Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

As a father of two young kids I've tried my best to make healthy foods that they like and teach them to make good choices. Despite my efforts, for kids the lure of a McDonalds' Happy Meal should not to be underestimated. After seeing how McNuggets are made, I decided that enough was enough and set up to make our own chicken nuggets that used high quality ingredients. After one bite my daughter turned me to and said 'Wow - these are YUMMY!'. Mission accomplished.
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Chill: 30 min
  • Cook: 15 min
  • Total: 1 hour 15 min
  • Serves 6 to 8
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cut off excess fat from chicken breasts. Cut off tenderloins. Cut chicken breasts into desired nugget sizes (about 1 to 2 inches).
  • ½ cup kosher salt or ¼ cup table salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Dissolve salt and sugar in 1 quart cold water in a gallon-size ZipLock plastic bag.
  • Add cutlets and seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Place the bag in a bowl or dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Line rimmed baking sheet with triple layer of paper towels. Remove chicken from bag and lay in single layer on baking sheet. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press firmly to remove moisture. Using your hands, press down firmly on each nugget so that they are all about the same thickness. Allow nuggets to dry for 10 minutes.
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Carefully peel paper towels off cutlets, sprinkle cutlets with pepper, and set aside.
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Spread flour in baking dish.
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Beat eggs with 1 tablespoon oil in second baking dish.
  • 8 slices high-quality white bread, torn into quarters
  • Process bread in food processor until evenly fine-textured, about 20 to 30 seconds. Transfer crumbs to baking dish. (You can substitute about 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs if you'd like.)
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  • Add dash of salt and pepper to breadcrumbs and stir to combine.
  • Take two or three nuggets at a time and lightly cover them in flour, shaking off an excess. Using tongs, dip both sides of the nuggets in the egg mixture to generously coat. Then, place them in the bowl with breadcrumbs and press down to fully and evenly coat each nugget. Place nuggets in a single layer on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
  • Repeat for remaining nuggets and allow them to stand for 5 minutes to let breadcrumb coating dry.
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Heat oil in heavy-bottomed 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking, about 2 minutes.
  • Place as many nuggets as will fit on the skillet but still allow space between nuggets to ensure even cooking (don't pack them in). Gently press down on each nugget with a spatula to help ensure even browning. Cook until deep golden brown and crisp on first side, about 2 ½ minutes. Using tongs, flip nuggets, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook until meat feels firm when pressed gently and second side is deep golden brown and crisp, 2 ½ to 3 minutes longer.
  • Line warmed plate with double layer of paper towels and set cutlets on top; return plate to oven.
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Discard oil in skillet and wipe skillet clean using tongs and large wad of paper towels. Repeat using fresh oil and now-clean skillet to cook remaining nuggets. Repeat this one or two times until all the nuggets are cooked.
  • Serve with ketchup and desired condiments.
From MakeBetterFood.com. . (http://makebetterfood.com/recipes/chicken-nuggets/). Adapted from Cook's Illustrated.
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