Homemade Chicken Nuggets

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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).

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Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

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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.

78 Thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Nuggets

  1. 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?

  2. Rose – It is raw before you process it. I hope they turn out great!

  3. So glad I found this one! What a good one to have in the arsenal when you have kids (or picky husbands!)

  4. sandy on March 18, 2011 at 9:05 am said:

    Yum I will try this instead of Mikky D’s.
    After reading this, I searched for homemade chicken nuggets! Read:
    http://thestir.cafemom.com/food_party/110468/youll_never_eat_another_chicken?ct=acm_stir_popular

  5. 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

  6. frank on April 15, 2011 at 9:39 am said:

    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.

  7. Susannah on May 13, 2011 at 10:20 am said:

    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.

  8. Jill on July 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm said:

    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?

  9. Looks so yummy and delicious! will definitely try this, this good for holiday and birthdays. thanks ;-)

  10. This chicken nuggets is definitely on my ‘must try’ list..

    thanks for sharing your wonderful creations!

  11. That look DELICIOUS!! And it looks super easy too. thanks for sharing this recipe. :)

  12. Simple and delicious. My wife and I made them last night and highly recommend these!

  13. E LEBARON on September 8, 2011 at 7:55 pm said:

    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

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  16. 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

  17. Pingback: Homemade Chicken Nuggets

  18. 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! :)

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  20. Trisha on March 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm said:

    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 :)

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  23. Bahlam on April 20, 2012 at 7:44 am said:

    Very delicious looking nuggets indeed. Love your recipe – I have added the recipe to my collection of nugget recipes here:
    http://pinterest.com/chickenmcnugget/nuggets-recipes/

  24. 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.

  25. Wow, this looks fantastic! I definitely think I’ll be making them soon!

  26. i dont know what to say mouth is watering now i need help.

  27. 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

  28. becca on July 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm said:

    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

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