A blog about life, food and photography.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

These homemade chicken nuggets had the right texture, flavor and consistency of a standard McDonald’s Chicken McNugget. However, it still tasted leaner (healthier) probably because I trimmed all the fat off the chicken pieces.

DSC_0051

I used a mixture of chicken breast meat and thigh meat, hoping the thigh meat would add some extra richness, flavor and moistness after frying. I remember back in the old days, McDonald’s used to only use dark meat, that’s when I liked them the most. You can use all dark meat if you wish, if you do, let me know how they turn out.

DSC_0062

It was easier than I thought it would be. The process of dredging the nuggets in flour, then in egg, and flour again created a nice crispy golden shell.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets (approx. 30 nuggets)

adapted from For The Love Of Food

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Chicken (1 lb. white meat + 1 lb. dark meat)
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Pepper
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 Cup of Flour + 1 tsp. salt
  • about 1.5 Cups of Oil for frying (I used Corn Oil)

Directions:

1) Heat oil in a heavy-duty skillet (like a cast iron skillet) on medium-high heat while preparing the chicken nuggets – it should be ready to work with once half of your nuggets are ready to go in.

2) Cube chicken and place in a food processor. Add parsley, oregano, pepper, 1 tsp. salt and combine well. Blend chicken until it has all been taken apart and is a fine paste.

3) Combine 1 tsp. salt and flour on a plate and have your beaten eggs in a small bowl ready to work with.

4) Roll the chicken paste mixture into approximately 30 ping-pong ball-sized balls (smaller than a golf ball).

5) Roll ball a “chicken ball” in flour, then in egg, and then in flour again. Then, press the ball down to make a nugget. Set nuggets aside.

6) Sprinkle the hot oil with some flour and if it bubbles really quickly right away, your oil is ready for frying. Place as many nuggets as possible in the oil, and fry until the bottoms are golden, turn and fry until the other side is golden. Will take about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a towel-lined plate (to catch any excess oil).

___________________________________________________________________________

DSC_0037

Heat oil in a heavy-duty skillet (like a cast iron skillet) on medium-high heat while preparing the chicken nuggets – it should be ready to work with once half of your nuggets are ready to go in.

Cube chicken and place in a food processor. Add parsley, oregano, pepper, 1 tsp. salt and combine well.

DSC_0040

Blend chicken until it has all been taken apart and is a fine paste.

DSC_0043

Combine 1 tsp. salt and flour on a plate and have your beaten eggs in a small bowl ready to work with.

Roll the chicken paste mixture into approximately 30 ping-pong ball-sized balls.

Roll chicken ball in flour, then in egg, and then in flour again. Then, press the ball down to make a nugget. Set nuggets aside.

DSC_0045

Sprinkle the hot oil with some flour and if it bubbles really quickly right away, your oil is ready for frying. Place as many nuggets as possible in the oil, and fry until the bottoms are golden, turn and fry until the other side is golden. Will take about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a towel-lined plate (to catch any excess oil).

DSC_0065

Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

DSC_0069

 

 

 

Next to plain old honey, my favorite dipping sauce is this Thai Sweet Chili Sauce. I love the sweet and spicy combination for chicken nuggets. Try looking for it the next time you hit up an Asian grocery store. I’m sure once you try it you’ll start putting it on everything you eat. Sometimes I make my salad dressing with this sauce too. But that’s for another time.



80 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Nuggets”

  • First come – I found that dredging in flour/egg/flour created a pretty similar crispy coating (if not almost identical) to the McD’s nugget. McD’s nuggets that I’ve eaten never had a thick, bread-y coating, compared to ones at Wendy’s or Burger King. But if you’re willing to share a batter recipe I’d be interested to know what it is.

  • Hey! Just wanted to let you know I Stumbled upon this recipe today and made it for dinner and it was excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  • Alesia – What kind of breadcrumbs do you use? I wanted to try a spicy breadcrumb mixture sometime (like with lots of pepper) but not sure how to go about it yet.

  • Yum! I’ve coated mine in cornflakes and panko before after soaking in buttermilk – but it didn’t taste like McDs.

    Maybe you should start shipping your creations out… 🙂

  • Sheila – I will try the panko breadcrumbs next time. Are you sure you’d want old, stale chicken nuggets from the mail?

    TV Food – Mmmm….100 chicken nuggets.

  • At this point – yes. Old, stale chicken nuggets from the mail will do just fine. 🙂

    Driving home today, we passed a semi with hundreds of chickens in it. Made me think of your post. (That’s the midwest for you!)

