Crispy Chicken Fillets on old wooden table
Where Do Chicken Tenders And Nuggets Really Come From?
By Chase Shustack
McDonald's, Raising Cane's, and the kid's menus at most restaurants share some variation of the products known as chicken tenders, chicken fingers, and chicken nuggets. However, many consumers don’t know much about these products or where they come from.
The chicken tender or tenderloin is an actual part of the chicken, located on either side of the chicken's breast. Meanwhile, The Humane League defines chicken nuggets as "made with white meat from the breast or pectoral muscles of the birds," with other "parts" of the chicken supposedly tossed in.
The Puritan Backroom, a New Hampshire restaurant, claims to have been the first to invent chicken tenders in 1974, but this claim is heavily debated. The nugget, on the other hand, was definitively invented in 1963 at Cornell University by scientist Robert C. Baker.
While chicken nuggets and tenders are made differently, the only difference between a chicken finger and a chicken tender is the name. However, some say that a chicken finger is a part of the breast that is cut into strips, while the chicken tender is an actual piece of meat known as the "pectoralis minor" muscle.