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chicken nuggets dipped in honey mustard dipping sauce

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade, crispy chicken nuggets with just a few healthy ingredients! Try these the next time your family wants the fast food version, including our simple dipping sauce. They will not disappoint!

Yield: 6 servings (6 nuggets per person) 1x
Prep: 15-20 minsCook: 15-20 minsTotal: 30-40 mins
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Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup plain or whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs (recommend Kikkoman brand or make your own dry breadcrumbs)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 3/4 lb)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Avocado oil (I prefer this safer oil for high-heat cooking)
  • Optional for serving: Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, Killer BBQ Sauce, or ketchup

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Instructions

 

Make It Now:

Important: Be sure to wash your hands after touching raw chicken to prevent cross-contamination. Tip: Only use one hand when breading the chicken, leaving a clean hand to handle the seasoning, cooking spray, and tongs along the way. 

  1. Prep the Assembly Line: Set out a cutting board. In a shallow dish, whisk together the eggs and a splash of water. In another shallow dish, stir together the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, paprika, and garlic powder. Add a thin layer of oil (about 1/4 cup) to the bottom of a large skillet. Cover a large plate with a paper towel and set it on the other side of the skillet.
  2. Cut the Chicken: On the cutting board, cut each chicken breast into two thinner cutlets by slicing in half lengthwise (see the blog post for pictures). Slice each cutlet in half vertically, creating two strips. Cut each strip into 3 smaller pieces, which will yield 36 total nuggets. (Wash hands!)
  3. Heat the Pan: Heat the oil over medium heat. The pan is ready for the nuggets when a drop of water sizzles. (Move on to the next step while it gets hot.)
  4. Bread the Nuggets: Using only one hand to touch the chicken, generously sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the chicken. Dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Then dip in the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Repeat this step while each batch of nuggets cooks. (Freezing instructions begin here.)
  5. Pan-Fry the Nuggets in 2 or 3 Batches: Place a batch of nuggets in the hot pan, being careful not to overcrowd them. Saute for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown. Using tongs, flip and cook on the second side for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn the heat down if they are browning too quickly. To test for doneness, cut one down the middle to make sure there’s no more pink inside. In between batches, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add more oil as needed.
  6. Serve: Transfer the cooked nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate to help drain off any excess oil. Serve warm with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce, ketchup, or Killer BBQ Sauce. Tip: To keep nuggets warm, place on a sheet pan in the 200°F oven.

Freeze For Later: Follow Steps 1-2 and 4 (skip Step 3). Place breaded nuggets in a single layer, divided by parchment paper, in a freezer bag. Seal, squeezing out excess air, and freeze flat.

To Prepare From Frozen: Thaw flat in the refrigerator. Follow Steps 3 and 5-6.


Notes/Tips

Where We Get Our Chicken: We get our meat from ButcherBox. The chicken is organic and curated from small, trusted farms. We highly recommend this service to source healthy meat–like uncured bacon, wild salmon, and grass-fed beef–and have used it for years ourselves. Read my full review here.

Gluten-Free Version: Use almond flour in place of the bread crumbs or make your own gluten-free breadcrumbs using toasted, gluten-free bread. I have found that store-bought gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs (made with rice flour) stick to the pan and don’t yield good results, so I don’t recommend those.

Dairy-Free Version: Use breadcrumbs or almond flour in place of the Parmesan cheese and add 1/4 teaspoon salt to the breadcrumb mixture. I’ve also found that nutritional yeast can add in some cheesy flavor, so feel free to sub in a few tablespoons to your dry mix.

Storing Leftovers: Leftover nuggets can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. Rewarm in the oven at 350° just until warm or in the microwave (won’t be crispy).

Can I Freeze Cooked Nuggets? Yes, but they will likely be dried out when thawed and rewarmed. But, if you’re going to have to toss them anyway, give it a try instead of wasting food! They might still be good on top of a salad later.

© Author: Thriving Home
Cuisine: American Method: Stove Top