If you ask my children what their favorite food is, hands down they will say chicken nuggets. Not bad for favorite food. They are packed with protein, easy to make, and delicious.
You would think they got bored eating them so much, but no. They never did and I’m sure they never will. Every restaurant we went to, every fast food place, they asked for chicken nuggets.
They loved some more than others, but by far their favorites were homemade chicken nuggets made by their mama. I also have to say this. I had a business once delivering snacks for school cafeterias, and one of the items on my menu was chicken nuggets.
Children get bored easily, but they never get bored of eating chicken nuggets. They were my number one selling item. There is nothing quite like biting into a freshly made steaming hot piece of breaded chicken.
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN NUGGETS?
- All-purpose flour: the first step in making the perfect chicken nugget is dredging the raw chicken pieces in flour. This makes the egg wash stick to the chicken. Season your flour well to achieve a flavorful nugget.
- Salt and pepper: you need to season the flour. Each layer adds flavor to the nuggets and this one is maybe the most important one.
- Onion and garlic powder: the amount of flavor these two ingredients add is amazing. Onion and garlic in powder form are flavored packed. They are pure concentrated flavor and they give the nuggets wonderful aroma and taste.
- Ground mustard imparts a little spice and kicks to the flour. You won’t be able to taste the mustard, but you will know there is something in the batter that gives out the most subtle but great flavor.
- Eggs make the breading really stick to the chicken. Without them, there is no way you can achieve a uniform layer of breading.
- Italian style breadcrumbs: I like to use the Italian style, but you can use regular breadcrumbs. The thing about these is that they are seasoned with parsley and other Italian spices, as well as a bit of Parmesan cheese, and all these, give the nuggets an amazing flavor.
- Vegetable oil is a neutral-tasting oil. I like my nuggets to taste all the delicious spices and seasonings I add to them, and not of oil.
STEPS FOR MAKING CHICKEN NUGGETS:
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1 ½ inch cubes
- In a small bowl, mix together flour, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic powders, and ground mustard
- Prepare your “breading station” in one bow, add your seasoned flour, another for your beaten eggs, one for the Italian-style breadcrumbs, and one for the finished nuggets. First coat the chicken pieces with flour, then in beaten eggs and finally roll them in the breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the nuggets until golden brown
AIR FRYER OPTION
For a low-calorie version, prepare nuggets as usual, until the last step.
Instead of deep or pan-frying them, spray the nuggets with non-stick spray or oil spray and fry in the air fryer at 390F for 4-5 minutes if they are fresh, or 8 minutes if frozen.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN NUGGETS?
Please take a look at these other wonderful recipes that would go perfectly well with chicken nuggets: Pan-fried potatoes and onions, Oven Roasted Smoked Sausage and Potatoes, Cheesy Mississippi Mud Potatoes, Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole with Potatoes, Cheesy scalloped potatoes, Roasted Potatoes, and Carrots, “Mexican Potatoes or The Best Sweet Potato Fries
VARIATIONS ON CHICKEN NUGGETS:
- Try using different spices to season the flour. You can use cayenne pepper for added heat, oregano, and cumin for a Mexican flavor, or make them in the Mediterranean using coriander, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. The mix of spices you use determines the taste of the nuggets. If you want an Indian taste, try using Garam Masala, or use Chinese Five Spice for an Asian twist.
- The breading also can change the flavor of the nuggets. Try using regular breadcrumbs, crushed cereal like corn flakes, or Panko breadcrumbs, and see which one you like best.
- Condiments can definitely make a great variation too. Instead of serving them with ketchup, try barbecue sauce, teriyaki sauce, pink sauce (ketchup plus mayo), spicy yogurt sauce (yogurt plus cumin, coriander, paprika, lime juice, and hot sauce), buffalo wing sauce, or Sriracha mayo for some heat.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups Italian style breadcrumbs
- 2 chicken breasts cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1. First thing is to cut the chicken breasts into 1 ½ inch cubes. It’s impossible to make them all the same size, but try to keep them as close as possible. This makes it easier to fry them because they will all take the same time frying and you won’t get any burnt or undercooked pieces
- Season your flour with salt, pepper, and the spices of your choice. Use a whisk to mix them all together and ensure the seasonings are well distributed among the flour.
- I like to take four bowls to make my “breading station”. In the first bowl, I add the seasoned flour. Second bowl for the egg wash, the third bowl for the Italian style breadcrumbs, and the final bowl to put my breaded nuggets in.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Make sure there is at least half an inch of oil covering the bottom of the pan.
- Test the oil by sprinkling a few breadcrumbs in it and if they start to sizzle, the oil is ready. Place your nuggets carefully in the pan using tongs and fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are browned.
- Remove the brown nuggets from the oil and place them on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Serve with ketchup or your favorite condiment.
ANSWERING YOUR BURNING QUESTIONS:
- How Do You Cut Chicken Breast Into Nuggets?
I like to cut the chicken breast into three pieces. One is the tip of the chicken breast. If the breast is a big one, I cut the tip in two, and the other pieces in three.
If the breast is not too big, I leave the tip as is and the other two pieces I cut in half. I basically try to make all pieces as close in size as possible.
- Can You Freeze Homemade Chicken Nuggets?
Yes. You can freeze them before or after frying them. You can freeze the uncooked breaded nuggets in a freezer bag and thaw them in the fridge the night before frying them, or you can freeze them fully cooked.
Just make sure they are completely cold before storing them in a freezer bag. You don’t want soggy thawed nuggets.
Freeze both of them for no more than three months. To reheat fully cooked nuggets, the oven is your best option.
You can reheat them in the microwave, but the oven or toaster oven will yield crispier nuggets.