Chicken fingers
Alternative namesChicken tenders, chicken strips, chicken fillets, chicken goujons
CourseAppetizer, main course
Place of originManchester, New Hampshire, United States
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsChicken, breading
Chicken fingers from Dairy Queen, usually served with french fries and sauce of choice

Chicken fingers (also known as chicken goujons, tendies, chicken strips, chicken tenders, or chicken fillets) are chicken meat prepared from the pectoralis minor muscles of the animal.[1] These strips of white meat are located on either side of the breastbone, under the breast meat (pectoralis major).[2] They may also be made with similarly shaped pieces cut from chicken meat, usually the breast, or sometimes just pulverized chicken flesh.[3]

Chicken fingers are prepared by coating chicken meat in a breading mixture and then deep frying them, in a manner similar to the preparation of schnitzel.[4] They are a very popular snack or main course due to their convenience and have become a staple across the United States. Chicken fingers are a popular fast-food snack in the U.S.[5] Some of the most popular fast-food restaurants that sell chicken fingers include Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers, Chick-fil-A, Church's Chicken, KFC, Popeyes, Zaxby's and Culver's.[6]

Batter-coated deep-fried golden fingers with a dipping sauce, served in an American Chinese restaurant

Chicken tenders were first made in Manchester, New Hampshire at the Puritan Backroom in 1974.[7] Restaurants in Savannah, Georgia, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana have challenged this claim with later assertions to the invention of chicken tenders, although the general consensus supports the claim in Manchester.[8] In 2023, Manchester was officially declared the "Chicken Tender Capital of the World" by Mayor Joyce Craig.[9]

Mass production

Chicken fingers are a mass-produced product in the United States.[10][11] They gained popularity in the mid-to-late 1980s as an alternative fast food choice to chicken nuggets, since they retained more chicken meat.[12] Production can involve coating chicken meat with spices, polyphosphate and breading or crumbs, flash-frying the product to hold the breading in place, and then freezing it[10] prior to shipment for consumer, retail and commercial use. Tyson Foods is one such company that mass-produces chicken fingers.[11] Some are manufactured with a specific flavor profile, such as with a Buffalo-style hot sauce flavor.[11] They are also manufactured with flavors such as Honey BBQ and Parmesan Herb Encrusted.[13]


Chicken fingers are sometimes grilled rather than fried; they may accompany salads or pasta.[14]

The chicken tenders invented at Puritan Backroom in 1974 were marinated in duck sauce, and marinated "Manchester chicken tenders" can be found at other restaurants in the Manchester area.[15]

See also


  1. ^ "The History of Chicken Fingers" Archived 2016-01-09 at the Wayback Machine. Leite's Culinaria.
  2. ^ RecipeTips. "Chicken – Description of Parts".
  3. ^ "Give a hand for homemade chicken fingers".
  4. ^ Ellie Krieger. Crispy Chicken Fingers Recipe. Food Network
  5. ^ How can I make Chinese chicken fingers like in the northeast?. Retrieved on 2012-04-19.
  6. ^ McDowell, Erin. "I ordered chicken tenders from 8 fast-food chains and the best were from the smallest chain". Insider. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  7. ^ "The History of Chicken Tenders and the Best Places to Get Them". The Epicentre. 2020-07-06. Retrieved 2021-11-01.
  8. ^ (2019-07-27). "Chicken Fingers Were Created In Baton Rouge, Savannah Or Manchester (NH)?". South Florida Reporter. Retrieved 2022-01-30.
  9. ^ "Reviewing culinary history in Manchester, the Chicken Tender Capital of the World". Liu, Michelle and Furukawa, Julia. New Hampshire Public Radio. Published August 18, 2023. Accessed December 20, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Booth, R.G. (2012). Snack Food. Springer US. p. 222. ISBN 978-1-4613-1477-6. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  11. ^ a b c Bangura, Fatima (April 17, 2019). "You still can't eat Tyson Buffalo-style chicken strips sold in Michigan". WSYM-TV. Retrieved April 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Simon 2020, p. 102.
  13. ^ "Breaded Chicken | Tyson® Brand". Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  14. ^ "Grilled Chicken Tenders". FeelGoodFoodie. 8 December 2019. Retrieved 2022-04-25.
  15. ^ Jagoda, Caleb (2023-02-15). "Love Me Tenders: A Chicken Tender Crawl Through Manchester". New Hampshire Magazine. Retrieved 2024-05-24.

Works cited