How to Cut Chicken Breasts Into Tenders

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Are you ready to add a touch of culinary versatility to your kitchen skills? Cutting chicken breasts into tenders opens up a world of delicious possibilities, allowing you to create an array of mouthwatering dishes.

To cut chicken breasts into tenders, start by placing the breast on a clean cutting board. Use a sharp knife to trim any excess fat or skin. Next, cut the chicken breast lengthwise into strips, about 1 to 1.5 inches wide, following the natural lines of the meat. Ensure that the pieces are of similar size for even cooking.

We’ll take you through the step-by-step process of cutting chicken breasts into tender strips, offering pro tips and ideas on using these tender morsels to create delectable meals that impress your family and friends.

How To Cut Chicken Breasts Into Tenders

You can easily cut your chicken breast into tenders with this ultimate guide, which is a very helpful and easy method. Therefore, get ready to wield your knife with confidence and finesse as we guide you through creating these delectable morsels.

These tender and succulent chicken strips can be seasoned, breaded, and cooked in various ways, such as frying, baking, or grilling, resulting in a popular and delicious dish many enjoy.

Step 1: Prepare Your Workstation

A clean and organized workspace is crucial for efficient and safe chicken cutting.

chicken breasts into tenders

Follow these steps to prepare your workstation:

  • Sanitize: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling the chicken.
  • Clean the Surface: Wipe down your cutting board with a mild disinfectant to eliminate potential bacteria.
  • Secure the Cutting Board: Place a damp kitchen towel or a silicone mat under the cutting board to prevent it from slipping during cutting.

Step 2: Trim the Chicken Breasts

cut chicken breasts into tenders

Start by trimming any excess fat or unwanted parts from the chicken breasts. Follow these steps:

  • Inspect the Chicken: Place the chicken breast on the cutting board and examine it for any visible fat, cartilage, or tough sinew.
  • Trim the Fat: Using your knife, carefully trim off any excess fat from the edges of the chicken breast.
  • Remove the Tendon: Look for the white tendon that runs along the length of the breast. Make a small incision at one end of the tendon, and then use the knife to lift and remove it gently.

Step 3: Slice the Chicken Breasts

Slice the Chicken Breasts for tenders

Now it’s time to cut the chicken breasts into tender slices. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Cutting Angle: Hold the knife at a slight angle to the cutting board. This angle will help you create wider and more tender slices.
  • Uniform Thickness: Aim for uniform thickness in each slice to ensure even cooking.
  • Slice Across the Grain: Identify the chicken breast’s grain (muscle fibers) and slice across it. Cutting against the grain will result in more tender and less chewy pieces.

Step 4: Create Tender Strips

cut chicken breasts into tenders

With the chicken breast sliced, it’s time to turn them into tender strips. Follow these instructions:

  • Width of the Strips: Decide how wide you want your chicken tenders to be. Commonly, they are about 1 to 1.5 inches wide.
  • Cutting Technique: Place your knife perpendicular to the chicken slices and cut them into strips with the desired width.

Step 5: Optional Marinade

If you wish to infuse more flavor into your chicken tenders, consider marinating them before cooking. Here’s a simple marinade recipe you can try:

cutting chicken breasts into tenders

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Step 6: Cooking Your Chicken Tenders

Now that your chicken tenders are ready, you can cook them using your preferred method. Here are a few cooking options:

  • Pan-Frying: Heat a skillet over medium heat and add a little oil. Cook the tenders for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Baking: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the tenders on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • Air-Frying: Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C). Arrange the tenders in a single layer and cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Step 7: Serving Suggestions

Congratulations! You’ve successfully cut and cooked delicious chicken tenders. Now, let’s explore some serving ideas:

  • Dipping Sauces: Serve the tenders with dipping sauces like barbecue sauce, honey mustard, or buffalo sauce.
  • Salads: Mix fresh green salad with chicken tenders for a healthy and satisfying meal.
  • Wraps or Sandwiches: Create mouthwatering wraps or sandwiches using the tenders as the main protein.

How to Cut Chicken Breasts Into Tenders At Home

How to Cut Chicken Breasts Into Tenders At Home

You can cut chicken breasts into tenders at home. Start by laying the chicken breast on a clean cutting board. Use a sharp knife to remove excess fat or skin from the breast. Then, slice the breast horizontally into thinner, even strips about 1 inch wide.

If the chicken breast is particularly thick, consider placing your hand on top to stabilize it while cutting. Repeat this process for the remaining chicken breasts. Once all the chicken breasts are sliced, you can season the tenders with your preferred spices and herbs or marinate them for added flavour.

Your homemade chicken tenders can be cooked in various ways, such as frying, baking, or grilling!

What cut of chicken is used for chicken tenders?

Chicken tenders are made from tenderloin, also known as chicken tender, a thin muscle on the underside of the chicken breast. It is a separate and smaller part of the chicken breast, prized for its tenderness and mild flavor. Chicken tenderloins are often removed from the breast and sold separately as a popular cut for making chicken tenders or strips.

Can chicken tenders be made from the breast?

Yes, chicken tenders can be made from the breast of the chicken. Also known as chicken fingers, chicken goujons, chicken strips, or chicken fillets, tenders are prepared from the pectoralis minor muscles, which are strips of white meat located on either side of the breastbone, underneath the breast meat (pectoralis major).

This part of the chicken breast is lean and tender, making it ideal for creating chicken tenders. To make chicken tenders, the breast can be deboned and then sliced into thin strips; either the whole breast or half of it can be used depending on the desired portion size. 

Are chicken breasts the same as chicken tenders?

No, chicken breasts are not the same as chicken tenders. Chicken tenderloins, also known as chicken tenders, are thin muscles loosely attached to the underside of the breast. These tenderloins are removed from the breast and sold separately.

On the other hand, chicken breasts refer to the whole breast portion of the chicken, which includes both the tenderloin and the larger pectoralis major muscle. The tenderloin is just a small part of the chicken breast and is usually sold separately as a more tender and delicate cut of meat.

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