Chicken tenders are commonly the small portions of the boneless, skinless, chicken breasts that are the pieces that are barely attached to the whole breast. They resemble a flap. If you can’t find a package labeled “chicken tenders”, you can easily make your own by butterflying a chicken breast portion and slicing it into strips that are approximately 1 inch wide and 3 to 4 inches long each. Be sure to first remove the actual tender that is attached to the breast. This will be your guide for how to slice your portions.
These delicate chicken portions are perfect for cooking on a George Foreman Grill. They can benefit from being marinated so as not to dry out during the grilling process. This recipe for grilled chicken tenders is delicious, and easy to make. With some basic pantry ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar, honey or brown sugar, and mustard you can make a sweet and tangy marinade for the chicken. Kids and adults will devour these grilled tenders.
I really like serving the tenders over basmati rice along with a favorite vegetable, such as steamed broccoli. For finicky little eaters, you might want to make a sweet dipping sauce. Super easy recipes are included for all of these suggestions. Just be mindful of the timing, as the rice will take a few minutes longer than the chicken.
Sweet and Tangy Grilled Chicken Tenders
- 1 lb chicken breast tenders or boneless skinless whole breasts cut into tenders
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 2 TBS apple cider vinegar (preferably unfiltered)
- 2 TBS honey or brown sugar
- 2 TBS brown mustard
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
Total time:15 min + 1 to 4 hours for marinating – Prep time:10 min – Cook time:5 min – Serves:2 people
1. Cut 1 lb of boneless skinless chicken breast into tenders, if you can’t find chicken labeled as tenders in the market. Butterfly the breast and then slice into tenders that are approximately 1? wide and 3” to 4? long. Place the tenders in a glass baking or storage dish with a lid. Alternatively, you can place them in a sealable plastic bag.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour the marinade over the chicken, being sure to coat all the pieces. Cover the dish or seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.
3. Take the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling so that it can come to room temperature.
4. Preheat your George Foreman Grill to high for 5 minutes with the top closed. Place the chicken tenders in a single layer on the hot grill and close the top. Discard the extra marinade. Grill the chicken for approximately 5 minutes until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165°F. Depending on the size of your contact grill, you might have to do this in two batches. You can keep the cooked tenders warm in a low oven.
5. Serve over rice with a side of steamed or grilled broccoli and a dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce for Grilled Chicken Tenders
- 1/2 cup mustard
- 1/4 cup + 2 TBS runny honey (6 TBS total)
Total time: 5 min – Prep time: 5min – Serves: 2 to 4 people
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard and honey until well combined and smooth. Place in ramekins or small bowls for dipping.
Perfect White Basmati Rice
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 1 TBS butter
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- More butter, if desired
Total time: 20 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 15 to 20 min – Serves: 2 to 4 people
1. Place the rice in a large strainer and rinse well under cold running water until the water runs clear. Set aside to drain.
2. In a medium sauce or soup pot with a lid, melt the butter over high heat until just melted. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a very gentle rolling simmer and place the top on the pot. Leave the pot of rice alone for 15 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the lid.
3. Quickly check the rice at 15 minutes to be sure all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. When the rice has absorbed all of the water, put the lid back on and remove the pot from the heat. Allow the rice to steam for 5 more minutes.
4. Uncover the pot and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Add a bit of butter, if desired. Season the rice with salt and pepper to taste.
Steamed Broccoli with Coconut Aminos
- 1 large bunch of broccoli, rinsed well (approximately 3 crowns with stems)
- Coconut aminos*
*You can substitute with liquid aminos, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, or tamari
Total time: 10 min – Prep time: 5 min – Cook time: 5 min – Serves: 2 to 4 people
1. Cut 3/4s of the tough broccoli stems off and discard. Break the crowns into bite-sized florets. Slice the remainder of the stems into bite sized pieces.
2. Pour approximately 1 inch of water into a pot large enough to hold a steamer basket and all of the broccoli. Place a steamer basket in the pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli to the pot. If you don’t have a steamer basket you can put the broccoli directly into the 1 inch of boiling water. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pot, and steam for 5 minutes. The broccoli is finished when you can pierce it with a fork, yet it should still be vibrant green.
3. Remove the cooked broccoli with a spider or slotted spoon to a serving dish and drizzle it with coconut aminos.
4. Serve the steaming hot broccoli on the side of your chicken and rice.
A Healthy Dinner Choice
Cooking any protein on a George Foreman Grill is a healthier way to go for dinner, as most of us know. The fat drips away and the proteins are cooked quickly without the need for excessive oils, trans fats, or heavy breading. I love making fast and healthy meals for a family, especially kids, on the GF grill. I don’t think kids miss deep fried chicken fingers when they eat the recipe described above. I do think a good dipping sauce helps. You can try a homemade ranch dressing, a tahini dip, or even a simple tomato based barbeque sauce.
Skinless, boneless chicken tenders are pretty much the perfect, lean protein for a weeknight meal. Here are the impressive stats for a 3-1/2 ounce serving of cooked, skinless, boneless chicken breast:
- Calories: 165
- Protein: 31 grams
- Total fat: 3.6 grams, only 1 gram is saturated fat
- Carbohydrates: 0 grams
- Iron: 1 milligram