost, a true chicken tender must be attached to the chicken’s breastbone. Additionally, it must be attached to the chicken’s ribs. The tender must also be a small, narrow strip of meat – it shouldn’t be more than 1-1/2 inches wide. Finally, the tender should have very little fat.

All of these criteria must be met in order for a piece of meat to be classified as a tender. If even one of these criteria is not met, the meat cannot be considered a true chicken tender.

How to make your own Chicken Tenders

Now that you know what chicken tenders are and where they come from, you may be wondering how you can make your own at home. Luckily, it’s easy to do!

To make your own chicken tenders, start by trimming any excess fat from a boneless, skinless chicken breast. Next, cut the chicken breast into 1-1/2-inch strips. If the strips are too wide, they won’t be considered true chicken tenders.

Once you’ve cut the chicken into strips, it’s time to bread them. To do this, simply dip each strip into some beaten egg, then coat it in a mixture of flour and seasonings. You can use whatever seasonings you like, but we recommend a blend of salt, pepper, and paprika.

After the chicken strips are coated in the breading mixture, they’re ready to be cooked. You can cook them any way you like, but we recommend grilling or frying.

Cooking tips

Here are some cooking tips for perfect chicken tenders every time:

  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the best results.
  • Cut the chicken into 1-1/2-inch strips for true chicken tenders.
  • Coat the chicken in a mixture of flour and seasonings before cooking.
  • Grill or fry the chicken until it’s cooked through.

Whether you’re grilling, roasting, or frying, the key to juicy, delicious chicken tenders is to cook them until they’re just done. Overcooked chicken tenders will be dry and tough, so be sure to keep an eye on them as they cook.

What’s The Difference Between Chicken Breast and Tenderloin?

The chicken breast is the meatiest part of the chicken and is located on the upper chest of the bird. The tenderloin is a long, thin strip of meat that runs along either side of the breastbone. Both cuts of meat are lean and white, but the tenderloin is generally considered to be more desirable because it’s more tender and flavorful.

While the breast is the largest cut of meat on the chicken, the tenderloin is actually a smaller cut. This means that there are fewer tenders per chicken than there are breasts. As a result, chicken tenders typically cost more than chicken breasts.

When it comes to cooking, both the breast and the tenderloin can be cooked in a variety of ways. However, because the tenderloin is more delicate, it’s important to be careful not to overcook it.

How do you tell the difference in an instant?

The easiest way to tell the difference between chicken breast and tenderloin is to look at the shape of the meat. The breast is a large, round cut of meat, while the tenderloin is a long, thin strip of meat. Additionally, chicken tenders typically cost more than chicken breasts because they’re a smaller cut of meat.

Can I substitute the chicken breast for the tenderloin and vice versa?

Generally speaking, you can substitute chicken breast for tenderloin and vice versa. However, because the two cuts of meat are different in terms of texture and flavor, it’s best to use the same cut of meat that’s called for in the recipe. This will ensure that your dish turns out the way it’s supposed to.

How can I remove the tenderloin from the breast?

If you’re starting with a whole chicken, you’ll need to remove the tenderloins from the breasts before cooking. To do this, simply cut along both sides of the breastbone with a sharp knife. Then, use your fingers to gently pull the meat away from the bone until it comes free.

How can I store the chicken breast or tenderloins?

If you’re not going to use the chicken right away, it’s important to store it properly. Chicken breast and tenderloins can be stored in the fridge for up to two days or in the freezer for up to six months. To prevent bacteria from growing, make sure to wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a resealable bag.


The chicken tender is a versatile and delicious cut of meat that can be used in a variety of recipes. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal or something to impress your guests, chicken tenderloin is a great option. When substituting chicken breast for tenderloin or vice versa, keep in mind that the two cuts of meat are different in terms of texture and flavor. And, be sure to store the chicken properly to prevent bacteria from growing.


Lauren Beck
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