I like to cook grilled chicken sometimes to go in salads. The problem I always have is that in the chicken breast tendorloins I buy, there is always a tendon or vein or something. It's white when uncooked and is extremely tough.

At first I tried not messing with it, but many bites of the chicken I had was basically not capable of being chewed up.

Now, I try to cut it out, but it's extremely difficult to cut out because it appears to run through the entire tenderloin. Last night I tried cutting it out and what I ended up with was basically tearing the chicken apart into lots of small chunks. In the end it still tasted good, but I'd really prefer an easier method.

What's the easiest method of cutting out that vein/tendon thing from the tenderloins?

5 Answers 5


Cooking For Engineers has a pretty good description. He writes it better than I can, so I'll just quote him. I've used the second method he describes, but after watching the video below, the other looks much easier...

The breast halves should each have a flap of meat called the chicken tenderloin (or chicken tenders or strips). Lifting the tenderloin should reveal a white tendon. I recommend two ways to trim off this tough tendon. The most popular method is to grab the tendon with your fingers and pull on it while scraping with your knife to release the tendon from the breast. Continue to lift and scrape until the tendon is completely removed. Alternatively, you can use a sharp boning knife and slice along both sides of the tendon (without slicing through the tendon). Then lift any part of the tendon that has been separated from the breast and use your boning knife the cut any parts where the tendon has not cleanly separated from the meat.

There's also a yotube video here.

  • This looks much easier than how I was doing it. I was initially trying something like the second way, but the first looks much easier
    – Earlz
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 6:40

I cut around the small piece of the tendon that is already protruding out a little bit, just to get a little better grip on it. Then, slide that end of the tendon through a fork and pull it straight out as the fork holds the chicken in place. You might have to use a paper towel or pliers (yes, pliers LoL) to grip it otherwise your fingers slip right off. This way takes only a couple of seconds per tendon.


I use the same technique as the you tube video, however, since your not using the knife edge to cut I use the back side of the knife. This saves the cutting edge from unnecessary dulling.


I use scissors, trim off all the fat, then cut the gristle vein off, no waste. Then I cut the chicken into whatever shapes or sizes I wish.


Just hold the end of the tendon down with a knife and use a fork in the other hand to pull the tendon clean through. The tendon slides in between the fork prongs. It's very quick and works. That white tendon in tenderloins suck. Typically just get breasts now for that very reason.

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