Chicken Nuggets

We’ve all heard the stories about Chicken McNuggets. How only about 44% of the weight is actually chicken; that it is nothing more than a small piece of finely minced chicken parts held together with phosphate salts; the chemicals and trans fat. Without a doubt, McNuggets are pure junk food.


Reclaiming a kids favorite from the pure junk food category. I shaped these as "chicken tenders" but more often choose "nugget" shape.


But part of being a good father to my two sons (9 and 11) is striking the right balance between keeping them healthy, and letting “kids be kids.”  This recipe helps; It’s real chunks of chicken, not pressed parts, which helps reduce the fat down from 15% to 8%. Of course trans fat, emulsifiers and chemicals are all completely eliminated. The kids love them more that the Fast Food joint’s (giving mine a 5-stars). And as a father, I don’t feel guilty about giving them this occasional treat.

Making them yourself will only take 25 minutes of work, but you have to start 90 minutes before dinner. First, pre-baked the chicken for 25 minutes. Add all coating ingredients to zip lock back. Dredged the cooked chicken nuggets in egg whites, add them to the zip-lock bag and shake. Freeze for 30 minutes, then dredge and shake for a second time. Finally, deep fry in 375-degree oil for about 7 minutes, until coating is golden brown.  You will need to cook in two batches.


2 – 3 chicken breasts
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2-3 egg whites
2 quarts oil for deep frying

•    Preheat oven for 15 minutes to 350F.
•    If necessary, pound each of the breasts with a mallet to 1/4″ thick.
•    Cut chicken into even sized nuggets.
•    Bake chicken for 25 minutes, turning over after 15 minutes.
•    Meanwhile, put wax paper lines cutting board in freezer.
•    Mix all dry ingredients in gallon-sized, zip-lock bag.
•    Let chicken cool for 5 minutes, then pat dry.
•    Put 1 egg white in a bowl for dredging. (use 2 egg whites if more than 25 nuggets).
•    In batches of 10 nuggets, pass nuggets through egg white, put into mixture bag, and shake.
•    Put in single layer on wax paper. Freeze for at least 30 minutes.
•    Pre-heat oil to 375F.
•    In batches of 10-12, put second coat of egg whites, then return to bag and shake,
•    Deep fry about 7 to 9 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Repeat as necessary.
•    Can freeze or refrigerator before frying for another day.
•    Start 2 hours before dinner. Active preparation time is 25 minutes.

Rating: 5 stars (from both boys).
Cost: $5 for 1-1/2 lbs (roughly equivalent to 40 McNuggets).
How much work? Low.
How big of a mess?  Low.
Start time 5:30 PM. Dinner time 7:00 PM.

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