Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Oh, how I miss those dinosaur chicken nuggets from Costco. We used to eat those all the time, and when I say “we” I mean the kids and Nate and me. Here in Spain, they do have chicken nuggets, but the ones from Carrefour have gray chicken meat inside (anyway you slice it, nuggets shouldn’t be gray), and the ones from other brands need to be deep-fried. So…we make our own nuggets quite frequently, since, again, it’s one of the only things that all of our kids with teeth will eat well. They’re super easy and a great source of protein.
Pour some breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, salt, pepper, and a pinch of grated Cayenne pepper into a shallow dish and mix together.
In another shallow dish, beat together one egg and a splash of milk.
Cut up chicken breasts into pieces. I usually put a hand on the top of each chicken breast and make one slice horizontally so that the pieces aren’t too thick, and then cut them up crosswise. Dip each piece into the egg mixture, then coat with the crumb mixture, and put it on a cookie sheet. Drizzle or brush the pieces with olive oil.
Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, until the bottoms of the pieces are golden brown. Flip the pieces and rotate the cookie sheet from front to back, then bake for about 10 more minutes until the pieces are golden brown on top and bottom.
Serve on cute plates for the kids:
Nate likes to dip his nuggets in barbecue sauce and honey:
Sometimes we like these with a salad, sometimes with macaroni and cheese, and sometimes with spaghetti. The possibilities are many.
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 cup breadcrumbs, more if needed
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, more if needed
- ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Dried ground oregano, basil, paprika (all optional – be creative!)
- 1 egg
- Splash of milk (about ¼ cup)
- 2 – 3 TBSP of canola, vegetable, or olive oil
- For dipping: barbecue sauce, sweet and sour sauce, honey, mustard, Ranch dressing, or ketchup
- Preheat oven to 400º F (200º C)
- For easy clean-up, line cookie sheet(s) with foil, then with a layer of parchment paper
- In a shallow bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan or Grana Padano, salt, pepper, and spices.
- In another shallow bowl, beat together the egg and milk.
- Cut up the chicken breasts horizontally, then cut into pieces. The pieces should be fairly uniform so that they cook evenly. Dip each piece into the egg mixture, then into the breadcrumb mixture, and lay it on the lined cookie sheet. Continue with all remaining chicken pieces.
- Pour 2 – 3 TBSP oil into a small bowl. With a pastry brush or a spoon, brush or drizzle the oil onto the tops of the chicken pieces. You don’t need to worry about the bottoms.
- Bake for about 15 – 20 minutes, or until the bottoms of the pieces are a light golden brown. Flip over each piece, then rotate cookie sheet from front to back. Bake for about 10 more minutes, until nuggets are deep golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and, for maximum juiciness, let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey, Ranch dressing…whatever makes you happy!