When you have thirty minutes to cook, homemade chicken nuggets are the way to go!
We’re big fans of chicken over here, especially my kids.
And double-especially when it involves words like “fingers” and “nuggets.”
Basically, they’re all about the crunchy breaded coating, and the dip-ability factor.
I make a lot of things from scratch. I really do.
That said, I’ll admit that we have bags of nuggets and chicken fingers in the freezer, too.
We’re a normal human family whose kids sometimes need food items that can be ready to eat in ten minutes after school, and before the next activity.
But, when I have twenty to thirty minutes to cook, homemade chicken nuggets are the way to go!
And most nights, we have half an hour to spare.
(And I bet you do, too.)
The key for me to making tasty homemade chicken nuggets or tenders is liberal use of salt on the surface.
And, also this: PANKO BREADCRUMBS.
I know SO many people use regular breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs.
I find it’s hard to get a nice crispy coating with them.
They either end up sliding off the meat, or the texture is more soggy/chewy than crispy/crunchy.
Perhaps it’s my cooking technique?
Just buy the Panko from now on. Trust me.
Here are some of the kitchen tools I use to make homemade chicken nuggets:
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Place a large skillet on the stove to preheat over medium (or just slightly hotter) heat while you get the chicken prepared.
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces on all sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Add the flour to a small plate, and spread it out into a thin layer.
- Add the egg and water mixture to a small bowl.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of salt with the Panko and spread it onto a second small plate.
- Pour the olive oil into the warmed skillet.
- Coat each piece of chicken lightly in flour, followed by the egg mixture, and lastly in the Panko. Add them to the skillet and cook for 4 minutes on one side. Flip each nugget, and then continue cooking for another 4 minutes.
- Remove the homemade chicken nuggets to rest on a paper towel for 5 minutes before serving!
If you're using really big chicken breasts, you might need to pound them thinner OR slice them in half width-wise before cutting them into nuggets. Boneless, skinless chicken strips can also be a great, simple alternative to using full breasts (and they're often less expensive)—you'll want 4 or 5 instead of 2.