Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

I’m gonna keep this simple and to the point.

These chicken nuggets are insanely good!

These taste just as good to me as Chic-fil-A. A bold statement I know, but these are seriously delicious. The differences are that you’ll know exactly where this chicken meat came from, and these are baked not deep fried. So all in all we feel pretty good about these awesome little nugs.

If you are ever feeling ambitious, double the recipe. These freeze beautifully. If I ever write a cookbook, these will be number one in my “Freezes Beautifully” section. Anyway, you just lay another pan next to the one for your breaded nuggets, and fill it up at the same time. When your first pan goes into the oven, the second one goes into your freezer. Give em a couple hours to freeze, and then transfer them to ziploc bags. Then whenever your family craves these wonderful nuggets, you can just preheat the oven, brush them with oil, and go to town!

We’ve never had leftover nuggets if that tells you anything!

Homemade Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into nugget sized pieces )

flour mix

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika

egg mix

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

breading mix

  • 1/2 cup poultry coating or breading mix
  • 10 ritz crackers

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Step 2
Find three shallow containers to mix your three breading mixtures. I always like to use pie pans. For one they're nice and shallow, and for another we have plenty of them laying around. This family loves pie!
Step 3
In the first pie pan add the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika for the "flour mix".
premixed flour mix
Step 4
Give it all a good stir with a whisk or a fork until it is all combined. It should look something like this.
postmixed flour mix
Step 5
In the second pie pan add the buttermilk and egg.
egg and buttermilk
Step 6
One good stir later (with your same whisk or fork from earlier) it will look like a lovely yellow milkshake.
mixed egg and buttermilk
Step 7
Now onto the third pie pan!
I found this "chicken coating mix" that is just wonderful. If you have trouble finding this (I work at Whole Foods, so there's no telling how hard this is to find) I'm sure any coating or breading mix would work great. It almost looks like seasoned flour when you dump it out, so look for something like that.
chicken coating mix
Step 8
Next, drop 10 ritz crackers into a food processor. My mini prep works great for this amount.
ritz in processor
Step 9
Now blitz the ritz until they're nice and crumby!
blitzed ritz
Step 10
The cracker crumbs and the coating mix get tossed together in the last pie pan until the mixture looks like this.
breading mix
Step 11
Dump your chicken pieces onto a towel or paper towel lined pan. Pat all of them until they are nice and dry.
pat dry chicken pieces
Step 12
Lay them in a single layer and season their top side with kosher salt and black pepper. Only season this top side! Apart from saving you the tedium of individually flipping all these little guys over to season their other side, you really just don't need the extra seasoning. The flour mix and the breading mix are both seasoned already, so only sprinkling one side of the nuggets helps insure you won't have over salted nugs.
seasoned nugget pieces
Step 13
Here is what your assembly line should look like. I put the pans in order. So they should go from raw chicken to flour mix to egg mix to breading mix to your pan for baking.
nugget assembly line
Step 14
One at a time, everyone gets a good dredge in the flour mix.
dredge in flour
Step 15
That's followed by a dunk into the egg mix.
dunk into egg mix
Step 16
Lastly, they all get a good coating of the breading mix.
breaded chicken
Step 17
I am a little OCD, so I always use my right hand for the flour mix and breading mix phases. My left hand works the wet egg mix. I like having a "wet hand" and a "dry hand" not only to satisfy my neurotic tendencies, but I also feel like you really use less breading this way. Otherwise you will end up with two very breaded hands that look ready to be dropped into a deep fryer.
Step 18
Once all of your nuggets are on the ungreased pan, brush everyone generously with olive oil. This will help them develop a nice color as they bake.
My mother also makes some delicious baked nuggets. She uses an olive oil spray, and just sprays the heck out of all of them.
oiling nuggets
Step 19
Either way you decide to go make sure you put enough to really coat them, but not so much that they're drowning in the oil. Too much oil will definitely create some soggy nugs.
oiled nuggets
Step 20
Pop them into the preheated oven and leave them alone for 15 minutes.
When they come out they should be perfectly cooked without being dry.
cooked nuggets
Step 21
These nuggets are so good you'll want to make them all the time.
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Step 22
And I think you should!
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