When it comes to chicken tenders, It's hard not to think of growing up eating off kids menus and, ultimately, developing a love for the deep fried favorite that has endured well into your adulthood. But what likely doesn't come to mind is some place called The Puritan Backroom, a longtime restaurant in Manchester, N.H., although it claims to have invented the ubiquitous food, according to a report by USA Today.
Anyone who knows their way around a dipping sauce tub also knows that chicken tenders are hardly a complicated creation -- just chicken, breading, and the magic of deep frying. However, The Puritan Backroom, which sounds like the kind of place where you could earn a scarlet letter, claims chicken tenders were first born in its kitchen in 1974. As USA Today explains, cooks at the restaurant took leftover strips of chicken, marinated them, fried them, and put them on the menu, where they were immediately a hit. But, come on -- really? Chicken tenders weren't invented until 1974?
Here's how the paper explains it, emphasis added: "While it does appear to be the first national mention of chicken tenders, there were other restaurants serving variations such as chicken fingers (generally thinner slices of the same piece) and chicken nuggets (often ground and reformed) at the time. So whether or not the Puritan was the progenitor of the chicken tender as we know it today involves semantics and is debatable. What we know for sure is that they are really good."
Well, obviously, they're "really good." They're freaking chicken tenders. Mmm.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and could really go for some chicken tenders right now. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.