Chicken Nuggets
Chicken Nuggets
5 from 3 votes
Discover the joy of homemade chicken nuggets. A fun, DIY alternative to fast food favourites, these nuggets are a delight to make and devour. No culinary expertise needed!
Chicken Nuggets

Hold on to your aprons, folks. We’re about to embark on a delicious journey into the world of homemade Chicken Nuggets. That’s right, the beloved, bite-sized treat that makes both kids and adults swoon with joy! 

Now, what is it that makes chicken nuggets so irresistible? Is it their satisfyingly crunchy exterior, or the succulent chicken hidden within? It’s the harmonious symphony of the two, and today, we’re going to be the conductors of this flavourful masterpiece. 

The Chicken Nugget is the quintessential fast-food item, popular worldwide, thanks to its ease of consumption and the universal love for chicken. Historically, the nugget traces its roots back to the 1950s in the United States.  

Robert C. Baker, a food science professor at Cornell University, developed a method to keep breading attached to chicken, thus creating the prototype of what we now know as chicken nuggets. Fast food chains took this concept and ran with it, propelling chicken nuggets into the global spotlight. 

While we appreciate the convenience of drive-thru nuggets, there’s something uniquely satisfying about creating these delightful morsels in your own kitchen. Not to mention, knowing what goes into your food is a major perk of home cooking. Plus, who can resist the smell of frying chicken filling the kitchen? Not me! 

As for the difficulty of this recipe, I’d classify it as easy. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of creating chicken nuggets from scratch. With the proper preparation, making these at home is a simple process that requires no advanced cooking skills.  

The most “challenging” part might be cutting the chicken into pieces, but if you’re mindful and take your time, you’ll master it in no time! 

The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity. There are no obscure ingredients or complex techniques, just good old-fashioned cooking.  

The main ingredients are items you likely already have in your pantry: chicken breasts, plain flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and a few spices. A dash of paprika and garlic powder adds a depth of flavour that store-bought nuggets can only dream of. 

So, are you ready to roll up your sleeves and jump into this culinary adventure? Making your own Chicken Nuggets is not only a delightful gastronomic experience but also a journey into the annals of culinary history.  

The gratifying feeling of seeing the fruits of your labour turn into golden, crispy nuggets is hard to beat. 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Crafting the perfect chicken nugget is a culinary art that requires a delicate balance of flavours and textures. The taste, crunchiness, and satisfaction you get from each bite is the result of the thoughtful combination of these key ingredients. 

 Let’s dissect the composition of these vital elements, their roles in creating this dish, and potential alternatives that can be used. 

Chicken Breasts: This is the principal ingredient. I opt for chicken breasts because they yield tender, lean, and mildly flavoured nuggets that both kids and adults adore.  

The breasts are cut into nugget-sized pieces, which give you bite-sized delights that are perfect for snacking or as part of a meal. An alternative could be chicken thighs, which, although slightly fattier, can bring more flavour and moisture to your nuggets. 

Plain Flour: This forms the first layer of our coating. It helps the egg wash stick to the chicken and creates a barrier, keeping the meat juicy during frying. Plain flour also helps create a crispy surface when fried. If you need a gluten-free option, try using corn starch or a gluten-free flour blend. 

Garlic Powder & Paprika: These spices provide a savoury, smoky depth to the nuggets. Garlic powder brings a gentle, roasted garlic flavour, while paprika lends a sweet peppery taste.  

For an extra kick, you could replace standard paprika with smoked paprika or even a pinch of cayenne. If you’re not a fan of garlic, onion powder can serve as an alternative. 

Salt: It enhances the flavour of the chicken and the spices. Salt is essential to making all the flavours pop and giving you that savoury taste we associate with good chicken nuggets. If you’re watching your sodium intake, you could use a lower-sodium substitute, but remember, the flavour may vary slightly. 

Eggs: Eggs act as a binding agent in our recipe. They attach the breadcrumbs to the chicken, creating that wonderful, crunchy exterior. If you’re allergic to eggs or prefer a vegan alternative, a mixture of flaxseed and water, known as a flax egg, can be used. 

Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs form the final coating for our nuggets, giving them their distinctive crispy texture. They fry up beautifully, offering a satisfying crunch with every bite. For a different flavour or texture, consider using panko breadcrumbs. For a low-carb alternative, crushed pork rinds can be used. 

Vegetable Oil: I use it for frying the nuggets. It has a high smoke point, making it suitable for frying, and it doesn’t interfere with the flavour of the nuggets. Alternatives could be canola oil or peanut oil, but ensure any alternative oil also has a high smoke point. 

