You’ve seen packages of chicken breast in the meat department but have you noticed any packages labeled ‘chicken tenderloin’? If you’re not sure of the difference, we’ve gathered some information that we hope will help.
Even though both chicken breasts and chicken tenderloin are white meat, there are quite a few things that set them apart. Chicken tenderloins are smaller, thinner, and more tender. Chicken breast can be drier and less flavorful but is a better source of vitamins including magnesium, potassium, zinc, calcium, vitamin B6, and vitamin D.
Chicken tenderloin has considerably more sodium and is pricier than chicken breast. And because of its smaller size, more care is required when cooking tenderloin. The last thing you want to do is overcook your chicken!
Are Chicken Breast and Chicken Tenderloin the Same?
Even though both cuts are considered white meat, chicken breast and chicken tenderloin are not the same. Chicken breast is much larger than tenderloin, has less flavor but offers more nutrients. It’s also the less expensive of the two. Chicken tenderloin has more flavor but is also higher in sodium and fat.
What is Chicken Tenderloin?
Chicken tenderloin is an oblong-shaped muscle located close to the bone along the inner breast. Every chicken has two tenderloins. Tenderloins are the most tender part of the chicken – hence the name.
What is Chicken Breast?
Chicken breast is the largest piece of the bird, although the packaged breasts most of us purchase at the grocery store have been split. It is an excellent source of protein and essential vitamins and a good choice for those interested in healthier sources of protein.
How Many Chicken Tenderloins Equals to A Breast?
The amount of chicken tenderloins required to equal one breast depends on the size of both pieces. However, it would take approximately 3 to 4 medium-sized tenderloins to equal one chicken breast. It’s a good idea to weigh the chicken to ensure you have the correct amount needed for your recipe.
Can I Use Chicken Tenderloins Instead of Breasts?
Yes, chicken tenderloins and chicken breasts can be used interchangeably in recipes. It’s important to keep in mind though, that because of their smaller size, tenderloins will marinate and cook faster than breasts so you may want to adjust the times accordingly. If you’re using chicken breast instead of tenderloin, consider pounding the breast so it’s thinner and will cook faster.
What Are the Key Differences Between Chicken Tenderloins and Breasts?
|Chicken Tenderloin v.s Chicken Breast|
|Size||Chicken tenderloins are much smaller than chicken breasts|
|Calories||Chicken tenderloin has much higher calories than chicken breast|
|Total Fat||Tenderloin is much fatter than chicken breast|
|Protein||Chicken breast is higher in protein and therefore a healthier option|
How Do You Cook Chicken Tenderloin / Breast?
Chicken tenderloin would benefit from a quick marinade of oil, lemon juice and your favorite herbs and spices before cooking. Because of its higher amount of sodium, avoid adding any salty seasonings. Steaming or baking tenderloins are good options to prepare a quick and healthy meal.
Chicken breast doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own and can easily dry out. Consider baking or grilling instead of frying. Keep an eye on the chicken and use an instant-read thermometer. The chicken is cooked when it has reached a temperature of 165 F.
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How to Cook Chicken Tenderloin and Chicken Breast
- 1 ½ lb chicken tenderloin
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 chicken breasts skinless boneless
- 1 lb baby red potatoes halved or quartered
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 lemon sliced into rings
- 3 tsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary optional
- 3/4 lb green beans trimmed
- Fill a large bowl with 1 quart of water and 2 tablespoons of salt. Stir to combine and the salt is absorbed. Add the chicken tenderloins and let them sit in the saltwater to brine for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- In another bowl, add breadcrumbs, paprika, onion powder, and parmesan cheese.
- Remove chicken tenderloin from the brine. Then pat dry with paper towels.
- Add chicken into the egg mixture, shake off the excess. Then dredge the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Arrange chicken on the baking sheet. Then bake for 8 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until cooked through.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. Set aside a large baking sheet.
- Pat dry chicken breasts and rub with oil. Then place them on the baking sheet.
- Add potatoes and tomatoes around the sheet pan and arrange them in one layer. Sprinkle minced garlic, oregano across the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss to mix well. Place several lemon slices on top of chicken.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes (add green beans during the last 10 minutes).
- Broil for the last 5 minutes, if your chicken breasts look too pale.
- Remove chicken breasts from the oven and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Cover with aluminum foil while resting. Serve and enjoy!