Why I have never made these before now I will never know. What I DO know is that they will forever be in my menu planning.
I’ll be honest. I have fond childhood memories of McDonald’s chicken nuggets in my happy meal. I loved to dip them in those little packages of honey and follow them down with those golden fries. I guess ignorance is bliss because now that I know that my dear McNuggets are made up of nearly 38 ingredients. (I got that fact from Omnivore’s Dilemma), I have never enjoyed them the way I used to.
Last week I began the quest of finding a good chicken nugget recipe that I could make. I didn’t have to look far because there was a super simple recipe on 100 Days of Real Food that I tried, and my family LOVED.
These chicken nuggets also make a great freezer meal so you could always double or triple the recipe and freeze them for future meals! Freezer Meal instructions are included below.
- 1 poun boneless skinless chicken breasts (preferably organic)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs (make these yourself by throwing some stale bread into the food processor. It's THAT easy!)
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cooking oil (I use avocado oil)
- Chop the chicken into about 1½-2 inch chunks and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.
- Lightly beat the egg with a splash of water in a shallow bowl.
- In another shallow bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika, and garlic powder.
- To bread the chicken: Drop some of the chicken chunks into the egg mixture until they are coated on all sides. Then, dip into the breadcrumb mixture. Roll them around and make sure the pieces are fully coated. Set the coated pieces aside while you finish the rest of the nuggets.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
- Cook the chicken nuggets in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Turn the heat down if they are browning too quickly. Cut one down the middle to make sure it is fully cooked (no pink inside!). In between batches, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add more oil to coat the bottom.
- Keep finished nuggets on a sheet pan in the 200°F oven to keep warm while you finish the rest.
- Transfer the nuggets to a plate lined with paper towels to help drain off any excess oil.
Bread the nuggets and stack uncooked in single rows divided by wax or parchment paper in your freezer container. Store in freezer for up to two months.
When ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge or on the thaw setting in the microwave and bake as directed.