  • Wonder if I could sneak some veggies into it for my picky eaters… My son is allergic to eggs, but I think that butter milk may be a good substitute. Does any one know of another subs for eggs?

  • Sheila – It’s not common that a reader will pressure me into giving them food poisoning…but whatever floats your boat!

    Lisa – The sweet chili sauce is great. I’m buying another bottle of it soon so I can drench everything I eat in it.

    Annie – You can always try leaving the egg out and seeing if that works. Some other ideas are cheese or tofu?

    Megan – Thanks!

  • Wow! I’l add this to my recipe collection. I can send some to you if u like. Say “hello!” from me to Roberto & to your two girls nga among former high sch. campus beauties, he,he.

  • I know you’re going for the copycat thing, but seeing as I’ve never been a fan of McD’s nuggets, my dad has always just chopped chicken breast into small pieces, coated them with italian bread crumbs and fried them. They turn out amazing.

  • FOR NUGGETS CLOSER TO THE REAL THING :

    Use a meat tenderizer after blending, sit overnight and blend again, then use it like batter in a bowl of flour and seasoning.

  • i was wondering about the chicken nugget “breading”

    maybe,take regular bread crumbs and further process them in a coffee grinder,so they’re really really fine

  • I stumbled upon this recipe, and I just made these for myself and my boyfriend – easy and delicious!! It’s one I’ll keep around and I think I’ll play with it a little bit! Thank you very much!

  • Just tried this recipe for dinner – thanks for providing it! They were absolutely delicious and so much better than any fast food nuggets! You can’t beat home cooking! I actually replaced the parsley with the same amount of chervil, simply because I had just got some and was eager to try it. It gave them a slightly more herby and unfamiliar taste. Very effective.

  • Oh man, I’ve been looking for a copycat nugget recipe like this for a long time. I can’t wait to try these. Has anybody tried freezing them yet? I want to make a zillion at one time so I don’t have to haul out my soviet-era food processor every time I want to stuff my face (read: often).

  • Oh I love this post! I am bookmarking this recipe. My kids LOVe these dang things and it would be so much better to make these from scratch 🙂 Thank you!

  • I wonder if you can try this with turkey something different? but they look good I:am going to try them. maybe I’ll add a little panko bread crumbs to the flour just see what will happen so many ways to try this!

  • @Kevin: http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/msm.asp

    Not to defend the Dirty Clown, (Thanks Dan, that’s a new one to me!) I highly doubt that nuggets are made with chicken that’s been ground to that fine a puree.

    Even if you bind it and cook it, meat-mush still has the mouth-feel of mush. A low-quality chopped-and-formed ham has lots of pork-puree and few chunks of “Real” pork. Arby’s (narsty!!) “Roast Beef” meat is a good example of “Mechanically processed meat” because you can see the bubbles in the loaf of processed goo that they then slice and call “beef.”

    Mc. D’s nuggets are likely processed similarly to these, albeit in a larger scale. And they are now all white meat.

    On subject, I see these in my near future. Thanks!!

  • mmmm, now I want some chicken nuggets! I think I’ll try adding a little find breadcrumbs to the flour mix.

    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • This is a fantastic recipe. I tried it over the weekend and it turned out perfectly – with any recipe like this though, I am always careful to make sure not to overcook. My oven is a bit on the older side and that can lead me to problems if I don’t keep an eye on things!

  • YUM! These were awesome! I used a combination of gluten free flours instead of the wheat flour, left out the oregano (personal preference), and added the a tiny pinch of onion powder. They turned out even more delicious and crispy in my opinion. Thanks for the great recipe! Even my PICKY 10 year old that LOVES MCD’s nuggets gobbled these up!

  • I’d like to try and make up a good batch of these to freeze and reheat in the oven. Have you ever done that? I’m sure they’re better fresh, but I like having quick food on hand and these seem like they’d be a great thing to pull out of the freezer on a busy night.

  • I just tried this recipe this morning and its wonderful. and these are so many ways you can alter it for different flavors. I plan to freeze most.

  • I’m wondering if my chicken cut into cubes needs to be cooked or can it be raw, before putting it in the food processor?

