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If you eat meat and cook at home, you have likely wondered what exactly those thick white pieces are in your raw chicken. They can be hard to cut through, and you’ve (probably) wondered what the heck you should do with them. We reached out to a pro to figure out how to deal with those pesky strands lurking in your chicken.

“Those white strings are tendons found in the chicken,” said Victor Perry, assistant meat manager at GreenWise Market in Mountain Brook, Alabama. “They’re basically the equivalent of finding a piece of fat—the gristle—on a steak or other piece of meat.”

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Perry says this is a naturally occurring part of the chicken, and you’ll find them even in the highest-quality organic, free range, and antibiotic-free poultry! Thankfully, if you’re a bit squeamish when it comes to cutting raw chicken, Perry says your grocery store’s meat department should be able to remove the tendons for you. 

Looking for some chicken preparation help?

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Now that you can be *slightly* less grossed out while handling raw chicken, be sure to follow our best practices—like never washing your chicken before cutting! And be sure to check out our guides for finding the healthiest types of chicken and the most delicious options at your grocery store.

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