Understanding each ingredient’s role in creating chicken nuggets allows you to appreciate the science and art behind this beloved dish. Remember, while this is my preferred method, feel free to make modifications to suit your dietary needs or taste preferences.  

The joy of cooking comes from experimentation and creating something that you and your loved ones will enjoy. 

Choosing the Best Chicken for Homemade Nuggets  

When I set out on my quest to perfect the homemade chicken nugget, the question at the top of my list was: “What is the ideal chicken type for nuggets?” After considerable research and kitchen experimentation, I’ve concluded that chicken breasts are an excellent choice. 

First, let’s talk about texture. Chicken breasts offer a solid, meaty texture that holds up well when cut into bite-sized nuggets. This texture is perfect for holding onto the flavourful flour mixture and breadcrumb coating that we’re going to introduce. 

Chicken breasts also provide a mild, slightly sweet flavour. This isn’t as rich as chicken thighs, but it’s an excellent canvas for our seasonings. The garlic, paprika, and salt that we’ll be using can truly shine against this backdrop. 

Let’s not forget the health benefits. Chicken breasts are leaner than other cuts, lower in fat, and higher in protein. If you’re watching your diet or trying to make healthier choices, chicken breasts are a winner. 

To ensure the best flavour and texture, I recommend using fresh chicken breasts. Frozen chicken can be a bit watery and may affect the overall result. Always remember to handle your chicken with care. Always keep it refrigerated until you’re ready to use it, and after cutting it into nugget-sized pieces, remember to wash your hands and any surfaces the raw chicken has touched to avoid cross-contamination. 

All in all, the choice of chicken is a crucial step in creating the perfect homemade nugget. So, remember, next time you’re in the grocery store, pick up a pack of chicken breasts, and get ready to make the best chicken nuggets you’ve ever tasted! 

Using Alternative Flours for Chicken Nuggets  

I’ve always been a traditionalist when it comes to my chicken nugget recipe, using plain flour as a base for my flavourful coating. But one day, curiosity got the better of me, and I wondered, “Can I use other types of flour instead?” 

So, I set out to experiment, replacing plain flour with several alternatives. My findings were not just interesting but also offered ways to cater to specific dietary needs. 

First up was whole wheat flour. It provided a denser, more substantial coating with a slightly nutty flavour. The nuggets turned out darker than those with plain flour, and the overall taste was more robust. 

Almond flour was my next trial, and I was surprised by its effectiveness. Almond flour, being gluten-free, is a fantastic option for those with dietary restrictions. The final result was slightly sweeter and nuttier, but the texture was incredibly satisfying. 

Coconut flour was a revelation. The nuggets ended up slightly sweet with a hint of the tropics. The coconut flour didn’t adhere as well as other flours, so be prepared for a slightly messier cooking process. 

Lastly, I tested with chickpea flour. It has a strong, earthy flavour, so I’d recommend it if you’re looking for a distinct taste change. 

Remember, the key to success when experimenting with alternative flours is to ensure your oil is hot enough to seal the coating quickly. This prevents the flour from soaking up too much oil, resulting in a crispier, less greasy nugget. 

So, don’t be afraid to branch out and try different flours. You might discover a new favourite in the process. 

Innovative Substitutes for Breadcrumbs in Chicken Nuggets  

In my years of experimenting with chicken nugget recipes, the question often arises: “What else can I use instead of breadcrumbs?” We know that breadcrumbs provide a delightful crunch and help create that golden-brown colour we adore.  

Still, there are occasions when you might want to deviate from the norm. Whether you’ve run out of breadcrumbs or are seeking to put a creative twist on the recipe, there are viable alternatives. 

One of my favourite substitutes is crushed cornflakes. These breakfast staples provide a satisfying crunch, and their subtle sweetness gives an unexpected but delightful twist to your nuggets. When you use cornflakes, ensure to crush them finely to achieve an even coating. 

Another delicious option is ground nuts or seeds. Almonds, pecans, or sesame seeds can bring a unique flavour and texture to your nuggets. Just be sure to grind them finely and perhaps mix them with a little flour to ensure they adhere well to the chicken. 

Then there’s Panko. These Japanese breadcrumbs are coarser and absorb less oil than regular breadcrumbs, resulting in incredibly crispy nuggets. 

And for those on a low-carb or gluten-free diet, grated Parmesan cheese mixed with some almond flour can work wonders. The cheese adds a wonderful flavour while helping the coating stick to the chicken. 

