Okay, I won’t profess to be one of those ‘I never eat fast food’ people because then I would be a liar. The reality is, as much as I try to avoid it…sometimes the convenience game wins and the golden arches are a calling. Those fries are also wicked delicious and lets just say…my love for the chicken nugget goes way back!! Dunking those golden gems in to your own personalized little tub of sweet and sour sauce is awesome. I know i’m not alone, you can say what you want, I know it ain’t good for you but man every so often having a 6 pack of nuggets and some pomme frites, is awesome! It still cracks me up that my bro tried to order one hundo nuggets once but that’s another story!
If you are the creator of or caretaker for a little human, you probably know that toddlers love the heck outta the chicken nugget. Seriously, if I let the lion…he would eat chicken fingers or nuggets 5 days a week, he loves them that much. I’m not gonna lie…some weeks he does have them twice a week because mama just don’t want to battle the titan toddler…and I can normally get him to have them with a side of broccoli so it’s all about balance baby! Today, i’m stocking up and making a batch of chicken nuggets that really stand up in the freezer and I know every single ingredient and feel pretty okay with what’s in them. This recipe is super easy to make and will get you set up with about 30 nuggets (and I made mine on the larger side because as you all know…biggie smalls over here would eat me out of house and home). We are going to turn these simple ingredients into awesome chicken nuggets that beat the snot outta the fast food ones.
You will notice that I am using some mashed potatoes in this dish…yup, that’s right mashed potatoes. This is a great meal to make when you need to use up left overs and it really makes the chicken nugget mixture nice and soft inside. Place all of your ingredients (except breadcrumbs and cheese) in to your food processor…and let it do the work. You are busy being super awesome so it’s best not to over do it!! Pulse until everything is well combined.
Here’s what it looks like when it’s combined. It literally took 20 seconds to complete this step!!
Next, you want to have your breadcrumbs and cheese on a plate or shallow dish and have your cookie sheets lined with tin foil (less messy) and a wire rack on top as you will be setting the nuggets on the rack. I am using a combination of panko and regular breadcrumbs because I find that panko (when baked) can burn a bit so I chose to mix two different kinds of breadcrumbs. Also, if you don’t want to use seasoned breadcrumbs, just use plain ones. You know your taste buds better than I do, so bread em the way you want to.
Take a Tablespoon of the mixture and with your hands you want to form it in to a shape that resembles the chicken nugget.
Once it’s formed, press it in to the breadcrumb mixture and make sure it is completely coated. Place on the wire rack and repeat until you have all of your nuggets formed and breaded. The reason we are using a wire rack is because you want the nuggets to get crispy on the top and bottom and then will avoid them getting soggy on one side (you don’t want death by soggy nugget and a dinner fail do you??)
If cooking right away, spray the nuggets with a bit of cooking spray or spray olive oil and pop in to a 375 degree oven for 20-23 minutes or until cooked and your desired level of golden brown. *Sometimes if you want them uber crispy…put the broiler on for a few minutes…just be sure to watch that they don’t burn.
If you are freezer for later:
Place the cookie sheet of nuggets in to the freezer for 1 hour. Remove from freezer and pop in to a large zip loc bag. These will hold up for a few months. When cooking from frozen, you can cook them at 375 for about 25-30 minutes. Just watch them as they could be done around the 25 minute mark.
Seriously people, check these out…toddler dinner winner me thinks!! Load the little monster up with their favourite dipping sauce and give yourself a high five! I made this batch today and kept some for dinner and froze the rest so I can be ready for the Hangry Toddler when it hits!
Down with Fast Food Chicken Nuggets
Makes about 30 nuggets
- 1/2 tsp each of dried parsley, garlic powder, onion powder
- 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
- pinch of black ground pepper
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, chopped in to pieces (makes it a bit easier in the food processor)
- 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs (okay to use plain if you prefer)
- 1.5 tsp of grated parmesan cheese
- Place all ingredients except for breadcrumbs and cheese in to a food processor and blitz until everything is well combined and mixed together
- Using a tablespoon, take a spoonful of the chicken mixture and using your hands start to form it in to the shape of a nugget.
- Press the formed chicken nugget in to the bread crumbs making sure everything, including the sides of the nugget is completely coated
- Place on wire rack on a cookie sheet.
- Lightly spray nuggets with a bit of cooking spray
- Bake at 375 for 20-23 minutes until cooked and golden brown.*Broil for a a few minutes if you want them more crunchy.
- If you want to freeze the nuggets, place on a cookie sheet after step 3 and then freeze them on the cookie sheet for 1 hour. After the hour, pop them in to a large ziploc bag. *When it’s time to cook them, still bake them at 375 but up the baking time slightly to about 25-30 minutes.
Alright lovely people…this is a great meal that you can be happy feeding your toddler (or yourself after a solid night out with friends and a few pops). Prepping in advance and having this ready to go in your freezer will save tonnes of time, frustration and money. Best of luck my moody little compadres!!