Crunchy Chicken Nuggets

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.
Crunchy Chicken Nuggets,

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


  1. Cut the chicken breasts into even, bite-sized pieces about 1″ wide, and put them in a deep bowl or glass pan.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Next, pour the egg whites into a second wide shallow bowl (or platter) and place it next to the breading.
  5. 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.
  6. When the chicken has finished brining, strain it, discard the brine, and pat the chicken pieces dry with several layers of paper towels.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
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4 Responses to Crunchy Chicken Nuggets

  1. shelle says:

    thanks…i thought i’d try it too. i’ve been trying to eat whole foods that are high in protein and fiber and low in carbs and fat…hard to find but necessary for my health…you could try replacing the evoo with coconut oil…it’s even better for you as a good fat…maybe if i rolled the nuggets in panko and coconut flakes it would help with the browning in the oven…i’ll try that and 450 degrees for the first 6 to eight minutes then down to 350 for another 5…you try and i’ll try and compare notes.

    • admin says:

      I tried a low-fat, baked version and I wasn’t too happy with the result. I actually ended up giving them a quick pass through a hot saute pan before serving. The saute gave them the nice crunch I was after. I’ll have another go at it, because I make some crab cakes that are baked and they taste fantastic! Maybe I’ll do some tweaking and come up with a good alternative. Did you have any luck?

  2. shelle says:

    hey maggie…what’s the low-fat version??? Have you ever tried baking these?

    • admin says:

      I haven’t tried low-fat, actually. These days I’ve been focusing on whole foods and “good” fats, which for some reason doesn’t include low-fat. However, I think this could easily be adapted to a low-fat version. You could try going through the breading steps, put the nuggets on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then spray very lightly with oil from a bottle. Or, even try baking as is, that might work. I’m going to try it next week and let you know!