Chicken Nuggets

One of the keys to succeeding on your journey to the real food kitchen is learning how to transform the foods your family already loves into real food.  And I’ll bet that chicken nuggets are a popular favorite for many of you.

I’ve taken this recipe from 100 Days of Real Food and given it a few tweaks.  And it is tasty, if I do say so myself. 

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil (or ghee), for cooking
Recipe Changes
  • The original recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken breasts but I use chicken tenders instead.  This saves some time because I don’t have to cut the chicken into pieces.  My pieces end up being longer because I use the whole chicken tender.
  • Instead of using whole wheat bread I use my homemade sourdough bread.  I’m so happy when I can find ways to use my bread after it is a few days old.  It doesn’t taste as fresh, but it is perfect for things like French toast and making bread crumbs.  And I think it really adds to the taste of the nuggets!
  • I use my food processor to combine the bread crumbs, cheese, and spices.
  • Instead of cooking the chicken on top of the stove in olive oil, I brush both sides with melted butter and bake in a 375 degree oven.  Two reasons why I choose to do this.  For one, olive oil is not a good choice for high heat cooking because it has a low smoke point.  And frankly it’s much easier to put the nuggets on a baking sheet and bake all together rather than cooking them individually on the stove.  This works really well.  I use parchment paper so there is no sticking and I cook them for 10 – 12 minutes on each side.
  •  For the honey mustard sauce I use ½ Dijon mustard and ½ yellow mustard.  Originally I tried it with all Dijon but it had too much of a bite.  And all yellow mustard was too bland.  For me, combining them was just right.  But of course you can do whatever works best for you.
Chicken Nuggets (with a few tweaks)
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 2-3 slices of stale, sourdough bread
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  •  Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter or more as needed
  1. Tear up the bread slices and place in a food processor.  Process until crumbly.
  2. Add the cheese, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Process until well combined.
  3. Transfer to a pie pan or other shallow dish.
  4. Crack the egg into a pie pan or other shallow dish and beat with a fork.
  5. Using two hands, one “wet” and one “dry”, dip a chicken tender into the egg with your “wet” hand and then into the crumbs with your “dry” hand.  Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the tenders.
  6. Brush both sides of each breaded tender with the melted butter.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then turn and bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
  8. Serve with honey mustard sauce.  Recipe follows.
Honey Mustard Sauce
  •  ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup raw honey

Combine the mustards and the honey until well mixed.

I think you and your family will really like these nuggets.   And while you’re at it, why don’t you make a double batch.  They would be wonderful for lunch the next day and they are as good cold as they are hot.


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