Chicken nuggets are seriously easy to love. Because, just like that hysterical Far Side cartoon, they’re crunchy on the outside with a chewy center. This recipe gives them a soft juicy inside that far exceeds anything frozen out of a box. These Chicken Nuggets are great as is, but serve them with an assortment of dipping sauces for an extra kick. These are always a favorite with kids, but our entire family loves them. In fact, my 14-year-old son gave them a big thumbs up and that’s saying something.
This recipe calls for brining the chicken before frying, which is a great way to keep meat juicy during roasting or frying. This brine includes Worcestershire sauce for a bit of added flavor.
While this is basically a quick and simple recipe, it require a large amount of counter space to make it work well. So, to streamline the process before you begin, clear a few feet of open counter space. That way you’ll speed through the steps without having to stop to clear anything in the way.
Crunchy Chicken Nuggets
Adapted from Cook’s Country
4 boneless chicken breasts
2 c water
1 T salt
3 T Worcestershire sauce
2 c flour
2 c panko, or your own bread crumbs
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried bail
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
4 – 6 egg whites or 1/2 c Eggology
1 – 2 c lite olive oil, depending on the size of your pan
- Cut the chicken breasts into even, bite-sized pieces about 1″ wide, and put them in a deep bowl or glass pan.
- Stir the water, salt and Worcestershire sauce together until the salt dissolves, and pour the mixture over the chicken pieces. Cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together the flour, panko or bread crumbs, and spices, and pour out onto a wide shallow bowl or platter. This will be the coating for the chicken.
- Next, pour the egg whites into a second wide shallow bowl (or platter) and place it next to the breading.
- This is a good time to begin heating your oil. Pour the oil into a wide frying or saute pan, and heat it over medium high. You need enough oil to completely cover the bottom of the pan to about 1/4″ – 1/2″ deep. Use your judgment. This isn’t deep-frying, but you want the oil to reach about half way up the thickness of your chicken pieces.
- When the chicken has finished brining, strain it, discard the brine, and pat the chicken pieces dry with several layers of paper towels.
- Working with several pieces at a time, coat the chicken in the egg whites, then roll them in the breading, turning to completely coat the nuggets. As you work, lay the breaded chicken pieces on a foil-lined pan (for easy clean-up!) and allow them to rest while you finish coating the rest of the chicken.
- When all the chicken has been coated, do a final roll through the breading and begin setting the chicken piece by piece into the hot oil.
- Fry until the underside of the nuggets is golden brown, between 3 – 5 minutes. Turn nuggets over and cook the other side until the chicken is completely cooked, another 3 – 5 minutes. When the nuggets are done they will be be a lovely golden brown color, and quite crispy on the outside.
- Move nuggets to a paper towel-lined tray and serve hot with an assortment of dipping sauces. I suggest Sweet & Sour sauce, BBQ sauce, Honey-Mustard sauce, and your favorite brand of ketchup. Enjoy!