Homemade Chicken Nuggets
For some, the thought of making or eating chicken nuggets is one that brings back sweet memories of childhood, but others may be turned off because of the many nuggets out there that are highly processed, fried, and causing many of our children to be overweight. This recipe for chicken nuggets is all natural, using real ingredients, and makes for a meal that everyone in the family will enjoy.
While many fast food chains have scared us away from eating or even making chicken nuggets, the truth is that they don't have to be bad for you. You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts, which are lean and high in healthy protein. Also, another great tip is baking instead of frying the nuggets. This way you can have full flavor, yet the chicken doesn't soak up all of the oil as it would if you were to fry them. Coating the chicken pieces in a small amount of butter before you dip them into the breadcrumb mixture will give off great flavor, but if you want to forgo oils all together you may replace the oil with egg whites. Soaking the chicken in a simple marinade of fresh herbs and spices will also help amp flavor in the chicken without compromising the health of the recipe.
This recipe for chicken nuggets can be completed in about an hour and a half with plenty of waiting time in between to do housework or make a couple side dishes.
1½ lbs. (2 large) boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 tablespoons butter*
1½ cup Water
½ cup Buttermilk
2T Worcestershire Sauce
Juice from ½ Lemon
2 teaspoons Paprika
3-5 sprigs fresh Thyme (chopped)
Pinch Salt and Pepper
Breadcrumb Mixture Ingredients
1¼ cup Panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup Flour
3 Tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped
Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
3 tablespoons Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Honey
Pinch Salt and Pepper
Cut chicken breasts into 1½ inch pieces. Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and submerge the chicken pieces. Store the chicken-marinade mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes while the chicken marinates. As you wait for the chicken, combine the breadcrumb mixture ingredients in a pie plate or shallow dish. When the chicken is ready, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with butter or oil.
After 30 minutes have passed, remove each piece of chicken from the marinade, dabbing off excess moisture. Dip the chicken pieces in the melted butter and then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Fill the cookie sheet with nuggets, placing them as close as you can without overlapping. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the breading is crunchy and firm.
While the nuggets are baking, mix the honey mustard sauce in a small bowl. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
*To reduce the fat content, you can replace the 4 T butter with 3 egg whites
All images via Vintage Mixer/Becky Rosenthal