  • I used to LOVE McD’s chicken nuggets (my daughter too), & I also (like Sandy) have READ alot of ‘gross’ descriptions of how chicken nuggets are made/made of.
    Sooooo… I am awesomely delighted to finally find a recipe for a Homemade version where I KNOW what all the ingredients are and HOW I am making them.
    Thank-you for a such a fabulous recipe, they look completely scrumptious, can’t wait to try them this weekend! Great pics 😉
    Have a wonderful(upcoming) Easter holiday!
    –snookiecollins

  • c’mon mate, who on earth puts oregano and parsley in chicken nuggets(i made them and… not so great, ok it sucked) and also why honey, those poor bees working hard for this abomination. also you made me waist my chillisauce! i had high hopes for this but it was a waist of chicken. it might be nice without the oregano and parsley. I won’t be doing this again, it will have to be another trip to the golden arches.

  • How do you think this will fare if I make them, freeze them, and then microwave later? I know that sounds dubious but it would be a great way for an instant dinner for the 20 month old when she is very impatient.

  • I am also wondering about how to freeze, how long they’ll last and how to best reheat if they have been frozen. I am trying to avoid the oh-so-convenient one minute microwaveable nuggets I can buy in the store but I have to be able to freeze the recipe I use. Help? Suggestions?

  • If you want anything like a chicken nugget…PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, leave out the oregano…there is no oregano in a chicken nugget. Secondly use bread crumbs, not flour…if you use flour the chicken will be overcooked by the time they becone anything close to being lightly browned.
    When you bite a chicken nugget you will notice the breading is very thin, Hello!!! it’s bread crumbs…far easier to use and much less messy that a “Dough Ball”

    So there you have it..bread cumbs not flour and no oregano. The recipe above isn’t a “copycat” of anything recognizable

  • I used I/2 large boneless chicken breast, two boneless thigh meats, 1/2 teaspoon parsley and one teaspoon emerils baby bam seasoning, 1/8th teaspoon ground pepper. Grindeed it all together then rolled it into balls and dipped in fine ground season bread crumbs then the egg mixture then bread crumbs and followed the rest of the instructions. Family and neighbors said it tasted better than McDonalds. Love this!!!

    http://www.lynnskitchenadventures.com/2010/03/emerils-baby-bam-seasoning.html

  • I am wondering if I could bake these instead if frying…maybe as a healthier option? Also, I am going to try adding some blended squash to half of my batch to see if the kids notice, an extra dose of veggies never hurt anyone! 🙂

  • Mazy, I bet baking would work if you used breadcrumbs instead of the flour coating…and I sneak veggies in wherever I can too! I was thinking some zucchini bc it won’t change the color 🙂

  • Pingback: Food | Pearltrees
  • Actually after you have them dredged and “ready to fry” you should be able to put them in the freezer for later. Just lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet or something flat and put in freezer till solid then you can store in a zippy bag. Or you can do like some with french fries and cook about half the time then take them out of the oil, drain and freeze, again like above in a single layer till frozen and store in a zippy bag. Or you can totally cook them, freeze them and see how it works if you put them in a really hot oven (or toaster oven) to crisp them up and heat through. Not really happy with any microwave heating of breaded items myself.
    My favorite food science chef on Food Network used this technique (the double frying) for thick cut fries and it works great.

  • I make these, but I modify the recipe and use Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Brine and dredge ingredients.
    I do freeze them as well, they come out better frozen raw than the 1/2 cooked french fry method which is awesome.

    TK – Ad Hoc
    http://www.inuyaki.com/archives/84
    BRINE INGREDIENTS
    1 gallon cold water
    1 cup plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
    12 bay leaves
    1 head of garlic, smashed but not peeled
    2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    3 large rosemary sprigs
    1 small bunch of thyme
    1 small bunch of parsley
    Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons

    DREDGE INGREDIENTS
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    2 tablespoons onion powder
    2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
    2 teaspoons paprika
    ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    2 teaspoons kosher salt
    2 cups buttermilk

  • After dredging mine in flour the first time, I then dunked mine in beer batter (equal parts beer and flour). They had an excellent crispy outside and the inside was perfect (I also went all dark meat remembering the good old days of mcd’s nugs!). Thanks for sharing

  • I made these tonight and they were delicious! I froze mine after I formed the nuggets (I also made chicken patties for sandwiches) and dropped them into my deep fryer.

  • Thank you so much! These are a copycat of the Applegate nuggets my kids love. My oldest has major texture issues and this is the first homemade nugget he will eat! He is gluten free so I use rice and almond flour and they are crispy outside and like a “real” chicken nugget on the inside. I love these as an easy protein snack too! Great recipe! Will be making huge batches to freeze.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *