Chicken, that popular backyard bird, can be cooked a variety of ways. In fact, you can fry, bake, roast and even grill it. Same holds true for tenders, which are pieces of chicken breast meat cut into strips -- a favorite amongst kids. Grilling chicken tenders is considered a healthier approach than frying. You can use the grilled chicken tenders in salads or as the main protein of a meal. A common misconception is that you need an outdoor grill; however, thanks to modern convenience, you can get the same results indoors.
Wash the chicken tenders under warm running water. Do this for both freshly-cut chicken tenders and those that come pre-packaged.
Pour two cups of marinade into a zip-lock bag if you plan on marinating the tenders. Place the tenders into the bag and seal it. Place the bag with the marinade and chicken tenders in the refrigerator and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer you allow the tenders to marinate, the better. You can also skip this step if you choose not to marinate the tenders.
Prepare the grill. If you are using an indoor countertop grill, plug the grill into the wall outlet and allow it to heat up. If you are using an outdoor grill, prepare the grill as usual. For a charcoal grill, allow the flame to completely extinguish and the coals to began turning white before you place any food on the grill.
Spray the grill with oil to help prevent the tenders from sticking.
Use tongs to remove the tenders from the bag of marinade. Place the tenders on the grill and sprinkle with your choice of seasoning.
Allow the tenders to cook until the side facing the grill is lightly browned. This should take approximately 5 minutes on an indoor grill and 7 to 10 minutes on an outdoor grill, per side. Flip the tenders over and sprinkle the side facing up with seasoning. Allow the tenders to finish cooking. According to the USDA, chicken tenders should have a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit and should have a golden brown color on both sides.
Remove the tenders from the grill and place on a clean plate. Serve.
- The All-New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook; Julie Fisher Gunter and Scott Jones; 2006
- USDA.gov - Food Safety and Inspection Service; Is It Done Yet? Recommended Internal Temperatures