Experimenting with different breadcrumb substitutes in my homemade chicken nugget recipe has been a culinary adventure. It’s amazing how a simple substitution can revolutionize a dish and even cater to different dietary requirements. I encourage you to give it a try! 

Achieving the Ultimate Crispy Homemade Chicken Nuggets  

Let’s talk about crispy chicken nuggets. As an aficionado, I understand the joy that comes with biting into a perfectly crispy nugget.  

It’s a symphony of textures – the initial crunch followed by the tender chicken inside. Over time, I’ve developed a few tricks to help achieve the ultimate crispy homemade chicken nugget. 

Firstly, let’s discuss coating. Double dipping is my secret weapon. After dipping a chicken piece in the flour mixture, and then into the beaten eggs, I give it a second round in the flour before finally coating it in breadcrumbs. This extra step ensures a thicker, crispier shell. 

Next, consider the type of breadcrumbs you use. Panko breadcrumbs, with their coarse texture, absorb less oil and provide a wonderful crunch. 

Then there’s the question of oil temperature. It needs to be just right. Too hot, and your nuggets will brown too quickly without cooking the chicken inside.  

Too cool, and your nuggets will soak up too much oil, becoming greasy and less crispy. Using a thermometer, aim for an oil temperature of around 350-375°F (175-190°C). 

Finally, don’t overcrowd the pan. Cook the nuggets in batches, leaving enough space for them to cook evenly. Overcrowding can drop the oil temperature and result in less crispy nuggets. 

And, of course, draining the cooked nuggets on paper towels will help remove excess oil and keep your nuggets crispy longer. 

Craving that perfect crunch in your homemade chicken nuggets is not just about indulgence; it’s about achieving a texture that elevates your nuggets to the next level. Using these techniques, I have consistently made crispy nuggets that are truly a joy to eat. I hope you will too! 

Exploring Delicious Dipping Sauces for Homemade Chicken Nuggets  

I’m the kind of person who believes that dipping sauces can take a dish from good to great, especially when it comes to homemade chicken nuggets. Sure, ketchup is a classic, but there’s a world of flavours out there waiting to be explored. 

One of my favourite sauces is homemade honey mustard. The combination of sweet honey and tangy mustard creates a burst of flavour that complements the crispy nuggets perfectly. Just mix equal parts of honey and Dijon mustard, adjust to your liking, and voila, you have a delectable dipping sauce! 

Another delightful option is BBQ sauce. Its smoky, sweet, and slightly tangy taste pairs wonderfully with chicken. Store-bought versions work well, but making your own at home allows you to customize the flavour to your liking.  

Combine tomato sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, and your favourite smoky spices in a saucepan, simmer until it thickens, and you’ve got a sauce to remember. 

For a more exotic touch, why not try a sweet chilli sauce? It’s sweet, spicy, and has a unique tang that adds an exciting dimension to your chicken nuggets. You can find this in most supermarkets in the Asian food section. 

For those who enjoy a creamy dip, a homemade garlic aioli can be heavenly. The mix of mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and a touch of olive oil creates a smooth, rich sauce that can’t be beaten. 

In my culinary adventures, I’ve realized that homemade chicken nuggets are a fantastic canvas for a variety of sauces. Whether you prefer sweet, tangy, spicy, or creamy, there’s a sauce out there for you. Don’t be afraid to get creative and mix up your flavours 

The Art of Baking Chicken Nuggets: A Healthier Alternative   

There comes a time when you may wish to swap out the frying pan for a healthier option. I’ve asked myself, “Can I bake these chicken nuggets instead?” The answer is a resounding yes, and the results can be just as delicious, if not more so. 

Baking chicken nuggets instead of frying them can significantly reduce the amount of oil used, making them a healthier alternative. Plus, the process is pretty straightforward. 

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). While the oven is heating, prepare your chicken nuggets as usual, but instead of heating up a pan of oil, line a baking tray with parchment paper. This not only makes clean-up a breeze but also prevents your nuggets from sticking. 

Arrange the coated chicken nuggets on the lined tray, making sure to leave some space between each one to ensure even baking. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the nuggets are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through.  

I recommend turning them over halfway through the baking process for even browning. 

What about that irresistible crunch we love in fried nuggets? Well, here’s my secret: Spray a light coating of cooking oil over the nuggets before putting them into the oven. This promotes browning and helps to achieve a lovely crisp exterior. 

