Enjoy one of Cracker Barrel’s most popular menu items with our version of their grilled chicken tenders recipe. Cracker Barrel is known for making delicious home-cooked food. We all loved the family favorites we had when we were growing up.
Who captures them better than Cracker Barrel? This taste-alike recipe gives you the restaurant taste without having to leave home. You can pick up chicken tenders at the grocery store or at most warehouse clubs, and with a couple of extra ingredients, we will show you how to get the restaurant taste in your kitchen.
Cracker Barrel Grilled Chicken Tenders are simply scrumptious
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is known for making delicious home-cooked food. We all loved the family favorites we had there when we were growing up. Now, you can enjoy one of Cracker Barrel’s most popular menu items with our version of their chicken tenderloin recipe. And, best of all, this taste-alike copykat chicken recipe gives you the Cracker Barrel taste without having to leave home. All you need, apart from the chicken of course, is Italian dressing, fresh lime juice, and honey.
Why a Chicken Breast Isn’t the Same as a Chicken Tenderloin
A chicken tenderloin is that part of the muscle that runs along the inside of each chicken breast half and is closest to the bone. Because it’s not a working muscle, it’s more tender than the breast and cooks more quickly. If a recipe calls for marinating your chicken tenders, you are marinating for flavor, not tenderness, because they are already extremely tender.
If you want to substitute chicken tenders for boneless, skinless breast halves, allow two or three tenders per serving, depending on their size. For dishes that require you to pound the meat flat, tenders are easier to work with than breasts. Since chicken tenders are stickier than breast meat, coatings stick to them really well. This makes tenders perfect for breading or wrapping with prosciutto.
Tips for How to Cook Chicken Tenderloins
- Before going ahead with your recipe, cut off the small gristly white nob that you will see protruding from the top end of the tenderloin.
- Cook whole chicken tenders for approximately half the time as chicken breast halves.
- Chicken tenders are more porous than chicken breasts, so over marinating will cause them to take on too much liquid. If the marinade is a salty one (like many Asian marinades), don’t marinate for more than fifteen minutes or the salt will draw moisture out of the chicken.
- For stir-fry recipes, cut the tenders into one-inch pieces rather than thin slices, so that the meat doesn’t dry out.
- Add bite-size (one-inch) pieces of raw chicken tenders to soups close to the very end of cooking time. If you boil the tenders, they will toughen up. Gently simmer them until they are just cooked through – about three minutes.
- If baking whole tenders of different sizes, place the smaller ones at the front of your baking sheet. This makes it easier to remove the smaller ones from the oven a minute or so earlier than the larger ones.
How to make delicious grilled chicken tenders like Cracker Barrel
This recipe is super easy to make. The chicken marinade is easy! All you need is honey, Italian dressing, and a bit of lime juice. This is a well-balanced marinade for chicken.
Love the Cracker Barrel? Try some of these Cracker Barrel copycat recipes.
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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Grilled Chicken Tenders
- 1 pound chicken breast tenders
- 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
- Mix dressing, lime juice, and honey together. Pour over chicken tenders, making sure all tenders are covered; marinate for 1 hour.
- Discard marinade after the chicken tenders are ready to be cooked. Braise tenders in a non-stick pan or grill to lightly golden in color but not dry.