Baked Panko-Breaded Chicken Nuggets
As a kid, one of my guilty pleasures was McDonald’s chicken McNuggets. I could inhale a 20 piece box without a problem (I admit to having an extremely large appetite for my size). Luckily my parents made these meals very rare treats, and as I grew up I and learned to be healthier, I steered clear of the golden arches to avoid the temptation altogether.
However, 2 years ago I found myself spending 50% of my time in Singapore for my job (talk about a long commute!). Because of Singapore’s extremely hot and humid climate, the streets are filled with open air food stalls, including many McDonald’s stands. I couldn’t go anywhere without walking past one. I mean, you don’t even need to open a door to get those McNuggets. There are lines literally right on the sidewalk leading you to those addictive bites. Sigh, I gave into temptation more than I’d like to admit.
Luckily, I no longer work in Singapore. The time I used to spend on the road is now mostly spent in the kitchen. To arm myself from any future weak moments, I’ve recently come up with my homemade chicken nuggets recipe, and let me tell you, I think it’s way better tasting and certainly a lot healthier for you. Instead of a lot of heavy breading, we use panko-bread crumbs to coat sliced chicken breasts, which are then baked versus deep-fried. One habit I can’t (and don’t plan to) break is still dipping them in lots of ketchup and mayo though. What will you dip yours in?
Tools: 1) Sheet pans
- Panko is a great ingredient for breading. Just coat in some egg wash and dip in a panko mixture. Feel free to experiment with your spices to give it some flavor.
- We think proteins are always tastier when you give them a little loving beforehand. See how we season and tenderize all our proteins in this video (also below)
- Skin and boneless breasts, sliced – 1 lb.
- Cooking oil spray
- Panko – 1 cup
- Basil, oregano or Italian seasonings – 1 tbs.
- Paprika – 1 tsp.
- Kosher salt – ½ tsp.
- Ground pepper – a few turns
- Egg – 1
- Condiments for dipping
- Chicken – Slice into “nuggets.” Season with salt & pepper. Tenderize with a fork (see this video)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Line a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray (or just brush on some oil)
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together panko with spices and seasonings. Whisk egg and pour over chicken. Toss individual pieces in panko and place on sheet pan. Spray with some more cooking spray and bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes
- Serve “nuggets” with condiments of choice (like BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard – I’m sure you’ll find something in that fridge of yours!)