Baked chicken nuggets can be just as delicious and satisfying as their fried counterparts, with the added bonus of being healthier. Plus, they’re easier to make in larger quantities, perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prep.  

So, the next time you’re in the mood for homemade nuggets, why not give baking a shot? You might just find a new favourite method. 

A Guide to Crafting Healthier Chicken Nuggets  

Embarking on a healthier lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to give up on your favourite treats, like homemade chicken nuggets. Over the years, I’ve discovered several ways to make chicken nuggets healthier while retaining their deliciousness. 

One of the most effective ways is by swapping frying for baking. Baking eliminates the need for excessive oil, thus reducing the fat content in your nuggets. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C), arrange the nuggets on a lined baking tray, and bake until golden brown. 

Another great technique involves making mindful ingredient substitutions. Using whole wheat flour instead of plain flour increases the fibre content of your nuggets. Similarly, substituting regular breadcrumbs with rolled oats or ground flax seeds can add a nutrient boost. 

The choice of chicken matters too. Opt for skinless chicken breasts, which are leaner and lower in fat compared to other parts of the chicken. 

As for the seasoning, feel free to get creative with various herbs and spices. They’re a great way to add flavour without adding extra calories. Consider using combinations of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and herbs like oregano or thyme for a flavour-packed coating. 

Lastly, serving your nuggets with a healthy side dish can balance your meal. Fresh salads, steamed vegetables, or a portion of brown rice are all excellent choices. 

Making healthier chicken nuggets isn’t as complicated as it might seem. With a few simple modifications, you can enjoy this delicious treat guilt-free. Remember, the key is to experiment and find what works best for you and your taste buds 

The Ins and Outs of Freezing and Reheating Homemade Chicken Nuggets  

I’ve often found myself preparing a big batch of homemade chicken nuggets, only to realize that there are way too many for a single meal. That’s when I started to ask, “Can these nuggets be frozen? And how should I reheat them?” 

The answer, to my delight, is yes, homemade chicken nuggets can be frozen! Here’s how I do it. After the nuggets have cooled completely, I place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, ensuring they aren’t touching each other. I freeze them like this for a few hours. 

This process is called flash freezing and helps the nuggets retain their shape without sticking together. Once they’re frozen, I transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container, where they can last up to 3 months. 

When it comes to reheating, the oven is my preferred method. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread the frozen nuggets on a baking sheet, and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until they’re heated through and crispy again. No need to thaw! 

While it’s possible to use a microwave, I’ve found that this method tends to make the nuggets a bit soggy. But if you’re in a hurry, you can microwave them on a microwave-safe plate for 1-2 minutes, then pop them in a toaster oven or under a broiler for a few seconds to crisp them back up. 

Freezing and reheating homemade chicken nuggets is a real game-changer. Not only does it save time on busy days, but it also means you can always have a delicious homemade treat on hand. So next time you’re making a batch of chicken nuggets, consider making extra to freeze – future you will thank yourself! 

Creating Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets at Home  

If you’re living a gluten-free lifestyle like I am, you know the struggle of finding suitable replacements for your favourite foods. When I realized my beloved chicken nuggets could be made gluten-free, it was a game-changer. 

Let’s start with the coating. Traditional nuggets use flour and breadcrumbs, both typically containing gluten. However, substitutes are available. I use gluten-free flour for the initial coating; it works just as well as regular flour.  

Gluten-free varieties can include rice flour, almond flour, or coconut flour. Each has its unique taste and texture, so experiment to find what you prefer. 

For the breadcrumb substitute, I adore using crushed gluten-free cornflakes. They provide a wonderful crunch that mirrors traditional breadcrumbs. Other alternatives include gluten-free breadcrumbs (available in many supermarkets) or ground nuts, like almonds, which give an added flavour boost. 

When it comes to the egg wash, we’re in luck as eggs are naturally gluten-free. Simply beat a couple of eggs as you would in the original recipe, and you’re good to go. 

The preparation and cooking process remains the same. Remember, always double-check your spices for hidden gluten. Also, if you’re cooking for someone with celiac disease, ensure all your kitchen utensils and surfaces are free from gluten residue to avoid cross-contamination. 

Going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up on comfort foods like chicken nuggets. By making mindful ingredient substitutions, you can still enjoy these treats while sticking to your dietary needs.  

It’s all about being creative and trying out different alternatives until you find your perfect gluten-free nugget recipe. 

Incorporating Chicken Nuggets into Balanced Meals  

As someone who enjoys eating well-rounded, nutritious meals, I’ve found ways to incorporate chicken nuggets into balanced dishes. After all, who said chicken nuggets could only be a standalone snack? 

