What do you get if you cross a chicken with a ghost? A poultry-geist! Poultry-geist… poltergeist… get it? *Sigh.* Oh well, we try.

Chances are — if you’re a child between the ages of 0 and 97 — you’ve had chicken fingers at one point or another. You may have had them more times than you can remember since they’re a very popular food at restaurants around the country.

But did you ever stop to think about what you’re eating? Have you ever seen a chicken with fingers? Not likely…

Chicken fingers — also called “chicken strips,” “chicken tenders” or “chicken fillets” — are boneless, skinless pieces of chicken that are usually breaded and deep-fried. Since chickens don’t have fingers, they’re obviously not made from chicken fingers! Chicken fingers are mainly white meat from the small, thin “tenderloin” portion of breast meat.

So why do we call them “chicken fingers”? No one knows for sure. Although they’re meant to be eaten easily with your fingers, the name probably comes from the fact that they’re shaped a bit like fingers — human fingers, that is!

Chicken fingers are usually served with your choice of a dipping sauce. Popular sauces include ketchup, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey mustard and buffalo wing sauce.

You’ll find chicken fingers on just about every children’s menu in any type of restaurant around the country. Since they’re usually deep-fried and served with french fries, they may not be the healthiest option on the menu, though.

When eating out, here are a few tips you can use to make healthier food choices:

  • Many restaurants offer healthy alternatives today. Check menus for these items.
  • If you have a choice between fruit and french fries, go for the fruit!
  • Choose a salad with fresh vegetables, grilled meats and low-fat dressing for a lighter alternative to burgers and fries.
  • Go small! Watch your portion sizes and choose small sides rather than large ones.
  • Ditch the soda. Drink milk or water instead. Add lemon to your water for more flavor.
  • Watch your toppings. Mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese and bacon add unnecessary calories and fat to many items.
  • Slow down! Chew thoroughly and take your time while you eat. Eating slowly gives your body time to digest. If you eat more slowly, you may be surprised that you start to feel full before you’re finished with your meal.

And as long as we’re talking about healthy habits, did you know that chickens stay in shape during the summer by playing sports? It’s true! What do they play? Fowl ball, of course!


28 Join the Discussion

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  1. Hello,
    I never knew that chickens did not have any fingers! There are two things that I learned. First thing was that chicken fingers are also called “chicken fillets” and the second thing was that since the chickens don’t have fingers, chicken fingers are actually made from the small, thin “tenderloin” portion of breast meat.
    “Wow” I can’t believe how much I learned!!!
    I still do have one more question about chickens, why do they have feathers when they could have fur?

    • We’re not sure about the feathers vs. fur question, Team McNeil 11, but we think it’s AWESOME that you learned so much about chicken fingers and fillets! GREAT JOB…and THANKS for visiting this Wonder of the Day®! :-)

    • We do, too, Smalls! We thought it was super fun to learn about them by exploring this Wonder, and we hope you did, too! :-)

    • He sure is, soccerqueen55! Thanks so much for stopping by this TASTY Wonder and sharing a comment with us today! :-)

    • Thanks for sharing your favorite kind of chicken fingers, Big T! We know LOTS of Wonder Friends who agree with you! :-)

    • Hi, Haylee! Thanks for leaving us a comment to let us know you stopped by this Wonder today! We appreciate that you are exploring Wonderopolis and leaving us comments on the Wonders you explore! :-)

    • Your comment makes us SUPER happy, Haylee! We appreciate hearing that you love visiting Wonderopolis! Thanks for being such a GREAT Wonder Friend! :-)

    • WOW, thanks you for sharing your cool and fun fact with us today, Wonder Friend A! We bet you have a lot of experience with raising chicken– we Wonder if you have any other animals? We would love for you to share it with us! :)

  2. First of all, that joke was funny I ought to tell a friend that. Second, if chickens had fingers, they would probably take weapons and kill us for there fallen brothers we have eaten. Good thing they don’t. ha ha ha :)

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts about chicken fingers, Tyler J! We hope you pass along the joke you learned today! :)

  3. LOL! So funny! I understand why they called it that because of CHICKEN FINGERS! P.S. Chickens are my favorite animal!

    • YUM, we’re so happy that you enjoyed this Wonder, Emma! Do you like to cook? You’re in for a treat in the next few Wonders! :)

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us, Courtlyn! It’s true that chickens don’t have fingers like humans do, but humans and chickens do share many of the same bones in our arms and hands, such as the radius, ulna, metacarpals and phalanges! 😀

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Have you ever wondered…

  • Do chickens have fingers?
  • Why do we call them “chicken fingers”?
  • How can you make healthier food choices when eating out?

Wonder Gallery

free range chickens_shutterstock_3601262Vimeo Video

Try It Out

Hungry? We are! No need to head to a restaurant, though.

Just visit the grocery store to pick up a few simple supplies and try one of these fabulous chicken finger recipes, some of which offer healthier versions of this popular snack:

If you’re feeling artistic, you might also want to try feather painting!


Still Wondering

Need some egg-citement in your life? Listen to ReadWriteThink’s Chicken Adventures audio podcast to hear about some great books featuring adventurous fowl!


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