Following on the success of the nugget and the finger, there is a new, heretofore undefined part of the chicken that can be breaded, fried, and marketed: the tenderloin. Yes, chicken tenderloin is a real thing, and it also happens to be the most expensive cut of chicken at the moment. Money is no object for Popeyes, which will be selling Tear’n Tenderloin Chicken, available through Aug. 25.
Popeyes is billing the cut as “the best kept culinary secret,” although observant chicken buyers may have noticed tenderloins alongside regular chicken breast at the supermarket. And if you’ve ever grilled a chicken breast, you’ve probably had tenderloin, also known as “tenders” (that’s right, as in chicken tenders) or “inner filet,” according to the National Chicken Council. Still, considering how much fancier and juicier “tenderloin” sounds, the new item seems to involve a bit of additional advertising wizardry on Popeyes’ part. It’s like gentrifying the chicken nugget.