Firstly, pair your nuggets with a serving of vibrant, fresh vegetables. I love a colourful salad on the side, loaded with leafy greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers. The crunch of the veggies complements the crispy nuggets perfectly, and the various colours make for a visually appealing meal. 

You can also wrap your nuggets in a whole wheat tortilla along with lettuce, tomatoes, and a drizzle of your favourite sauce for a quick, balanced wrap. It’s filling, delicious, and easy to pack for lunch on the go. 

If you’re a fan of bowls like me, create a chicken nugget bowl! Start with a base of brown rice or quinoa for some complex carbohydrates, add a portion of nuggets and top with a mix of cooked and raw veggies. Drizzle with a sauce of your choice – I’m partial to a tangy vinaigrette or light yoghurt dressing. 

For a fun, family-friendly meal, consider chicken nugget skewers. Alternate nuggets with chunks of veggies like bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes on skewers. Grill them until the vegetables are slightly charred and serve with a dipping sauce. 

Incorporating chicken nuggets into balanced meals is a fun and versatile way to enjoy this favourite food. It’s all about pairing with nutritious sides to create a meal that’s satisfying, varied, and delicious. Remember, enjoying your food is part of healthy eating, so don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen! 

Check Out These Other Recipes! 

Since you enjoyed these Chicken Nuggets, I’m betting you’re keen to try other appetizer delights too. Oh boy, do I have some treats in store for you? 

First, let’s talk about Chicken Tenders. These are my absolute favourite; they’re the more mature sibling of the nugget. Tender, juicy strips of chicken, marinated in an exquisite blend of herbs and spices before being enveloped in a crisp golden crust.  

They make the perfect finger food and are simply irresistible when dipped into a tangy barbecue sauce. 

And then, how could I not mention the crowd-pleaser, Chicken Strips? They’ve got all the deliciousness of chicken nuggets but with a little extra crunch. I guarantee you’ll love the feeling of that crispy exterior shattering between your teeth, revealing the tender chicken within. 

If you’re in the mood for a little Asian twist, you’ve got to try out my Korean Chicken Wings. They are a delightful medley of sweet, spicy, and savoury, all in one bite. The sticky glaze that coats each wing is so finger-licking good, you’ll be reaching for seconds (or even thirds) without a second thought. 

Next up let’s spice things up with Chicken 65. An appetiser hailing from the Indian subcontinent, it’s an explosion of flavours in your mouth. Each morsel of chicken is coated in a fiery red sauce that’s just the right balance of spicy and tangy.  

It’s a dish that’ll make your taste buds dance and keep you coming back for more. 

Last but definitely not least, Popcorn Chicken is a must-try. Imagine bite-sized pieces of chicken, each one encased in a light, crunchy coating. They’re so poppable and addictive, you’ll find it impossible to stop at just one. 

I hope you’ll enjoy trying these recipes as much as I did. I can’t wait to hear all about your kitchen adventures in the comments below. 

Chicken Nuggets

Chicken Nuggets

by Nabeela Kauser
Discover the joy of homemade chicken nuggets. A fun, DIY alternative to fast food favourites, these nuggets are a delight to make and devour. No culinary expertise needed! 
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetiser
Cuisine American, British, Western
Servings 4
Calories 353 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Chicken Breasts Cut into small nugget-sized pieces
  • 100 g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 100 g Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable Oil For frying

Instructions

  • Cut two chicken breasts into small nugget-sized pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix together 100g of plain flour, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 1 tsp of paprika, and 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • Beat two eggs in another bowl and place 100g of breadcrumbs in a third bowl.
  • Dip each chicken piece first into the flour mixture, then into the beaten eggs, and finally coat it in breadcrumbs.
  • Heat up enough vegetable oil in a large frying pan to cover the bottom by about 1 cm and wait until the oil is hot.
  • Add the coated chicken nuggets to the hot oil and cook for around 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy.
  • Transfer the cooked nuggets to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon to drain off any excess oil.
  • Repeat the process until all the chicken nuggets are cooked.
  • Serve the chicken nuggets hot with your choice of dipping sauce (e.g. ketchup, BBQ sauce, honey mustard, etc.).

Notes

Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.

Nutrition

Calories: 353kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 33gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 637mgPotassium: 536mgFibre: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 191IUVitamin C: 3mgVitamin D: 1µgCalcium: 68mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken, Food, Kids Snacks, Nuggets, Party Food, Recipe, Snack
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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